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Volume 18, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3603-3618, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Mar 2018

Research article | 13 Mar 2018

Atmospheric water-soluble organic nitrogen (WSON) in the eastern Mediterranean: origin and ramifications regarding marine productivity

Münevver Nehir and Mustafa Koçak Münevver Nehir and Mustafa Koçak
  • Institute of Marine Sciences, Middle East Technical University, P.O. Box 28, 33731, Erdemli-Mersin, Turkey

Abstract. Aerosol and rain sampling in two size fractions was carried out at a rural site located on the coast of the eastern Mediterranean, Erdemli, Turkey (36°33′54′′N, 34°15′18′′E). A total of 674 aerosol samples in two size fractions (337 coarse, 337 fine) and 23 rain samples were collected between March 2014 and April 2015. Samples were analyzed for NO3, NH4+ and ancillary water-soluble ions using ion chromatography and water-soluble total nitrogen (WSTN) by applying a high-temperature combustion method. The mean aerosol water-soluble organic nitrogen (WSON) was 23.8±16.3nmolNm−3, reaching a maximum of 79nmolNm−3, with about 66% being associated with coarse particles. The volume weighted mean (VWM) concentration of WSON in rain was 21.5µmolNL−1. The WSON contributed 37 and 29% to the WSTN in aerosol and rainwater, respectively. Aerosol WSON concentrations exhibited large temporal variation, mainly due to meteorology and the origin of air mass flow. The highest mean aerosol WSON concentration was observed in the summer and was attributed to the absence of rain and resuspension of cultivated soil in the region. The mean concentration of WSON during dust events (38.2±17.5nmolNm−3) was 1.3 times higher than that of non-dust events (29.4±13.9nmolNm−3). Source apportionment analysis demonstrated that WSON was originated from agricultural activities (43%), secondary aerosol (20%), nitrate (22%), crustal material (10%) and sea salt (5%). The dry and wet depositions of WSON were equivalent and amounted to 36% of the total atmospheric WSTN flux.

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Atmospheric samples of water-soluble organic nitrogen (WSON) obtained over the eastern Mediterranean have been investigated. Aerosol WSON concentrations exhibited large temporal variation, mainly due to rain and the origin of airflow. WSON originated from agricultural activities, secondary aerosol, nitrate, crustal material and sea salt. In the Cilician Basin, the WSON flux would sustain 33 % and 76 % of the new production of the plant-like organisms in coastal and open waters, respectively.
Atmospheric samples of water-soluble organic nitrogen (WSON) obtained over the eastern...