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Atmospheric chemistry measurements of bromine explosion/mercury deposition during the Polar Spring SIPEX II, 2012 Campaign

Atmospheric chemistry measurements of bromine explosion/mercury deposition during the Polar Spring SIPEX II, 2012 Campaign
Robyn Schofield


Robyn Schofield1, Ruhi Humphries2, Caitlin Gionfriddo1, Karin Kreher3*, Paul Johnston3, Neil Harris4, Andrew Robinson4, Michael Tate5, David Krabbenhoft5, John W. Moreau1, Suzie Molloy6, Ian Galbally6, Melita Keywood6, Stephen Wilson2, Simon Alexander7, Andrew Klekociuk7, Andrew Bowie8,9, Delphine Lannuzel8,9 and Klaus Meiners8

  1. School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
  2. Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
  3. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Lauder, New Zealand
  4. Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge CB2 1EW, England
  5. US Geological Survey, Middleton, WI53562, United States
  6. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, VIC 3195, Australia
  7. Australian Antarctic Division, TAS 7050, Australia
  8. Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems, Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
  9. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia

*Now at Bodeker Scientific, Alexandra, New Zealand


Bromine explosion events that occur over first year sea ice in the polar spring cause mercury deposition and dramatically alter the oxidative capacity of the polar boundary layer. Atmospheric chemical measurements made during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment (SIPEX II) in the polar spring of 2012 are presented here. Vertical BrO, NO2, HCHO profile concentrations were made with a UV-Vis Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer (MAX-DOAS). Halocarbon (i.e. CH2CH2, CHBr3) observations were made using a GC-ECD µ-Dirac and gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) observations made using a Tekran instrument along with in-situ ozone and aerosol new particle observations. In addition, snow-sea-ice and ocean samples were made at several ‘ice stations’ between 62- 65°S and 115-121°E to analyze for total mercury and methylmercury. Several mercury and ozone depletion events were observed. This suite of observations provides the most complete suite of observations to date to improve our understanding of the implications of BrO explosion events in the Antarctic under changing future sea-ice conditions.

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