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Frost flowers growing in the Arctic ocean-atmosphere-sea ice-snow interface: 1. Chemical composition

Abstract : Frost flowers, intricate featherlike crystals that grow on refreezing sea ice leads, have been implicated in lower atmospheric chemical reactions. Few studies have presented chemical composition information for frost flowers over time and many of the chemical species commonly associated with Polar tropospheric reactions have never been reported for frost flowers. We undertook this study on the sea ice north of Barrow, Alaska to quantify the major ion, stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope, alkalinity, light absorbance by soluble species, organochlorine, and aldehyde composition of seawater, brine, and frost flowers. For many of these chemical species we present the first measurements from brine or frost flowers. Results show that major ion and alkalinity concentrations, stable isotope values, and major chromophore (NO3- and H2O2) concentrations are controlled by fractionation from seawater and brine. The presence of these chemical species in present and future sea ice scenarios is somewhat predictable. However, aldehydes, organochlorine compounds, light absorbing species, and mercury (part 2 of this research and Sherman et al. (2012)) are deposited to frost flowers through less predictable processes that probably involve the atmosphere as a source. The present and future concentrations of these constituents in frost flowers may not be easily incorporated into future sea ice or lower atmospheric chemistry scenarios. Thinning of Arctic sea ice will likely present more open sea ice leads where young ice, brine, and frost flowers form. How these changing ice conditions will affect the interactions between ice, brine, frost flowers and the lower atmosphere is unknown.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 28, 2022 - 5:13:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 4:05:32 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 8:52:27 PM


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Thomas A. Douglas, Florent Domine, Manuel Barret, Cort Anastasio, Harry J. Beine, et al.. Frost flowers growing in the Arctic ocean-atmosphere-sea ice-snow interface: 1. Chemical composition. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2012, 117, 58, p. 73-95. ⟨10.1029/2011JD016460⟩. ⟨insu-03622106⟩



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