A miniature Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (miniMART) as a compact breaking wave analogue

Stokes, MD, Deane G, Collins DB, Cappa C, Bertram T, Dommer A, Schill S, Forestieri S, Survilo M.  2016.  A miniature Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (miniMART) as a compact breaking wave analogue. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 9:4257-4267.

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bubble plumes, hygroscopic growth, organic-compounds, parameterization, reactive uptake, salt, sea spray aerosol, size distributions, spectroscopy, surface


In order to understand the processes governing the production of marine aerosols, repeatable, controlled methods for their generation are required. A new system, the miniature Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (miniMART), has been designed after the success of the original MART system, to approximate a small oceanic spilling breaker by producing an evolving bubble plume and surface foam patch. The smaller tank utilizes an intermittently plunging jet of water produced by a rotating water wheel, into an approximately 6 L reservoir to simulate bubble plume and foam formation and generate aerosols. This system produces bubble plumes characteristic of small whitecaps without the large external pump inherent in the original MART design. Without the pump it is possible to easily culture delicate planktonic and microbial communities in the bulk water during experiments while continuously producing aerosols for study. However, due to the reduced volume and smaller plunging jet, the absolute numbers of particles generated are approximately an order of magnitude less than in the original MART design.