Letter | Published:

Precipitation scavenging of aerosol particles over remote marine regions

Naturevolume 321pages508510 (1986) | Download Citation



There is increasing evidence that the deposition of atmospheric participate material has a significant influence on the chemistry of trace elements in many oceanic regions1–4. One significant but unknown parameter is the efficiency of in-cloud and below-cloud scavenging processes as a function of aerosol particle size. Studies in continental regions have indicated that the largest particles are scavenged most efficiently by rain5. We report here, for the first time, an evaluation of particle scavenging by tropical showers, based on data obtained at Eniwetok Atoll and American Samoa in the tropical Pacific Ocean. We find no clear evidence of a particle size dependence for scavenging in this remote marine region. This indicates that estimates of global atmospheric deposition over the ocean based on extrapolation of measurements made on land may be invalid.

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  1. Centre des Faibles Radioactivités, Laboratoire Mixte CNRS-CEA, BP 1, 91190, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

    • Patrick Buat-Ménard
  2. Graduate School of Oceanography, Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881, USA

    • Robert A. Duce


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