Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Development and technical paper
17 Mar 2015
Development and technical paper |  | 17 Mar 2015

Implementing marine organic aerosols into the GEOS-Chem model

B. Gantt, M. S. Johnson, M. Crippa, A. S. H. Prévôt, and N. Meskhidze

Abstract. Marine-sourced organic aerosols (MOAs) have been shown to play an important role in tropospheric chemistry by impacting surface mass, cloud condensation nuclei, and ice nuclei concentrations over remote marine and coastal regions. In this work, an online marine primary organic aerosol emission parameterization, designed to be used for both global and regional models, was implemented into the GEOS-Chem (Global Earth Observing System Chemistry) model. The implemented emission scheme improved the large underprediction of organic aerosol concentrations in clean marine regions (normalized mean bias decreases from −79% when using the default settings to −12% when marine organic aerosols are added). Model predictions were also in good agreement (correlation coefficient of 0.62 and normalized mean bias of −36%) with hourly surface concentrations of MOAs observed during the summertime at an inland site near Paris, France. Our study shows that MOAs have weaker coastal-to-inland concentration gradients than sea-salt aerosols, leading to several inland European cities having >10% of their surface submicron organic aerosol mass concentration with a marine source. The addition of MOA tracers to GEOS-Chem enabled us to identify the regions with large contributions of freshly emitted or aged aerosol having distinct physicochemical properties, potentially indicating optimal locations for future field studies.