Lipid Geochemistry of Remote Aerosols from the
Southwestern Pacific Ocean Sector

Marie-Alexandrine Sicre,a,b Edward T. Peltzera,1
a: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
b: Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de 1’Environnement, CNRS SDUUMR 1572, Domaine du CNRS,
Ave de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

1: Present address. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute,
7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9644, USA.

Atmospheric Environment (2004) 38: 1615–1624. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2003.12.012

Received: 2003 September 30.
Revision received: 2003 November 21.
Accepted: 2003 December 1.


Aerosol samples collected on Ninety Mile Beach on the West coast of the North Island of New Zealand were analyzed for three classes of naturally occurring organic compounds (n-alkanes, fatty alcohols and long-chain n-aldehydes) which are major constituents of epicuticular waxes of terrestrial plants. In the eight samples analyzed, we identified three distinct regional source signatures for these aerosols depending upon their origin: southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand or Australia. Source identifications were entirely consistent with the origin of the aerosols derived by isentropic air mass trajectories. Impactor studies provided additional information as to the source of the aerosols and the mode of introduction of the material into the atmosphere.

© 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


We thank the Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences Sections of the NSF for support as part of the SEAREX program, Grants OCE84-06666 and OCE87-16954. We thank J.T. Merrill for the air mass trajectory calculations and advice about the meteorological interpretations. We thank J.B. Alford, N.M. Frew and N.A. Hayward for their assistance in the analytical work; the New Zealand Meteorological Service and the Te Paki Farm Park Ranger for their assistance in the field; and we acknowledge the support of the SEAREX coordinator, V.E. Chisholm, and all the SEAREX colleagues without whom this work would not have been possible. M-A Sicre thanks the French government for financial support (Lavoisier fellowship). This is LSCE contribution number 1035 and WHOI contribution number 11082.

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