Dimethylsulfide and its oxidation products in coastal atmospheres of Cheju Island

Ki Hyun Kim, Gangwoong Lee, Yong Pyo Kim

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18 Scopus citations


The concentrations of dimethylsulfide (DMS) in air and its oxidation products in aerosols were measured from the coastal atmospheres of Cheju Island, Korea, during three exploratory field experiments conducted over September 1997 through April 1998. According to our measurements, there were large fluctuations in the distribution of DMS and relevant species in the coastal atmospheres; the magnitude of variations was significant both within each measurement period and across different measurement periods. The mean mixing ratios of atmospheric DMS from the whole data sets were found within the range of 19 to 1140 pptv (n=84) with the grand mean value of 100 pptv. Like DMS, large variations in the data distribution were consistently seen from other species investigated concurrently. The concentrations of aerosol ions including non-seasalt sulfate (NSSS), seasalt sulfate (SSS), and methane sulfonate (MSA) spanned over two orders of magnitude such as 0.24-88 (mean 32), 0.08-17.2 (mean 3.70), and 0.01-0.78 (mean 0.16) nmol m-3, respectively. The molar ratios of those ions were measured as: (1) NSSS/SSS in 1.26-95 (mean 44); (2) MSA/NSSS in 0.0002-0.063 (mean 0.009); and (3) NSSS/NO3 in 0.21-9.5 (mean 2.35). Examinations of our measurement data indicated that the concentrations of DMS and relevant ions varied significantly across day/night periods and across different seasons. It was also seen that there are strong differences in seasonal distribution patterns between fall, winter, and spring. Detailed analysis of the data sets revealed that changes in their distribution patterns were in strong compliance with changes in meteorological conditions. Especially, large fluctuations in magnitudes and amplitudes of springtime DMS concentrations were coinciding with the intrusion of southeasterly winds, suggesting the possibility that the DMS-rich air masses were brought into the study area from the productive waters of the southeast coastal area of Cheju. Similarly to the case of DMS, the occurrence of unusual wind patterns during spring contributed to changes in the content and composition of aerosol ions. Although the introduction of southeasterly winds during spring helped maintain high DMS and MSA levels, the concentrations of aerosol ions dropped significantly because of depositional loss during the passage of air mass over land area. According to the procedures of Wylie and De Mora, we reached the conclusion that the magnitude of annual DMS emissions in the western Korean sea were in the range of 5 to 18 Gg S. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Korea. Elements of this research were also produced with support from 1999 National R&D Program of Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. The authors are greatly indebted to constructive criticisms from two anonymous reviewers.


  • Biogenic sulfur
  • Dimethylsulfide
  • Methane sulfonate
  • Non-seasalt sulfate


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