Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 638240, 14 pages
Research Article

Elastic Properties of Natural Sea Surface Films Incorporated with Solid Dust Particles: Model Baltic Sea Studies

1Department of Physics, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
2Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 57, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland

Received 3 August 2012; Accepted 8 October 2012

Academic Editor: Robert Frouin

Copyright © 2012 Adriana Z. Mazurek and Stanisław J. Pogorzelski. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Floating dust-originated solid particles at air-water interfaces will interact with one another and disturb the smoothness of such a composite surface affecting its dilational elasticity. To quantify the effect, surface pressure ( ) versus film area ( ) isotherm, and stress-relaxation ( -time) measurements were performed for monoparticulate layers of the model hydrophobic material (of μm-diameter and differentiated hydrophobicity corresponding to the water contact angles (CA) ranging from 60 to 140°) deposited at surfaces of surfactant-containing original seawater and were studied with a Langmuir trough system. The composite surface dilational modulus predicted from the theoretical approach, in which natural dust load signatures (particle number flux, daily deposition rate, and diameter spectra) originated from in situ field studies performed along Baltic Sea near-shore line stations, agreed well with the direct experimentally derived data. The presence of seawater surfactants affected wettability of the solid material which was evaluated with different CA techniques applicable to powdered samples. Surface energetics of the particle-subphase interactions was expressed in terms of the particle removal energy, contact cross-sectional areas, collapse energies, and so forth. The hydrophobic particles incorporation at a sea surface film structure increased the elasticity modulus by a factor (1.29–1.58). The particle-covered seawater revealed a viscoelastic behavior with the characteristic relaxation times ranging from 2.6 to 68.5 sec.