Statistics of Jet Drop Production

A. Berny, S. Popinet, T. Séon, L. Deike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Bubbles bursting at the ocean surface are an important source of sea-spray aerosol. We describe jet drop production, from ensembles of high fidelity numerical simulations of bubble bursting, validated against experimental results. The number of jet drops, their size, and velocity are controlled by the ratio of the bubble size, Rb, and the visco-capillary length, (Formula presented.), where γ is the surface tension, ρw, μw the water density and viscosity. The mean drop size follows (Formula presented.) and the ejected number of drops (Formula presented.), accounting for temperature variations. We confirm that submicrons jet drops are produced by bubbles in the 10–40 microns range. We compute the distribution of jet drops formed by a range of bubbles present under a breaking wave which compares well against laboratory experiments. We discuss the applicability of the proposed formulation in the context of sea spray generation function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL092919
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Sea spray
  • breaking waves
  • direct numerical simulations
  • jet drops


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