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Open Access Publications from the University of California

OH reactivity in urban and suburban regions in Seoul, South Korea - an East Asian megacity in a rapid transition.

  • Author(s): Kim, Saewung
  • Sanchez, Dianne
  • Wang, Mark
  • Seco, Roger
  • Jeong, Daun
  • Hughes, Stacey
  • Barletta, Barbara
  • Blake, Donald R
  • Jung, Jinsang
  • Kim, Deugsoo
  • Lee, Gangwoong
  • Lee, Meehye
  • Ahn, Joonyoung
  • Lee, Sang-Deok
  • Cho, Gangnam
  • Sung, Min-Young
  • Lee, Yong-Hwan
  • Kim, Dan Bi
  • Kim, Younha
  • Woo, Jung-Hun
  • Jo, Duseong
  • Park, Rokjin
  • Park, Jeong-Hoo
  • Hong, You-Deog
  • Hong, Ji-Hyung
  • et al.

South Korea has recently achieved developed country status with the second largest megacity in the world, the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA). This study provides insights into future changes in air quality for rapidly emerging megacities in the East Asian region. We present total OH reactivity observations in the SMA conducted at an urban Seoul site (May-June, 2015) and a suburban forest site (Sep, 2015). The total OH reactivity in an urban site during the daytime was observed at similar levels (∼15 s(-1)) to those previously reported from other East Asian megacity studies. Trace gas observations indicate that OH reactivity is largely accounted for by NOX (∼50%) followed by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (∼35%). Isoprene accounts for a substantial fraction of OH reactivity among the comprehensive VOC observational dataset (25-47%). In general, observed total OH reactivity can be accounted for by the observed trace gas dataset. However, observed total OH reactivity in the suburban forest area cannot be largely accounted for (∼70%) by the trace gas measurements. The importance of biogenic VOC (BVOCs) emissions and oxidations used to evaluate the impacts of East Asian megacity outflows for the regional air quality and climate contexts are highlighted in this study.

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