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Importance of wet precipitation as a removal and transport process for atmospheric water soluble carbonyls

  • Author(s): Matsunaga, SN
  • Guenther, AB
  • Izawa, Y
  • Wiedinmyer, C
  • Greenberg, JP
  • Kawamura, K
  • et al.
Abstract

Carbonyl compounds exist in the atmosphere as either gases or aerosols. Some of them are water soluble and known as oxidation products of biogenic and/or anthropogenic hydrocarbons. Five carbonyl compounds, glyoxal (GO), 4-oxopentanal (4-OPA), glycolaldehyde (GA), hydroxyacetone (HA) and methylglyoxal (MG) have been identified in a temporal series of 12 rain samples. The concentrations of the compounds in the samples were high at the beginning of the rain event and decreased with time to relatively low and fairly constant levels, indicating that the compounds were washed out from the atmosphere at the start of the rain event. Possibly, these compounds also existed in the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Wet deposition rates of the carbonyl compounds were calculated for nine samples collected during a 20 h period. The deposition rates ranged from 0 (4-OPA) to 1.2×10-1 mg C m-2 h-1 (MG) with the average of 2.9×10-2 mg C m-2 h-1. Production rates of isoprene oxidation products (GA, HA and MG) in the area surrounding the sampling site were estimated with a chemical box model. The deposition rates exceeded the production rates in most samples. This indicates that the rainfall causes a large net flux of the water soluble compounds from the atmosphere to the ground. Insoluble carbonyl compounds such as n-nonanal and n-decanal were expected to be present in the atmosphere, but were not detected in the rain during the sampling period, suggesting that an aerosol containing these insoluble compounds does not effectively act as a CCN. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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