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Atmospheric variability of biogenic VOCs in the surface layer measured by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry


Fast response measurements of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) were conducted above a deciduous temperate, a tropical rain and an evergreen needle forest. We explore how the variance of a compound relates to the surface flux and lifetime (τ) at these sites. Our results suggest that a modified variance method can be used for estimating surface fluxes of isoprene and methanol above sites characterized by homogenous surface emissions. The normalized variability σ C/C, generally used for variability-lifetime relationships, increases as a function of averaging period, and follows an inverse lifetime-dependence. The variability of short-lived compound lies within the predicted range for mixed layer parameterizations such as the top-down (TD)-bottom-up (BU) variance functions. For lifetimes >1 day, significant deviation due to mesoscale processes adds to the variability on timescales above ∼30 min. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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