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Volatile organic compounds and isoprene oxidation products at a temperate deciduous forest site

  • Author(s): Helmig, D
  • Greenberg, J
  • Guenther, A
  • Zimmerman, P
  • Geron, C
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) and their role in atmospheric oxidant formation were investigated at a forest site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as part of the Nashville Southern Oxidants Study (SOS) in July 1995. Of 98 VOCs detected, a major fraction were anthropogenic VOCs such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), alkanes, alkenes and aromatic compounds. Isoprene was the dominant BVOC during daytime. Primary products from BVOC oxidation were methylvinylketone, methacrolein and 3-methylfuran. Other compounds studied include the BVOCs α-pinene, camphene, β-pinene, p-cymene, limonene and cis-3-hexenyl acetate and a series of light alkanes, aromatic hydrocarbons and seven of the CFCs. The correlation of meteorological parameters, with the mixing ratios of these different compounds, reveals information on atmospheric oxidation processes and transport. Long-lived VOCs show very steady mixing ratio time series. Regionally and anthropogenically emitted VOCs display distinct diurnal cycles with a strong mixing ratio decrease in the morning from the breakup of the nocturnal boundary layer. Nighttime mixing ratio increases of CFCs and anthropogenic VOCs are suspected to derive from emissions within the Knoxville urban area into the shallow nocturnal boundary layer. In contrast, the time series of BVOCs and their oxidation products are determined by a combination of emission control, atmospheric oxidation and deposition, and boundary layer dynamics. Mixing ratio tune series data for monoterpenes and cis-3-hexenyl acetate suggest a temporarily emission rate increase during and after heavy rain events. The isoprene oxidation products demonstrate differences in the oxidation pathways during night and day and in their dry and wet deposition rates. Copyright 1998 by the American Geophysical Union.

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