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Understanding isoprene photooxidation using observations and modeling over a subtropical forest in the southeastern US
  • Published Date:

    2016

  • Source:
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(12), 7725-7741.
Filetype[PDF-3.19 MB]


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  • Description:
    The emission, dispersion, and photochemistry of isoprene (C5H8) and related chemical species in the convective boundary layer (CBL) during sunlit daytime were studied over a mixed forest in the southeastern United States by combining ground-based and aircraft observations. Fluxes of isoprene and monoterpenes were quantified at the top of the forest canopy using a high-resolution proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS). Snapshot (similar to aEuro-2aEuro-min sampling duration) vertical profiles of isoprene, methyl vinyl ketone (MVK)aEuro-+aEuro-methacrolein (MACR), and monoterpenes were collected from aircraft every hour in the CBL (100-1000aEuro-m). Both ground-based and airborne collected volatile organic compound (VOC) data are used to constrain the initial conditions of a mixed-layer chemistry model (MXLCH), which is applied to examine the chemical evolution of the O-3-NOx-HOx-VOC system and how it is affected by boundary layer dynamics in the CBL. The chemical loss rate of isoprene (similar to aEuro-1aEuro-h) is similar to the turbulent mixing timescale (0.1-0.5aEuro-h), which indicates that isoprene concentrations are equally dependent on both photooxidation and boundary layer dynamics. Analysis of a model-derived concentration budget suggests that diurnal evolution of isoprene inside the CBL is mainly controlled by surface emissions and chemical loss; the diurnal evolution of O-3 is dominated by entrainment. The NO to HO2 ratio (NOaEuro-:aEuro-HO2) is used as an indicator of anthropogenic impact on the CBL chemical composition and spans a wide range (1-163). The fate of hydroxyl-substituted isoprene peroxyl radical (HOC5H8OO center dot; ISOPOO) is strongly affected by NOaEuro-:aEuro-HO2, shifting from NO-dominant to NO-HO2-balanced conditions from early morning to noontime. This chemical regime change is reflected in the diurnal evolution of isoprene hydroxynitrates (ISOPN) and isoprene hydroxy hydroperoxides (ISOPOOH).
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