Articles | Volume 12, issue 23
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 11665–11678, 2012

Special issue: Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 11665–11678, 2012

Research article 06 Dec 2012

Research article | 06 Dec 2012

In situ measurements of volatile organic compounds in a boreal forest

H. Hakola1, H. Hellén1, M. Hemmilä1, J. Rinne2, and M. Kulmala2 H. Hakola et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O.Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 68, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We present biogenic VOC, including sesquiterpenes, measurements at the SMEAR II station (Station For Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) in Finland using an in situ gas chromatograph mass-spectrometer with 2 h time resolution. The measurements were conducted over the period October 2010–October 2011, at least one week every month. To our knowledge there are no earlier species-speciated semi-continuous BVOC data also covering dormant periods. This was also the first time sesquiterpene mixing ratios were measured in a boreal forest.

During the winter months, and still in March, the mixing ratios of all biogenic compounds were very low, most of the time below detection limits. The monoterpene mixing ratios increased in April and started to show diurnal variability, with maximum mixing ratio at night and minima during the day. The diurnal variability continued until October, after which the mixing ratios decreased and then only occasional episodes took place. The diurnal variation was affected by boundary layer height. Sesquiterpene mixing ratios were very low, only a few ppt. The main sesquiterpenes were longifolene and isolongifolene. The diurnal variation of isoprene was opposite to the mono- and sesquiterpene diurnal curve due to isoprene's light dependent emissions. Due to its daytime maximum mixing ratios, isoprene also dominated hydroxyl radical reactivity in summer even though our isoprene measurements are underestimates due to a breakthrough in a cold trap.

Final-revised paper