Articles | Volume 12, issue 17
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8285–8296, 2012

Special issue: Community Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions Experiment 2009...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8285–8296, 2012

Research article 13 Sep 2012

Research article | 13 Sep 2012

Measurements of ambient HONO concentrations and vertical HONO flux above a northern Michigan forest canopy

N. Zhang1, X. Zhou1,2, S. Bertman3, D. Tang4, M. Alaghmand5, P. B. Shepson5, and M. A. Carroll6 N. Zhang et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12201, USA
  • 2Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY 12201, USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
  • 4Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
  • 5Departments of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
  • 6Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Abstract. Systems have been developed and deployed at a North Michigan forested site to measure ambient HONO and vertical HONO flux. The modified HONO measurement technique is based on aqueous scrubbing of HONO using a coil sampler, followed by azo dye derivatization and detection using a long-path absorption photometer (LPAP). A Na2CO3-coated denuder is used to generate "zero HONO" air for background correction. The lower detection limit of the method, defined by 3 times of the standard deviation of the signal, is 1 pptv for 1-min averages, with an overall uncertainty of ±(1 + 0.05 [HONO]) pptv. The HONO flux measurement technique has been developed based on the relaxed eddy accumulation approach, deploying a 3-D sonic anemometer and two HONO measurement systems. The overall uncertainty is estimated to be within ±(8 × 10−8 + 0.15 FHONO) mol m−2 h−1, with a 20-min averaged data point per 30 min. Ambient HONO and vertical HONO flux were measured simultaneously at the PROPHET site from 17 July to 7 August 2008. The forest canopy was found to be a net HONO source, with a mean upward flux of 0.37 × 10−6 moles m−2 h−1. The HONO flux reached a maximal mean of ~0.7 × 10−6 moles m−2 h−1 around solar noon, contributing a major fraction to the HONO source strength required to sustain the observed ambient concentration of ~70 pptv. There were no significant correlations between [NOx] and daytime HONO flux and between JNO2 × [NO2] and HONO flux, suggesting that NOx was not an important precursor responsible for HONO daytime production on the forest canopy surface in this low-NOx rural environment. Evidence supports the hypothesis that photolysis of HNO3 deposited on the forest canopy surface is a major daytime HONO source.

Final-revised paper