Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 2031–2044, 2013

Special issue: BEACHON Rocky Mountain Organic Carbon Study (ROCS) and Rocky...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 2031–2044, 2013

Research article 21 Feb 2013

Research article | 21 Feb 2013

Evaluation of HOx sources and cycling using measurement-constrained model calculations in a 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol (MBO) and monoterpene (MT) dominated ecosystem

S. Kim1,a, G. M. Wolfe2,b,c, L. Mauldin1,d,e, C. Cantrell1, A. Guenther1, T. Karl1, A. Turnipseed1, J. Greenberg1, S. R. Hall1, K. Ullmann1, E. Apel1, R. Hornbrook1, Y. Kajii3,f, Y. Nakashima3,g, F. N. Keutsch2, J. P. DiGangi2, S. B. Henry2, L. Kaser4, R. Schnitzhofer4, M. Graus5,6, A. Hansel4, W. Zheng1, and F. F. Flocke1 S. Kim et al.
  • 1ACD/NESL/NCAR Boulder, CO 80301, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
  • 3Division of Applied Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo
  • 4University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 5CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 USA
  • 6Chemical Science Division, ESRL-NOAA, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • anow at: Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
  • bnow at: Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, Baltimore County, MD USA
  • cnow at: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • dnow at: Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • enow at: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • fnow at: Graduate School of Environmental Studies and Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
  • gnow at: Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. We present a detailed analysis of OH observations from the BEACHON (Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H2O, Organics and Nitrogen)-ROCS (Rocky Mountain Organic Carbon Study) 2010 field campaign at the Manitou Forest Observatory (MFO), which is a 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol (MBO) and monoterpene (MT) dominated forest environment. A comprehensive suite of measurements was used to constrain primary production of OH via ozone photolysis, OH recycling from HO2, and OH chemical loss rates, in order to estimate the steady-state concentration of OH. In addition, the University of Washington Chemical Model (UWCM) was used to evaluate the performance of a near-explicit chemical mechanism. The diurnal cycle in OH from the steady-state calculations is in good agreement with measurement. A comparison between the photolytic production rates and the recycling rates from the HO2 + NO reaction shows that recycling rates are ~20 times faster than the photolytic OH production rates from ozone. Thus, we find that direct measurement of the recycling rates and the OH loss rates can provide accurate predictions of OH concentrations. More importantly, we also conclude that a conventional OH recycling pathway (HO2 + NO) can explain the observed OH levels in this non-isoprene environment. This is in contrast to observations in isoprene-dominated regions, where investigators have observed significant underestimation of OH and have speculated that unknown sources of OH are responsible. The highly-constrained UWCM calculation under-predicts observed HO2 by as much as a factor of 8. As HO2 maintains oxidation capacity by recycling to OH, UWCM underestimates observed OH by as much as a factor of 4. When the UWCM calculation is constrained by measured HO2, model calculated OH is in better agreement with the observed OH levels. Conversely, constraining the model to observed OH only slightly reduces the model-measurement HO2 discrepancy, implying unknown HO2 sources. These findings demonstrate the importance of constraining the inputs to, and recycling within, the ROx radical pool (OH + HO2 + RO2).

Final-revised paper