Articles | Volume 15, issue 12
Research article
16 Jun 2015
Research article |  | 16 Jun 2015

Characteristics of 1 year of observational data of VOCs, NOx and O3 at a suburban site in Guangzhou, China

Y. Zou, X. J. Deng, D. Zhu, D. C. Gong, H. Wang, F. Li, H. B. Tan, T. Deng, B. R. Mai, X. T. Liu, and B. G. Wang

Abstract. Guangzhou, one of China's megacities, is beset with frequent occurrence of high-concentration ozone events. In this study, online instruments were used to simultaneously monitor ozone, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at GPACS (the Guangzhou Panyu Atmospheric Composition Station) of the China Meteorological Administration, from June 2011 to May 2012, in order to determine their characteristics, the effect of VOCs on ozone photochemical production and the relationship between VOC / NOx ratio and ozone formation. The results showed that during the observation period, the seasonal variation of ozone concentration was lower in spring and winter compared to summer and autumn, which is opposite that for VOCs and NOx. In terms of VOCs, aromatics had the largest ozone formation potential, among which toluene, xylenes, ethylbenzene, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene were the most important species, with a total contribution of about 44%. As the VOC / NOx ratios were very high during high-concentration ozone events that occur all year round, we speculate ozone production was likely to be NOx-limited regime (12:00–16:00 LT) in Guangzhou. Further investigation based on numerical models is needed in the future to obtain more detailed and robust conclusions.

Final-revised paper