Articles | Volume 17, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12303–12325, 2017

Special issue: Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX)

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12303–12325, 2017

Research article 17 Oct 2017

Research article | 17 Oct 2017

Emission ratios of trace gases and particles for Siberian forest fires on the basis of mobile ground observations

Anastasia Vasileva1, Konstantin Moiseenko1, Andrey Skorokhod1, Igor Belikov1, Vladimir Kopeikin1, and Olga Lavrova1,2 Anastasia Vasileva et al.
  • 1A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119017, Russia
  • 2Russian Research Institute of Railway Transport, Moscow, 107996, Russia

Abstract. Boreal forest fires are currently recognized as a significant factor in climate change and air quality problems. Although emissions of biomass burning products are widely measured in many regions, there is still lack of information on the composition of wildfire emissions in Siberia, a region known for its severe wildfire activity. Emission ratios (ERs) are important characteristics of wildfire emissions as they may be used to calculate the mass of species emitted into the atmosphere due to combustion of a known mass of biomass fuel. We analyze observations of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), total nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), nitrogen oxides NOx ( =  NO + NO2), particulate matter (PM3), and black carbon (BC) within two forest fire plume transects made by the moving railway observatory during TRanscontinental Observations Into the Chemistry of the Atmosphere (TROICA) expeditions. Slopes in linear regressions of excess levels of the pollutants are used to obtain ERCO ∕ CO2 = 10–15 %, ERCH4 ∕ CO = 8–10 %, ERNMHC ∕ CO = 0.11–0.21 % ppmC ppmC−1, ERNOx ∕ CO = 1.5–3.0  ppb ppm−1, ERPM3 ∕ CO = 320–385 ng m−3 (µg m−3)−1, and ERBC ∕ CO =  6.1–6.3 µg m−3 ppm−1, which fall within the range of uncertainty of the previous estimates, being at the higher edge for ERCH4 ∕ CO, ERNMHC ∕ CO, and ERPM3 ∕ CO and at the lower edge for ERNOx ∕ CO. The relative uncertainties comprise 5–15 % of the estimated ERCH4 ∕ CO, ERNMHC ∕ CO, and ERPM ∕ CO and 10–20 % of ERNOx ∕ CO, ERCO ∕ CO2, and ERBC ∕ CO. The uncertainties are lower than in many other similar studies and associated mainly with natural variability of wildfire emissions.

Short summary
Boreal Siberia is a unique region with severe wildfire activity which is little studied today. We employ unique ground-based observations of major biomass burning products obtained during TRanscontinental Observations Into the Chemistry of the Atmosphere (TROICA) expedition along the Trans-Siberian Railway to provide information about chemical composition of forest fire plumes in Siberia. The results may be used in studies related to climate change and regional air quality.
Final-revised paper