Seasonal and diurnal characteristics of water soluble inorganic compounds in the gas and aerosol phase in the Zurich area
Abstract. Gas and aerosol samples were taken using a wet effluent diffusion denuder/aerosol collector (WEDD/AC) coupled to ion chromatography (IC) in the city of Zurich, Switzerland from August to September 2002 and in March 2003. Major water soluble inorganic ions; nitrate, sulfate, and nitrite were analyzed online with a time resolution of two hours for the gas and aerosol phase. The fraction of water soluble inorganic anions in PM10 varied from 15% in August to about 38% in March. Seasonal and diurnal variations of nitrate in the gas and aerosol phase were observed with more than 50% of the total nitrate in the gas phase during August and more than 80% of nitrate in the aerosol phase during March exceeding the concentration of sulfate by a factor of 2. Aerosol sulfate, on the other hand, did not show significant variability with season. However, in the gas phase, the SO2 concentration was 6.5 times higher in winter than in summer. Nitrous acid (HONO) also showed a diurnal variation in both the gas and aerosol phase with the lowest concentration (0.2–0.6 µg/m3) in the afternoon. The primary pollutants, NO, CO and SO2 mixing ratios were often at their highest between 04:00–10:00 local time due to the build up of fresh vehicle emission under a nocturnal inversion.