Technical Note: Quantification of interferences of wet chemical HONO LOPAP measurements under simulated polar conditions
Abstract. In the present pilot study, an optimized LOPAP instrument (LOng Path Absorption Photometer) for the detection of nitrous acid (HONO) in the atmosphere (DL 0.2 pptV) was tested at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch at 3580 m altitude in the Swiss Alps under conditions comparable to polar regions. HONO concentrations in the range <0.5–50 pptV with an average of 7.5 pptV were observed at the Jungfraujoch. The diurnal profiles obtained exhibited clear maxima at noon and minima with very low concentration during the night supporting the proposed photochemical production of HONO. In good agreement with recent measurements at the South Pole, it was demonstrated, that interferences of chemical HONO instruments can significantly influence the measurements and lead to considerable overestimations, especially for low pollution level. Accordingly, the active correction of interferences is of paramount importance for the determination of reliable HONO data.