Articles | Volume 8, issue 23
06 Dec 2008
 | 06 Dec 2008

1-D Air-snowpack modeling of atmospheric nitrous acid at South Pole during ANTCI 2003

W. Liao and D. Tan

Abstract. A 1-D air-snowpack model of HONO has been developed and constrained by observed chemistry and meteorology data. The 1-D model includes molecular diffusion and mechanical dispersion, windpumping in snow, gas phase to quasi-liquid layer phase HONO transfer and quasi-liquid layer nitrate and interstitial air HONO photolysis. Photolysis of nitrate is important as a dominant HONO source inside the snowpack, however, the observed HONO emission from the snowpack was triggered mainly by the equilibrium between quasi liquid layer nitrite and firn air HONO deep down the snow surface (i.e. 30 cm below snow surface). The high concentration of HONO in the firn air is subsequently transported above the snowpack by diffusion and windpumping. The model uncertainties come mainly from lack of measurements and the interpretation of the QLL properties based on the bulk snow measurements. One critical factor is the ionic strength of QLL nitrite, which is estimated here by the bulk snow pH, nitrite concentration, and QLL to bulk snow volume ratio.

Final-revised paper