Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
15 May 2009
 | 15 May 2009

Distribution of VOCs between air and snow at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station, Switzerland, during CLACE 5 (winter 2006)

E. Starokozhev, E. Fries, A. Cycura, and W. Püttmann

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were analyzed in air and snow samples at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station in Switzerland as part of CLACE 5 (CLoud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment) during February/March 2006. The fluxes of individual compounds in ambient air were calculated from gas phase concentrations and wind speed. The highest concentrations and flux values were observed for the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene (14.3 μg.m−2 s−1), 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (5.27 μg.m−2 s−1), toluene (4.40 μg.m−2 −1), and the aliphatic hydrocarbons i-butane (7.87 μg.m−2 s−1), i-pentane (3.61 μg.m−2 s−1) and n-butane (3.23 μg.m−2 s−1). The measured concentrations and fluxes were used to calculate the efficiency of removal of VOCs by snow, which is defined as difference between the initial and final concentration/flux values of compounds before and after wet deposition. The removal efficiency was calculated at −24°C (−13.7°C) and ranged from 37% (35%) for o-xylene to 93% (63%) for i-pentane. The distribution coefficients of VOCs between the air and snow phases were derived from published poly-parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER) data, and compared with distribution coefficients obtained from the simultaneous measurements of VOC concentrations in air and snow at Jungfraujoch. The coefficients calculated from pp-LFER exceeded those values measured in the present study, which indicates more efficient snow scavenging of the VOCs investigated than suggested by theoretical predictions.

Final-revised paper