Articles | Volume 9, issue 10
28 May 2009
 | 28 May 2009

Statistical analysis of anthropogenic non-methane VOC variability at a European background location (Jungfraujoch, Switzerland)

V. A. Lanz, S. Henne, J. Staehelin, C. Hueglin, M. K. Vollmer, M. Steinbacher, B. Buchmann, and S. Reimann

Abstract. In-situ measurements of 7 volatile hydrocarbons, CxHy, and 3 chlorinated organic compounds, CxHyClz, were performed at Jungfraujoch (Switzerland) during eight years (2000–2007). The analysis of 4-h resolved non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) was achieved by using gas-chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Variabilities in the NMVOC time series dataset were modeled by factor analysis (positive matrix factorization, PMF). Four factors defined the solution space and could be related to NMVOC sources and atmospheric processes. In order to facilitate factor interpretations the retrieved contributions were compared with independent measurements, such as trace gases (NOx, CO, and CH4) and back trajectories. The most dominant factor (accounting on average for ~42% of the total mixing ratio of the considered NMVOCs) was found to be most active in winter, co-varying with CO and CH4 and could be related to aged combustive emissions as well as natural gas distribution. The other three factors represent both industrial and evaporative sources. Trajectory statistics suggest that the most influential anthropogenic NMVOC sources for Jungfraujoch are located in Eastern Europe, but the Po Valley has been identified as a potential source region for specific industrial sources as well. Aging of the arriving NMVOCs, the derived factors as well as limitations of the methods are discussed. This is the first report of a PMF application on NMVOC data from a background mountain site.

Final-revised paper