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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 May 2020

12 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Profiling of formaldehyde, glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and CO over the Amazon: Normalised excess mixing ratios and related emission factors in biomass burning plumes

Flora Kluge1, Tilman Hüneke1,a, Matthias Knecht1,b, Michael Lichtenstern2, Meike Rotermund1, Hans Schlager2, Benjamin Schreiner1, and Klaus Pfeilsticker1 Flora Kluge et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • anow at: Encavis AG, Hamburg, Germany
  • bnow at: Ernst & Young GmbH, Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract. We report on airborne measurements of tropospheric mixing ratios and vertical profiles of CH2O, C2H2O2, C3H4O2*, and CO over the Amazon Basin during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign from the German High Altitude and Long-range research aircraft (HALO) in fall 2014. The joint observation of in situ CO and remotely measured CH2O, C2H2O2, C3H4O2*, together with visible imagery and air mass back trajectory modelling using NOAA HYSPLIT (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) allow us to discriminate between the probing of background tropical air, in which the concentration of the measured species results from the oxidation of biogenically emitted VOCs (mostly isoprene), and measurements of moderately to strongly polluted air masses affected by biomass burning emissions or the city plume of Manaus. For twelve near surface measurements of fresh biomass burning plumes, normalized excess mixing ratios of C2H2O2 and C3H4O2* with respect to CH2O are inferred and compared to recent studies. The mean RGF = 0.07 (range 0.02–0.11) is in good agreement with recent reports which suggest RGF to be significantly lower than previously assumed in global CTM models. The mean RMF = 0.98 (range 0.09–1.50) varies significantly during the different observational settings, but overall appears to be much larger (up to a factor of 5) than previous reports suggest when applaying a correction factor of 2.0 ± 0.5 to account for the additional dicarbonyls included in the C3H4O2* measurements. Using recently reported emission factors of CH2O for tropical forests, our observations suggest emission factors of EFG = 0.25 (range 0.11 to 0.52) g per kg for C2H2O2, and EFM = 4.7 (range 0.5 to 8.64) g per kg for C3H4O2*. While EFG agrees well with recent reports, EFM is (like RMF) slightly larger than reported in other studies, presumably due to the different plume ages or fuels studied. Our observations of these critical carbonyls and intermediate oxidation products may support future photochemical modelling of air pollution over tropical vegetation, as well as validate past and present space-borne observations of the respective species.

Flora Kluge et al.

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Flora Kluge et al.

Flora Kluge et al.


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Latest update: 07 Aug 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The presented study reports on atmospheric measurements of formaldehyde, glyoxal, methylglyoxal and CO over the Amazon basin and lays a special focus on the influence of biomass burning emissions on the atmospheric profiles of these carbonyl compounds within the planetary boundary layer as well as in the free and upper troposphere.
The presented study reports on atmospheric measurements of formaldehyde, glyoxal, methylglyoxal...