Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-193
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-193

  11 Mar 2021

11 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their nitrated and oxygenated derivatives in the Arctic boundary layer: Seasonal trends and local anthropogenic influence

Tatiana Drotikova1,2, Alena Dekhtyareva3, Roland Kallenborn1,2, and Alexandre Albinet4 Tatiana Drotikova et al.
  • 1Department of Arctic Technology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Longyearbyen, 9171, Norway
  • 2Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, 1432, Norway
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, 5020, Norway
  • 4French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (Ineris), Verneuil en Halatte, 60550, France

Abstract. 22 PAHs, 29 oxy-PAHs, and 35 nitro-PAHs (polycyclic aromatic compounds, PACs) were measured in gaseous and particulate phases in the ambient air of Longyearbyen, the most populated settlement in Svalbard, the European Arctic. The sampling campaign started in polar night in November 2017 and lasted for 8 months until June 2018, when a light cycle reached a sunlit period with no night. The transport regimes of the near-surface, potentially polluted air masses from midlatitudes to the Arctic and the polar boundary layer meteorology were studied. The data analysis showed the observed winter PAC levels were mainly influenced by the lower latitude sources in northwestern Eurasia, while local emissions dominated in spring and summer. The highest PAC concentrations observed in spring, with PAH concentration levels a factor of 30 higher compared to the measurements at the closest background station in Svalbard (Zeppelin; in 115 km distance to Longyearbyen), were attributed to local snowmobile driving emissions. The lowest PAC concentrations were expected in summer due to enhanced photochemical degradation under the 24 h midnight sun conditions and inhibited long-range atmospheric transport. In contrast, the measured summer concentrations were notably higher than those in winter due to the harbour (ship) emissions.

Tatiana Drotikova et al.

Status: open (until 13 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-193', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Apr 2021 reply

Tatiana Drotikova et al.

Tatiana Drotikova et al.

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Short summary
86 PACs, the toxic compounds mainly emitted after combustion of fossil fuels, were measured during 8 months in the urban air of Longyearbyen (78° N, 15° E), the most populated settlement in Svalbard, the European Arctic. Contrary to a stereotype of the pristine Arctic conditions with very low human activities, considerable PAC concentrations were detected, with the spring levels comparable to the European. Air pollution was caused by local snowmobile driving in spring and shipping in summer.
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