20 Jul 2021

20 Jul 2021

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

Atmospheric Measurements at the Foot and the Summit of Mt. Tai – Part I: HONO Formation and Its Role in the Oxidizing Capacity of the Upper Boundary Layer

Chaoyang Xue1,2, Can Ye1,9, Jörg Kleffmann3, Chenglong Zhang1,4, Valéry Catoire2, Fengxia Bao5, Abdelwahid Mellouki6,7, Likun Xue7, Jianmin Chen8, Keding Lu9, Yong Zhao10, Hengde Liu10, Zhaoxin Guo10, and Yujing Mu1,4 Chaoyang Xue et al.
  • 1Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 2Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace (LPC2E), CNRS–Université Orléans–CNES, Cedex 2, Orléans 45071, France
  • 3Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Wuppertal, Gaußstrasse 20, Wuppertal 42119, Germany
  • 4Centre for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
  • 5Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany
  • 6Institut de Combustion Aérothermique, Réactivité et Environnement, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (ICARE-CNRS), Cedex 2, Orléans 45071, France
  • 7Environmental Research Institute, Shandong University, Qingdao, Shandong 266237, China
  • 8Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
  • 9State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  • 10Taishan National Reference Climatological Station, Tai’an, Shandong, 271000, China

Abstract. A comprehensive field campaign, with measurements of HONO and related parameters, was conducted in summer 2018 at the foot (150 m a.s.l.) and the summit (1534 m a.s.l.) of Mt. Tai (Shandong province, China). At the summit station, high HONO mixing ratios were observed during this campaign (mean ± 1σ: 133 ± 106 pptv, maximum: 880 pptv), with a diurnal noontime peak (mean ± 1σ: 133 ± 72 pptv at 12:30 local time). Constraints on the kinetics of aerosol-derived HONO sources (NO2 uptake on the aerosol surface and particulate nitrate photolysis) were performed and discussed, which enables a better understanding of the interaction of HONO and aerosols, especially in the polluted North China Plain. Various shreds of evidence of air mass transport from the ground to the summit levels were provided. Furthermore, daytime HONO formation from different paths and its role in radical production were quantified and discussed.

We found that the homogeneous reaction NO + OH could only explain 8.0 % of the daytime HONO formation, resulting in strong unknown sources (Pun). Campaigned-averaged Pun was about 290 ± 280 pptv h−1 with a maximum of about 1800 pptv h−1. Aerosol-derived HONO formation mechanisms were not the major sources of Pun. Their contributions to daytime HONO formation varied from negligible to moderate (similar to NO + OH), depending on the used chemical kinetics. Coupled with sensitivity tests on the used kinetics, the NO2 uptake on the aerosol surface and particulate nitrate photolysis contributed 1.5–19 % and 0.6–9.6 % of the observed Pun, respectively. Based on synchronous measurements at the foot and the summit stations, a bunch of field evidence was proposed to support that the remaining majority (70–98 %) of Pun was dominated by the rapid vertical transport from the ground to the summit levels and heterogeneous formation on the ground surfaces during the transport. HONO photolysis at the summit level initialized daytime photochemistry and represented an essential HOx (OH + HO2) source in the daytime, with a contribution of 26 %, more than one-third of that of O3. We provided evidence that ground-derived HONO played a significant role in the oxidizing capacity of the upper boundary layer through the enhanced vertical air mass exchange driven by mountain winds. The follow-up impacts should be considered in the regional chemistry-transport models.

Chaoyang Xue et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-529', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Aug 2021 reply

Chaoyang Xue et al.

Chaoyang Xue et al.


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Short summary
Summertime measurements of nitrous acid (HONO) and related parameters were conducted at the foot and the summit of Mt.Tai (1534 meters above sea level). We proposed a rapid vertical air mass exchange between the foot and the summit levels, which enhances the role of HONO in the oxidizing capacity of the upper boundary layer. Kinetics for aerosol-derived HONO sources were constrained. HONO formation from different paths was quantified and discussed.