28 Sep 2021

28 Sep 2021

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

Ground-based Investigation of HOx and Ozone Chemistry in Biomass Burning Plumes in Rural Idaho

Andrew J. Lindsay1, Daniel C. Anderson1,a,b, Rebecca A. Wernis2,3, Yutong Liang3, Allen H. Goldstein2,3, Scott C. Herndon4, Joseph R. Roscioli4, Christoph Dyroff4, Ed C. Fortner4, Philip L. Croteau4, Francesca Majluf4, Jordan E. Krechmer4, Tara I. Yacovitch4, Walter B. Knighton5, and Ezra C. Wood1 Andrew J. Lindsay et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 3Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 4Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
  • 5Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA
  • anow at: Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA
  • bnow at: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Abstract. Ozone (O3), a potent greenhouse gas that is detrimental to human health, is typically found in elevated concentrations within biomass burning (BB) smoke plumes. The radical species OH, HO2, and RO2 (known collectively as ROx) have central roles in the formation of secondary pollutants including O3 but are poorly characterized for BB plumes. We present measurements of total peroxy radical concentrations ([XO2] ≡ [HO2] + [RO2]) and additional trace-gas and particulate matter measurements from McCall, Idaho during August 2018. There were five distinct periods in which BB smoke impacted this site. During BB events, O3 concentrations were enhanced as evidenced by ozone enhancement ratios (ΔO3/ ΔCO) that ranged up to 0.25 ppbv ppbv−1. [XO2] was similarly elevated during some BB events. Overall, quantified instantaneous ozone production rates (P(O3)) were only slightly impacted by the presence of smoke as NOx enhancements were minimal. Measured XO2 concentrations were compared to zero-dimensional box modeling results to evaluate the effectiveness of the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) and GEOS-Chem mechanisms during periods of BB influence and overall agreed within 31 %. One period of BB influence had distinct measured enhancements of 15 pptv XO2 that were not reflected in the model output, likely due to the presence of an unmeasured HOx source, quite likely nitrous acid (HONO). To our knowledge, this is the first BB study featuring peroxy radical measurements.

Andrew J. Lindsay et al.

Status: open (until 20 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-702', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Oct 2021 reply
  • CC1: 'Interpretation of 2B UV absorption O3 measurement in wildland fire plumes', Andrew Whitehill, 18 Oct 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Andrew Lindsay, 21 Oct 2021 reply

Andrew J. Lindsay et al.

Data sets

Drexel ECHAMP (Ethane CHemical AMPlification) total peroxy radical data Andrew Lindsay and Ezra Wood

Andrew J. Lindsay et al.


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Short summary
Wildfire smoke dramatically impacts air quality and often has elevated concentrations of ozone. We present measurements of ozone and its precursors at a rural site periodically impacted by wildfire smoke. Measurements of total peroxy radicals, key ozone precursors that have been understudied within wildfires, compare well with chemical box model predictions. Our results indicate no serious issues with using current chemistry mechanisms to model chemistry in aged wildfire plumes.