15 Nov 2021

15 Nov 2021

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

An investigation into the chemistry of HONO in the marine boundary layer at Tudor Hill Marine Atmospheric Observatory in Bermuda

Yuting Zhu1, Youfeng Wang1,2, Xianliang Zhou1,3, Yasin Elshorbany4, Chunxiang Ye2, Matthew Hayden5, and Andrew J. Peters5 Yuting Zhu et al.
  • 1Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, United States
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 3Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, NY, United States
  • 4Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Laboratory, College of Arts & Sciences, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 5Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St George’s, Bermuda

Abstract. Here we present measurement results of temporal distributions of nitrous acid (HONO) along with several chemical and meteorological parameters during the spring and the late summer of 2019 at Tudor Hill Marine Atmospheric Observatory in Bermuda. Large temporal variations in HONO concentration were controlled by several factors including local pollutant emissions, air mass interaction with the island, and long-range atmospheric transport of HONO precursors. In polluted plumes emitted from local traffic, power plant and cruise ship emissions, HONO and nitrogen oxides (NOx) existed at substantial levels (up to 278 pptv and 48 ppbv, respectively) and NOx-related reactions played dominant roles in daytime formation of HONO. The lowest concentration of HONO was observed in marine air, with median concentrations at ~3 pptv around solar noon and < 1 pptv during the nighttime. Considerably higher levels of HONO were observed during the day in the low-NOx island-influenced air ([NO2] < 1 ppbv), with a median HONO concentration of ~17 pptv. HONO mixing ratios exhibited distinct diurnal cycles that peaked around solar noon and were lowest before sunrise, indicating the importance of photochemical processes for HONO formation. In clean marine air, NOx-related reactions contributed to ~35 % of the daytime HONO source and the photolysis of particulate nitrate (pNO3) can account for the missing source assuming a moderate enhancement factor of 30 relative to gaseous nitric acid photolysis. In low-NOx island-influenced air, the contribution from both NOx-related reactions and pNO3 photolysis accounted for only ~30 % of the daytime HONO production, and the photochemical processes on surfaces of the island, such as the photolysis of nitric acid on the forest canopy, might contributed significantly to the daytime HONO production. The concentrations of HONO, NOx and pNO3 were lower when the site was dominated by the aged marine air in the summer and were higher when the site was dominated by North American air in the spring, reflecting the effects of long-range transport on the reactive nitrogen chemistry in the background marine environments.

Yuting Zhu et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-893', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Nov 2021 reply

Yuting Zhu et al.


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Short summary
The daytime chemistry of nitrous acid (HONO), which plays an important role in the oxidation capacity of the troposphere, is not well understood. In this work, we report new field measurement results of HONO and the relevant parameters in the marine boundary layer at Tudor Hill Marine Atmospheric Observatory in Bermuda. We evaluate the daytime HONO budgets in airmasses under different types of interaction with the island and examine the strengths of different HONO formation mechanisms.