Tropospheric HONO Distribution and Chemistry in the Southeastern U.S.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:45 AM
During the NOMADSS field campaign, nitrous acid (HONO) and particulate nitrate (pNO3) was measured on NCAR C-130 research aircraft during five research flights over the Southeast U.S. Aerosol samples were also collected on Teflon filters for the determination of pNO3 photolysis rate constants in the laboratory. Daytime HONO concentrations range from low ppt in free troposphere to 10-20 ppt in the boundary layer in the background air masses, to up to 40 ppt in the industrial and urban plumes. While daytime HONO sink is well defined, dominated by its photolysis, daytime sources vary in different types of air masses: pNO3 photolysis appears to be the major HONO source in the background terrestrial air masses in both the boundary layer and the free troposphere. With an average pNO3 photolysis rate constant of (2.8±1.7)×10-4 s-1, p-NO3 photolysis becomes to be an effective pathway to recycle HNO3 to NOx in the troposphere, with HONO as a dominant intermediate product. Within the high-NOx industrial plumes encountered, HONO is predominantly produced by secondary formation processes involving NOx as the precursor. Away from ground surface, no significant nighttime HONO accumulation exists in the background terrestrial air mass.