Analysis of Tropical Forest Fire Emissions Using in Situ Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry during Sambba

Friday, 19 December 2014
Jamie Minaeian1, Alastair C Lewis1, Peter M Edwards2, Mathew J Evans1, James R Hopkins1, James D Lee1 and Ruth Purvis1, (1)University of York, York, United Kingdom, (2)CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States
Vertical atmospheric profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were made over Amazonia using an in situ gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS), including isoprene, methacrolein, methyl vinyl ketone and products of biomass burning such as benzene. Measurements were made in the Amazonian (Rondônia and Amazonas) region during September 2012, a period of extensive biomass burning. Data was obtained between 100m and 8500m from the FAAM BAe 146 research aircraft. Isoprene was observed to be constrained overwhelmingly to the boundary layer (height typically ~2500m) with mean boundary layer mixing ratio of ~2 ppbv and a peak of ~5 ppbv at the lowest flight levels of 100 m. First generation isoprene oxidation products, methyl vinyl ketone and methacrolein, were quantified individually rather than as the sum of the pair, which is more commonly found in the literature. Both MACR and MVK were constrained primarily to the boundary layer, however trace quantities could be seen in the free troposphere to a height of 8000 m. Benzene from biomass burning was observed in both boundary layer and free troposphere, with a peak mixing ratio of ~0.8 ppbv at 750 m. This work will present the spatial distribution of isoprene within the boundary as a function of underlying surface type. The vertical profiles of all species are then compared to representative simulations from the GEOS-Chem chemistry transport model and conclusions drawn on the success of the model in representing emissions and oxidation chemistry.