In Situ Measurements Of C2 -C10 Volatile Organic Compounds Above A Sierra Nevada Ponderosa Pine Plantation

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  • Lamanna, M. S., Goldstein, A. H. (1999/09) In Situ Measurements Of C2 -C10 Volatile Organic Compounds Above A Sierra Nevada Ponderosa Pine Plantation, Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 104(D17), 21247-21262.
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  • A fully automated gas chromatograph-flame ionization detector system was designed and built to measure ambient concentrations of C2-C10 volatile organic compounds, including many oxygenated compounds, without using liquid cryogen. It was deployed at Blodgett Forest Research Station in Georgetown, California, 38°53′42.9″N, 120°37′57.9″W, 1315 m elevation. More than 900 in situ measurements were made above a ponderosa pine canopy at 40-min intervals, continuously from July 2 through August 1, 1997. Factor analysis and observed temporal patterns were used to categorize sources for measured compounds as biogenic or anthropogenic or both. Compounds that were clearly biogenic included methylbutenol, isoprene and its oxidation products (methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone), and terpenes (α-pinene, 3-carene, d-limonene). Other compounds were partially biogenic, including acetone, ethene, propene, hexanal, acetaldehyde, and methanol. Hydroxyl radical (OH) loss rates were dominated by the clearly biogenic compounds, accounting for 70% of the loss under mean midday conditions. The most important single compounds were isoprene (33%) and methylbutenol (21%). These two compounds were dominant under all conditions, including the coldest and most polluted days. Under the most polluted conditions, acetaldehyde became very important, accounting for 13% of the total. Total OH loss rates were highly correlated with temperature because emissions of biogenic compounds, which dominate OH loss, are strongly temperature dependent. Much of the research on biogenic volatile organic compounds has focused on isoprene and terpenes. Our results suggest that quantifying and understanding factors controlling biogenic emissions of other compounds such as methylbutenol, acetone, hexanal, methanol, and acetaldehyde are critical for improving our understanding of regional photochemistry.