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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 3 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1439-1456, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-13-1439-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 06 Feb 2013

Research article | 06 Feb 2013

Eddy covariance emission and deposition flux measurements using proton transfer reaction – time of flight – mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS): comparison with PTR-MS measured vertical gradients and fluxes

J.-H. Park1,2,*, A. H. Goldstein1,3, J. Timkovsky2, S. Fares1,4, R. Weber1, J. Karlik5, and R. Holzinger2 J.-H. Park et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 4Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura – Centro di ricerca per lo studio delle Relazioni tra Pianta e Suolo, Rome, Italy
  • 5University of California Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield, CA 93307, USA
  • *now at: Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0450, USA

Abstract. During summer 2010, a proton transfer reaction – time of flight – mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) and a quadrupole proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) were deployed simultaneously for one month in an orange orchard in the Central Valley of California to collect continuous data suitable for eddy covariance (EC) flux calculations. The high time resolution (5 Hz) and high mass resolution (up to 5000 m/Δm) data from the PTR-TOF-MS provided the basis for calculating the concentration and flux for a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Throughout the campaign, 664 mass peaks were detected in mass-to-charge ratios between 10 and 1278. Here we present PTR-TOF-MS EC fluxes of the 27 ion species for which the vertical gradient was simultaneously measured by PTR-MS. These EC flux data were validated through spectral analysis (i.e., co-spectrum, normalized co-spectrum, and ogive). Based on inter-comparison of the two PTR instruments, no significant instrumental biases were found in either mixing ratios or fluxes, and the data showed agreement within 5% on average for methanol and acetone. For the measured biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC), the EC fluxes from PTR-TOF-MS were in agreement with the qualitatively inferred flux directions from vertical gradient measurements by PTR-MS. For the 27 selected ion species reported here, the PTR-TOF-MS measured total (24 h) mean net flux of 299 μg C m−2 h−1. The dominant BVOC emissions from this site were monoterpenes (m/z 81.070 + m/z 137.131 + m/z 95.086, 34%, 102 μg C m−2 h−1) and methanol (m/z 33.032, 18%, 72 μg C m−2 h−1). The next largest fluxes were detected at the following masses (attribution in parenthesis): m/z 59.048 (mostly acetone, 12.2%, 36.5 μg C m−2 h−1), m/z 61.027 (mostly acetic acid, 11.9%, 35.7 μg C m−2 h−1), m/z 93.069 (para-cymene + toluene, 4.1%, 12.2 μg C m−2 h−1), m/z 45.033 (acetaldehyde, 3.8%, 11.5 μg C m−2 h−1), m/z 71.048 (methylvinylketone + methacrolein, 2.4%, 7.1 μg C m−2 h−1), and m/z 69.071 (isoprene + 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol, 1.8%, 5.3 μg C m−2 h−1). Low levels of emission and/or deposition (<1.6% for each, 5.8% in total flux) were observed for the additional reported masses. Overall, our results show that EC flux measurements using PTR-TOF-MS is a powerful new tool for characterizing the biosphere-atmosphere exchange including both emission and deposition for a large range of BVOC and their oxidation products.

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