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Volume 15, issue 9
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5083–5097, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-5083-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5083–5097, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-5083-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 05 May 2015

Research article | 05 May 2015

Airborne determination of the temporo-spatial distribution of benzene, toluene, nitrogen oxides and ozone in the boundary layer across Greater London, UK

M. D. Shaw1, J. D. Lee2, B. Davison1, A. Vaughan3, R. M. Purvis2, A. Harvey3, A. C. Lewis2, and C. N. Hewitt1 M. D. Shaw et al.
  • 1Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of York, York, UK
  • 3Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, UK

Abstract. Highly spatially resolved mixing ratios of benzene and toluene, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone (O3) were measured in the atmospheric boundary layer above Greater London during the period 24 June to 9 July 2013 using a Dornier 228 aircraft. Toluene and benzene were determined in situ using a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS), NOx by dual-channel NOx chemiluminescence and O3 mixing ratios by UV absorption.

Average mixing ratios observed over inner London at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l. were 0.20 ± 0.05, 0.28 ± 0.07, 13.2 ± 8.6, 21.0 ± 7.3 and 34.3 ± 15.2 ppbv for benzene, toluene, NO, NO2 and NOx respectively. Linear regression analysis between NO2, benzene and toluene mixing ratios yields a strong covariance, indicating that these compounds predominantly share the same or co-located sources within the city.

Average mixing ratios measured at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l. over outer London were always lower than over inner London. Where traffic densities were highest, the toluene / benzene (T / B) concentration ratios were highest (average of 1.8 ± 0.5 ppbv ppbv-1), indicative of strong local sources. Daytime maxima in NOx, benzene and toluene mixing ratios were observed in the morning (~ 40 ppbv NOx, ~ 350 pptv toluene and ~ 200 pptv benzene) and in the mid-afternoon for ozone (~ 40 ppbv O3), all at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l.

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This paper presents the first highly spatially resolved simultaneous mixing ratios of VOCs, NOx and O3 in the atmospheric boundary layer above Greater London (UK) using an research aircraft. Average mixing ratios measured at 360±10 m agl over outer London were always lower than over inner London, indicative of strong local vehicular sources. The comparison of airborne mixing ratio with LAQN air quality ground monitoring stations suggests that the mixing ratios were characteristic of the surface.
This paper presents the first highly spatially resolved simultaneous mixing ratios of VOCs, NOx...
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