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Volume 15, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6689-6705, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-6689-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Oxidant Production over Antarctic Land and its Export...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6689-6705, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-6689-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 Jun 2015

Research article | 17 Jun 2015

Formaldehyde (HCHO) in air, snow, and interstitial air at Concordia (East Antarctic Plateau) in summer

S. Preunkert1,2, M. Legrand1,2, M. M. Frey3, A. Kukui4,5, J. Savarino1,2, H. Gallée1,2, M. King6, B. Jourdain1,2, W. Vicars7, and D. Helmig7 S. Preunkert et al.
  • 1CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 2Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGGE, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 3British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge, UK
  • 4Laboratoire des Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), Paris, France
  • 5Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace (LPC2E) UMR-CNRS, Orléans, France
  • 6Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK
  • 7Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Abstract. During the 2011/12 and 2012/13 austral summers, HCHO was investigated for the first time in ambient air, snow, and interstitial air at the Concordia site, located near Dome C on the East Antarctic Plateau, by deploying an Aerolaser AL-4021 analyzer. Snow emission fluxes were estimated from vertical gradients of mixing ratios observed at 1 cm and 1 m above the snow surface as well as in interstitial air a few centimeters below the surface and in air just above the snowpack. Typical flux values range between 1 and 2 × 1012 molecules m−2 s−1 at night and 3 and 5 × 1012 molecules m−2 s−1 at noon. Shading experiments suggest that the photochemical HCHO production in the snowpack at Concordia remains negligible compared to temperature-driven air–snow exchanges. At 1 m above the snow surface, the observed mean mixing ratio of 130 pptv and its diurnal cycle characterized by a slight decrease around noon are quite well reproduced by 1-D simulations that include snow emissions and gas-phase methane oxidation chemistry. Simulations indicate that the gas-phase production from CH4 oxidation largely contributes (66%) to the observed HCHO mixing ratios. In addition, HCHO snow emissions account for ~ 30% at night and ~ 10% at noon to the observed HCHO levels.

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During two austral summers HCHO was investigated in air, snow, and interstitial air at the Concordia site located on the East Antarctic Plateau. Snow emission fluxes were estimated to be around 1 to 2 and 3 to 5 x 10^12 molecules m-2 s-1 at night and at noon, respectively. Shading experiments suggest that the photochemical HCHO production in the snowpack at Concordia remains negligible. The mean HCHO level of 130pptv observed at 1m above the surface is quite well reproduced by 1-D simulations.
During two austral summers HCHO was investigated in air, snow, and interstitial air at the...
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