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Volume 16, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7981–8007, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-7981-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7981–8007, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-7981-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 01 Jul 2016

Research article | 01 Jul 2016

Anthropogenic and biogenic influence on VOC fluxes at an urban background site in Helsinki, Finland

Pekka Rantala1, Leena Järvi1, Risto Taipale1, Terhi K. Laurila1, Johanna Patokoski1, Maija K. Kajos1, Mona Kurppa1, Sami Haapanala1, Erkki Siivola1, Tuukka Petäjä1, Taina M. Ruuskanen1, and Janne Rinne1,2,3,4 Pekka Rantala et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Geoscience and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract. We measured volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) at an urban background site near the city centre of Helsinki, Finland, northern Europe. The VOC and CO2 measurements were obtained between January 2013 and September 2014 whereas for CO a shorter measurement campaign in April–May 2014 was conducted. Both anthropogenic and biogenic sources were identified for VOCs in the study. Strong correlations between VOC fluxes and CO fluxes and traffic rates indicated anthropogenic source of many VOCs. The VOC with the highest emission rate to the atmosphere was methanol, which originated mostly from traffic and other anthropogenic sources. The traffic was also a major source for aromatic compounds in all seasons whereas isoprene was mostly emitted from biogenic sources during summer. Some amount of traffic-related isoprene emissions were detected during other seasons but this might have also been an instrumental contamination from cycloalkane products. Generally, the observed VOC fluxes were found to be small in comparison with previous urban VOC flux studies. However, the differences were probably caused by lower anthropogenic activities as the CO2 fluxes were also relatively small at the site.

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Fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured above an urban landscape in Helsinki, northern Europe. We found that traffic was a major source for many oxygenated and aromatic VOCs, whereas isoprene originated mostly from the urban vegetation. Overall, the VOC fluxes were quite small in comparison with the earlier urban VOC flux measurements.
Fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured above an urban landscape in Helsinki,...
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