Observations of the nitrate radical in the free troposphere at Izaña de Tenerife

Nicola Carslaw, John M C Plane, Hugh Coe, Emilio Cuevas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper reports direct measurements of the nitrate radical (NO3) in the lower free troposphere. The measurements were carried out at Izaña de Tenerife (2300 m altitude) in the Canary Islands during May 1994, using the technique of differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The average nighttime NO3 concentration in very clean air from the mid-Atlantic was found to be 8 ppt, with a maximum observed concentration of about 20 ppt. Combining the NO3 data with ancillary measurements of NO2 and O3 in a model shows that there are no important NO3 scavengers in a part of the troposphere that is characterized by a very low relative humidity and aerosol particle count, and where the concentration of NO2 is too small for significant quantities of N2O5 to form. On occasion, the presence of a trace concentration of NO or an organic species such as α-pinene is required to explain the observations. The lifetime of NO3 at night was in excess of 2 hours, much longer than measured hitherto in the tropospheric boundary layer.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10613-10622
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
    Volume102
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 1997

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