Measurement and interpretation of isoprene fluxes isoprene, methacrolein, and methyl vinyl ketone mixing ratios at the PROPHET site during the 1998 intensive

E. C. Apel, D. D. Riemer, A. Hills, W. Baugh, J. Orlando, I. Faloona, D. Tan, W. Brune, B. Lamb, H. Westberg, M. A. Carroll, T. Thornberry, C. D. Geron

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Mixing ratios of isoprene, methyl vinyl ketone (MVK), and methacrolein (MACR) were determined continuously during an 8-day period in the summer of 1998 at a rural forested site located within the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS). The measurements were obtained as part of the Program for Research on Oxidants: Photochemistry, Emissions, and Transport (PROPHET) study. Fluxes of isoprene were concurrently measured at a nearby tower (AmeriFlux, located 132 m north-northeast of the PROPHET tower). Following the study, 1-km-resolution emission estimates were derived for isoprene within a 60-km radius of the tower using forest density estimates (Biogenic Emissions Inventory System (BEIS3) model). Measured isoprene fluxes at the site compared well with modeled isoprene fluxes when using BEIS3 and a detailed leaf litter-fall data set by tree species from the UMBS site. Mean midday (1000-1400 LT) mixing ratios for isoprene, MACR, and MVK were 1.90 ± 0.43, 0.07 ± 0.01, and 0.14 ± 0.04 ppbv, respectively. Median midday mixing ratios of these compounds were 1.96 ± 0.26, 0.06 ± 0.02, and 0.10 ± 0.02 ppbv, respectively. Ratios of the isoprene oxidation products to isoprene are understood in the context of previous laboratory and field measurement studies of these compounds and a simple consecutive reaction scheme model. Results of the model indicate that the air masses studied represented relatively fresh emissions with a photochemical age of measured isoprene between 3.6 and 18 min, which is significantly less than the photochemical lifetime of isoprene (τ = 45 min at [OH] = 3.35 × 106 molecules cm-3). Thus a large portion of the isoprene that reaches the manifold has not had time to react completely with OH, yielding lower than expected ratios based on model calculations that do not explicity take this into account. A rapid decrease in isoprene mixing ratios was observed soon after sunset, followed by a slower decay throughout the rest of the night. Emssion maps were generated indicating that isoprene fluxes are highest in the immediate vicinity of the tower compared to the surrounding area of the site. Thus vertical diffusion and advection from the surrounding region are postulated to cause the observed initial rapid decrease in isoprene at the site. The second isoprene decay may be due to chemistry and/or dynamics, but the effects cannot be separated with the available data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-1-7-15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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