Hydroxyl Radical Concentrations Estimated from Measurements of Trichloroethylene During the EASE/ACSOE Campaign at Mace Head, Ireland During July 1996

Published in: Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry; v. 34, no. 2, Oct. 1999, p185-205

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 1999

by R. G. Derwent, N. Carslaw, Peter G. Simmonds, Matt Bassford, S. O'Doherty, D. B. Ryall, Michael J. Pilling, Alastair C. Lewis, J. B. McQuaid

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During the EASE/OXICOA campaign of the NERC ACSOE programme, trichloroethylene and a wide range of man-made halocarbons and radiatively-active trace gases were monitored with high precision and high frequency throughout July 1996 at Mace Head on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ireland. Trichloroethylene concentrations in concert with many other trace gases became elevated as regionally-polluted and photochemically-aged air masses reached Mace Head. However, as the anticyclonic air masses retreated during 19 and 20 July, trace gas concentrations remained elevated for a significant period. During this 2-4 day period, trichloroethylene concentrations decayed significantly, though the concentrations of the other more chemically-inert trace gases did not. A detailed interpretation of this behaviour using a Lagrangian dispersion model has allowed the estimation of average and peak OH radical concentrations of 3 and 9 x 106 molecule cm-3, respectively, during the travel from the source areas in the U.K. and the low countries out to Mace Head. Using a simple box model, the available Mace Head measurements, when combined into a detailed chemical mechanism, generated OH radical concentrations which peaked at 7 x 106 molecule cm-3, in close agreement with the estimates based on trichloroethylene decay.

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