A comparison of isoprene nitrate concentrations at two forest-impacted sites

TitleA comparison of isoprene nitrate concentrations at two forest-impacted sites
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGrossenbacher JW, Jr. DJBarket, Shepson PB, Carroll MAnne, Olszyna K, Apel EC
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Date Published2004

We report measurements of isoprene nitrates as part of the Southern Oxidants Study during the summer of 1999 at a rural/forest site in Tennessee. Average midday concentrations of the isoprene nitrates were 115 ppt. This is 10 times greater than the previously reported concentrations during the Program for Research on Oxidants: Photochemistry, Emissions, and Transport (PROPHET) study in 1998 at Pellston, Michigan, representing as much as 5% of NOy. Here we investigate the possible factors for the large difference in concentrations. To investigate the role of the NOx concentration on the isoprene nitrate production chemistry at the two sites, [OH] was calculated using a simple steady state model. The results of this calculation help explain the difference in magnitude of the isoprene nitrate concentrations between the two field sites in terms of the [NOx]-dependent behavior of the OH-initiated oxidation of isoprene and the subsequent isoprene peroxy radical reactions with NOx. However, it is also clear that the large apparent differences in the photochemical ages of the air masses sampled at the two sites significantly impacted the observed concentrations.