1Institute for Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-University, 55128 Mainz, Germany
2Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
4Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014, Finland
*now at: Brigham Young University – Idaho, Dept. of Chemistry, Rexburg, ID 83460, USA
Abstract. The first dataset for summertime boreal forest concentrations of two atmospherically relevant α-dicarbonyl compounds, glyoxal (Gly) and methylglyoxal (Mgly) on PM2.5 aerosol was obtained during the HUMPPA-COPEC-2010 field measurement intensive in Hyytiälä, Finland. Identification of anthropogenic influences over the course of the campaign, using trace gas signatures and aerosol particle chemical composition analysis, allowed the identification of different events such as urban pollution plumes, biomass burning and sawmill emissions as sources of high Gly and Mgly concentrations. Mean aerosol concentrations during periods of biogenic influence were 0.81 ng m−3 for Gly and 0.31 ng m−3 for Mgly. Mgly was generally less abundant in PM2.5, probably due to its shorter photolysis lifetime and less effective partitioning into the particle phase due to its smaller effective Henry's Law constant compared to Gly. This is in contrast with previous urban studies which show significantly more Mgly than Gly. Peak concentrations for Gly coincided with nearby sources, e.g. high VOC emissions from nearby sawmills, urban pollution plumes from the city of Tampere located 50 km southwest of the sampling site and biomass burning emissions from wildfires. Calculated ratios of Gly in PM2.5 and total organic matter in PM1 aerosols indicate higher values in less aged aerosols. Irreversible processing of Gly in the particle phase, e.g. via oxidation by OH radicals, organo sulfate or imidazole formation are processes currently discussed in the literature which could likely explain these findings.