1Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
2Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-0810, Japan
3Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa 236-0001, Japan
4Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
5Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
Abstract. Gaseous and particulate semi-volatile carbonyl compounds were determined every three hours in the atmosphere of Mount Tai (elevation, 1534 m) in the North China Plain during 2–5, 23–24 and 25 June, 2006 under a clear sky condition. Using two-step filter cartridge in a series, particulate carbonyls were first collected on a quartz filter and then gaseous carbonyls were collected on a quartz filter impregnated with O-benzylhydroxylamine (BHA). After the two-step derivatization with BHA and N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA), carbonyl derivatives were measured using a gas chromatography. The gaseous concentrations were obtained as follow: glycolaldehyde (range 0–1271 ng m−3, average 555 ng m−3), hydroxyacetone (0–707 ng m−3, 163 ng m−3), glyoxal (198–1396 ng m−3, 720 ng m−3), methylglyoxal (410–3170 ng m−3, 1376 ng m−3), n-nonanal (0–236 ng m−3, 71 ng m−3), and n-decanal (0–159 ng m−3, 31 ng m−3). These concentrations are among the highest ever reported in the urban and forest atmosphere. We found that gaseous carbonyls are more than 10 times more abundant than particulate carbonyls. Time-resolved variations of carbonyls did not show any a clear diurnal pattern, except for hydroxyacetone. We found that glyoxal, methylglyoxal and glycolaldehyde positively correlated with levoglucosan (a tracer of biomass burning), suggesting that a contribution from field burning of agricultural wastes (wheat crops) is significant for the bifunctional carbonyls in the atmosphere of Mt. Tai. Upward transport of the pollutants to the mountaintop from the low lands in the North China Plain is a major process to control the distributions of carbonyls in the upper atmosphere over Mt. Tai.