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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-297
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
07 Jun 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Driving parameters of biogenic volatile organic compounds and consequences on new particle formation observed at an Eastern Mediterranean background site
Cécile Debevec1, Stéphane Sauvage1, Valérie Gros2, Karine Sellegri3, Jean Sciare4,2, Michael Pikridas4, Iasonas Stavroulas4, Thierry Leonardis1, Vincent Gaudion1, Laurence Depelchin1, Isabelle Fronval1, Roland Sarda-Esteve2, Dominique Baisnée2, Bernard Bonsang2, Chrysanthos Savvides5, Mihalis Vrekoussis4,6, and Nadine Locoge1 1IMT Lille Douai, Univ. Lille, SAGE – Département Sciences de l'Atmosphère et Génie de l'Environnement, 59000 Lille, France
2Equipe CAE, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), Unité Mixte CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif sur Yvette, 91190, France
3Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique (LaMP), CNRS UMR 6016, Université Blaise Pascal, Aubière, 60026, France
4Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre, the Cyprus Institute (CyI), Nicosia, 2121, Cyprus
5Department of Labour Inspection (DLI), Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Nicosia, 1493, Cyprus
6Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, 28359, Germany
Abstract. As a part of the ChArMEx (Chemistry Aerosol Mediterranean Experiments) and ENVI-Med CyAr (Cyprus aerosols and gas precursors) programs, this study aims primarily at providing an improved understanding of the sources and the fate of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the Eastern Mediterranean. More than 60 VOCs, including biogenic species (isoprene and 8 monoterpenes) and oxygenated VOCs were measured during a 1-month intensive field campaign performed in March 2015 at the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO), a regional background site in Cyprus. VOC measurements were conducted using complementary on-line and off-line techniques. Biogenic (B)VOCs were principally imputed to local sources and characterized by compound-specific daily cycles such as diurnal maximum for isoprene and nocturnal maximum for α,β-pinenes, in connection with the variability of emission sources. The simultaneous study of pinenes and isoprene temporal evolution and meteorological parameters has shown that BVOC emissions were mainly controlled by ambient temperature, precipitation and relative humidity. It was found that isoprene daytime emissions at CAO depended on temperature and solar radiation changes whereas nocturnal BVOC concentrations (e.g. from oak and pine forests) were more prone on the relative humidity and temperature changes. Significant changes in monoterpene mixing ratios occurred during and after rain. The second part of the study focused on new particle formation events (NPF) at CAO. BVOCs are known to potentially play a role in the growth as well as in the early stages of formation of new atmospheric particles. Based on observations of the particle size distribution performed with a differential mobility particle sizer (DMPS) and the total number concentrations of particles larger than 1 nm diameter measured by particle-size magnifier (PSM), NPF events were found on 14 out of 20 days of the field campaign. For all possible proxy parameters (meteorological parameters, calculated H2SO4 and measured gaseous compounds) having a role in NPF, we present daily variations of different classes during nucleation events and non-event days. NPF can occur at various condensational sink (CS) values and both under polluted and clean atmospheric conditions. High H2SO4 concentrations coupled with high BVOC concentrations seemed to be one of the most favorable conditions to observe NPF at CAO in March 2015. NPF event days were characterized by either (1) a predominant anthropogenic influence (high concentrations of anthropogenic source tracers observed), (2) a predominant biogenic influence (high BVOC concentrations coupled with low anthropogenic tracer concentrations), (3) a mixed influence (high BVOC concentrations coupled with high anthropogenic tracer concentrations) and (4) a marine influence (both low BVOC and anthropogenic concentrations). More pronounced NPF events were identified during mixed anthropogenic-biogenic conditions compared to the pure anthropogenic or biogenic ones, for the same levels of precursors. Analysis of specific NPF periods of the mixed influence type highlighted that BVOC interactions with anthropogenic compounds enhanced nucleation formation and growth of newly formed particles. During these days, the nucleation mode particles may be formed by the combination of high H2SO4 and isoprene amounts, under favorable meteorological conditions (high temperature and solar radiation and low relative humidity) and low CS. During the daytime, growth of the newly formed particles, sulfate but also oxygen-like organic aerosol (OOA) mass contributions increased in the particle phase. High BVOC concentrations were observed during the night following NPF events, accompanied with an increase of the CS and of semi volatile OOA contribution, suggesting further BVOC contribution to aerosol nighttime growth by condensing onto pre-existing aerosols.
Citation: Debevec, C., Sauvage, S., Gros, V., Sellegri, K., Sciare, J., Pikridas, M., Stavroulas, I., Leonardis, T., Gaudion, V., Depelchin, L., Fronval, I., Sarda-Esteve, R., Baisnée, D., Bonsang, B., Savvides, C., Vrekoussis, M., and Locoge, N.: Driving parameters of biogenic volatile organic compounds and consequences on new particle formation observed at an Eastern Mediterranean background site, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-297, in review, 2018.
Cécile Debevec et al.
Cécile Debevec et al.
Cécile Debevec et al.

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Short summary
This work focuses on the study of the sources and fates of BVOCs and new particle formation (NPF) events in the Eastern Mediterranean. NPF events were found on 14 out of 20 days of the campaign. NPF occured at various condensational sink and both under polluted and clean atmospheric conditions. Analysis of specific NPF periods of the mixed influence type highlighted that BVOC interactions with anthropogenic compounds enhanced nucleation formation and growth of newly particles.
This work focuses on the study of the sources and fates of BVOCs and new particle formation...
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