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Airborne determination of the temporo-spatial distribution of benzene, toluene, nitrogen oxides and ozone in the boundary layer across Greater London, UK

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/10/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
Issue number19
Number of pages37
Pages (from-to)27335-27371
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Highly spatially resolved mixing ratios of benzene and toluene, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone (O3) were measured in the atmospheric boundary layer above Greater London during the period 24 June to 9 July 2013 using a Dornier 228 aircraft. Toluene and benzene were determined in-situ using a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS), NOx by dual channel NOx chemiluminescence and O3 mixing ratios by UV absorption.

Average mixing ratios observed over inner London at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l. were 0.20 ± 0.05, 0.28 ± 0.07, 13.2 ± 8.6, 21.0 ± 7.3 and 34.3 ± 15.2 ppbv for benzene, toluene, NO, NO2 and NOx respectively. Linear regression analysis between NO2, benzene and toluene mixing ratios yielded a trimodal distribution indicating that these compounds predominantly share the same or co-located sources within the city and that a significant fraction of NOx is directly emitted as NO2.

Average mixing ratios measured at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l. over outer London were always lower than over inner London. Where traffic densities were highest, the toluene $/$ benzene (T / B) concentration ratios were highest (average of 1.8 ± 0.3 ppbv ppbv−1) indicative of strong local sources. Daytime maxima in NOx, benzene and toluene mixing ratios were observed in the morning (~40 ppbv NOx, ~350 pptv toluene and ~200 pptv benzene) and for ozone in the mid-afternoon (~40 ppbv O3) all at 360 ± 10 m a.g.l.

Bibliographic note

Date of Acceptance: 15/10/2014