Exploring the atmospheric chemistry of nitrous acid (HONO) at a rural site in Southern China
We performed measurements of nitrous acid (HONO) during the PRIDE-PRD2006 campaign in the Pearl River Delta region 60 km north of Guangzhou, China, for 4 weeks in June 2006. HONO was measured by a LOPAP in-situ instrument which was setup in one of the campaign supersites along with a variety of instruments measuring hydroxyl radicals, trace gases, aerosols, and meteorological parameters. Maximum diurnal HONO mixing ratios of 1-5 ppb were observed during the nights. We found that the nighttime build-up of HONO can be attributed to the heterogeneous NO2 to HONO conversion on ground surfaces and the OH + NO reaction. In addition to elevated nighttime mixing ratios, measured noontime values of approximate to 200 ppt indicate the existence of a daytime source higher than the OH + NO -> HONO reaction. Using the simultaneously recorded OH, NO, and HONO photolysis frequency, a daytime additional source strength of HONO (P-M) was calculated to be 0.77 ppb h(-1) on average. This value compares well to previous measurements in other environments. Our analysis of P-M provides evidence that the photolysis of HNO3 adsorbed on ground surfaces contributes to the HONO formation.