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Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and select aldehydes in cloud and fog water: The role of the aqueous phase in impacting trace gas budgets

Ervens B, Wang Y, Eagar J, Leaitch W, Macdonald A, Valsaraj K, Herckes P ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 10 (2013) pp. 5117-5135

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Abstract

Cloud and fog droplets efficiently scavenge and process water-soluble compounds and, thus, modify the chemical composition of the gas and particle phases. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the aqueous phase reach concentrations on the order of similar to 10 mgC L-1 which is typically on the same order of magnitude as the sum of inorganic anions. Aldehydes and carboxylic acids typically comprise a large fraction of DOC because of their high solubility. The dissolution of species in the aqueous phase can lead to (i) the removal of species from the gas phase preventing their processing by gas phase reactions (e. g., photolysis of aldehydes) and (ii) the formation of unique products that do not have any efficient gas phase sources (e. g., dicarboxylic acids). We present measurements of DOC and select aldehydes in fog water at high elevation and intercepted clouds at a biogenically-impacted location (Whistler, Canada) and in fog water in a more polluted area (Davis, CA). Concentrations of formaldehyde, glyoxal and methylglyoxal were in the micromolar range and comprised

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