Characterization of ozone production in San Antonio, Texas, using measurements of total peroxy radicals

Anderson, Daniel C.; Pavelec, Jessica; Daube, Conner; Herndon, Scott C.; Knighton, Walter B.; Lerner, Brian M.; Roscioli, J. Robert; Yacovitch, Tara I.; Wood, Ezra C.

Observations of total peroxy radical concentrations ([XO2] ≡ [RO2] + [HO2]) made by the Ethane CHemical AMPlifier (ECHAMP) and concomitant observations of additional trace gases made on board the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory (AML) during May 2017 were used to characterize ozone production at three sites in the San Antonio, Texas, region. Median daytime [O3] was 48 ppbv at the site downwind of central San Antonio. Higher concentrations of NO and XO2 at the downwind site also led to median daytime ozone production rates (P(O3)) of 4.2 ppbv h−1, a factor of 2 higher than at the two upwind sites. The 95th percentile of P(O3) at the upwind site was 15.1 ppbv h−1, significantly lower than values observed in Houston. In situ observations, as well as satellite retrievals of HCHO and NO2, suggest that the region was predominantly NOx-limited. Only approximately 20 % of observations were in the VOC-limited regime, predominantly before 11:00 EST, when ozone production was low. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) comprised 55 % of total OH reactivity at the downwind site, with alkanes and non-biogenic alkenes responsible for less than 10 % of total OH reactivity in the afternoon, when ozone production was highest. To control ozone formation rates at the three study sites effectively, policy efforts should be directed at reducing NOx emissions. Observations in the urban center of San Antonio are needed to determine whether this policy is true for the entire region.

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Anderson, Daniel C. / Pavelec, Jessica / Daube, Conner / et al: Characterization of ozone production in San Antonio, Texas, using measurements of total peroxy radicals. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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