Emission of nitrous acid from soil and biological soil crusts represents an important source of HONO in the remote atmosphere in Cyprus

Meusel, Hannah; Tamm, Alexandra; Kuhn, Uwe; Wu, Dianming; Leifke, Anna Lena; Fiedler, Sabine; Ruckteschler, Nina; Yordanova, Petya; Lang-Yona, Naama; Pöhlker, Mira; Lelieveld, Jos; Hoffmann, Thorsten; Pöschl, Ulrich; Su, Hang; Weber, Bettina; Cheng, Yafang

Soil and biological soil crusts can emit nitrous acid (HONO) and nitric oxide (NO). The terrestrial ground surface in arid and semiarid regions is anticipated to play an important role in the local atmospheric HONO budget, deemed to represent one of the unaccounted-for HONO sources frequently observed in field studies. In this study HONO and NO emissions from a representative variety of soil and biological soil crust samples from the Mediterranean island Cyprus were investigated under controlled laboratory conditions. A wide range of fluxes was observed, ranging from 0.6 to 264 ng minline-formula−2 sinline-formula−1 HONO-N at optimal soil water content (20–30 % of water holding capacity, WHC). Maximum NO-N fluxes at this WHC were lower (0.8–121 ng minline-formula−2 sinline-formula−1). The highest emissions of both reactive nitrogen species were found from bare soil, followed by light and dark cyanobacteria-dominated biological soil crusts (biocrusts), correlating well with the sample nutrient levels (nitrite and nitrate). Extrapolations of lab-based HONO emission studies agree well with the unaccounted-for HONO source derived previously for the extensive CYPHEX field campaign, i.e., emissions from soil and biocrusts may essentially close the Cyprus HONO budget.

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Meusel, Hannah / Tamm, Alexandra / Kuhn, Uwe / et al: Emission of nitrous acid from soil and biological soil crusts represents an important source of HONO in the remote atmosphere in Cyprus. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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