April 18, 2024
Journal Article

Quantifying the Contributions of Aerosol- and Snow-produced ClNO2 through Observations and 1D Modeling


Nitryl chloride (ClNO2) is a radical reservoir that forms and accumulates in the nocturnal atmospheric boundary layer influenced by combustion emissions and chloride (e.g., sea salt and/or road salt). Upon sunrise, ClNO2 rapidly photolyzes to generate highly reactive chlorine radicals (Cl×) that affect air quality by generating secondary air pollutants. Recent studies have shown road salt aerosols and the saline snowpack to be sources of ClNO2 in the wintertime urban environment, yet the quantitative contributions of each chloride source are not known. In this study, we examine the vertically-resolved contributions of aerosol particles and the saline snowpack as sources of ClNO2, using an observationally constrained snow-atmosphere coupled one-dimensional model applied to wintertime Kalamazoo, MI. Model simulations show that ClNO2 emitted from the urban snowpack can be vertically transported throughout the entire atmospheric boundary layer, and can be a significant source of ClNO2, contributing up to ~60 % of the ClNO2 budget near the surface. Modeled snowpack ClNO2 emission rates were 6 (±7) times higher than the observationally-derived emission rates, suggesting that not all snow chloride is available for reaction. ClNO2 production from both aerosol particles and snow emissions are required to best simulate the observed surface-level ClNO2. Using the bulk parameterization for ClNO2 produced from particles significantly overestimated ClNO2 observations, due to the assumption of equivalent dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) uptake and chloride availability for the entire particle population. In comparison, the chemically-resolved surface area-based parameterization slightly underestimated the observations, with uncertainties deriving from ClNO2 production from residential wood burning particles.

Published: April 18, 2024


Jeong D., S.M. Mcnamara, Q. Chen, J.A. Mirrielees, J. Edebeli, K.D. Kulju, and S. Wang, et al. 2023. Quantifying the Contributions of Aerosol- and Snow-produced ClNO2 through Observations and 1D Modeling. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 7, no. 12:2548–2561. PNNL-SA-191621. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.3c00237

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