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Evaluation of Regional Air Quality Models over Sydney and Australia: Part 1—Meteorological Model Comparison
Open AccessArticle

Composition of Clean Marine Air and Biogenic Influences on VOCs during the MUMBA Campaign

Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Chemistry, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
ANSTO Institute for Environmental Research, Lucas Heights, NSW 2234, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 383;
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
PDF [6334 KB, uploaded 10 July 2019]
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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important precursors to the formation of ozone and fine particulate matter, the two pollutants of most concern in Sydney, Australia. Despite this importance, there are very few published measurements of ambient VOC concentrations in Australia. In this paper, we present mole fractions of several important VOCs measured during the campaign known as MUMBA (Measurements of Urban, Marine and Biogenic Air) in the Australian city of Wollongong (34°S). We particularly focus on measurements made during periods when clean marine air impacted the measurement site and on VOCs of biogenic origin. Typical unpolluted marine air mole fractions during austral summer 2012-2013 at latitude 34°S were established for CO2 (391.0 ± 0.6 ppm), CH4 (1760.1 ± 0.4 ppb), N2O (325.04 ± 0.08 ppb), CO (52.4 ± 1.7 ppb), O3 (20.5 ± 1.1 ppb), acetaldehyde (190 ± 40 ppt), acetone (260 ± 30 ppt), dimethyl sulphide (50 ± 10 ppt), benzene (20 ± 10 ppt), toluene (30 ± 20 ppt), C8H10 aromatics (23 ± 6 ppt) and C9H12 aromatics (36 ± 7 ppt). The MUMBA site was frequently influenced by VOCs of biogenic origin from a nearby strip of forested parkland to the east due to the dominant north-easterly afternoon sea breeze. VOCs from the more distant densely forested escarpment to the west also impacted the site, especially during two days of extreme heat and strong westerly winds. The relative amounts of different biogenic VOCs observed for these two biomes differed, with much larger increases of isoprene than of monoterpenes or methanol during the hot westerly winds from the escarpment than with cooler winds from the east. However, whether this was due to different vegetation types or was solely the result of the extreme temperatures is not entirely clear. We conclude that the clean marine air and biogenic signatures measured during the MUMBA campaign provide useful information about the typical abundance of several key VOCs and can be used to constrain chemical transport model simulations of the atmosphere in this poorly sampled region of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: volatile organic compounds; VOCs; air quality; clean marine air; biogenic; MUMBA volatile organic compounds; VOCs; air quality; clean marine air; biogenic; MUMBA

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Guérette, É.-A.; Paton-Walsh, C.; Galbally, I.; Molloy, S.; Lawson, S.; Kubistin, D.; Buchholz, R.; Griffith, D.W.; Langenfelds, R.L.; Krummel, P.B.; Loh, Z.; Chambers, S.; Griffiths, A.; Keywood, M.; Selleck, P.; Dominick, D.; Humphries, R.; Wilson, S.R. Composition of Clean Marine Air and Biogenic Influences on VOCs during the MUMBA Campaign. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 383.

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