The nitrate radical, NO3, and dinitrogen pentoxide, N2O5, are two important components of nitrogen oxides that occur predominantly at night in the lower troposphere. Because a large fraction of NO2 reacts to form NO3 and N2O5 during the course of a night, their fate is an important determining factor to the overall fate of NOx (=NO and NO2). As a comprehensive test of nocturnal nitrogen oxide chemistry, concentrations of O3, NO, NO2, NO3, N2O5, HNO3 and a host of other relevant compounds, aerosol abundance and composition, and meteorological conditions were measured in the marine boundary layer from the NOAA research vessel Ronald H. Brown off the East Coast of the United States as part of the New England Air Quality Study (NEAQS) during the summer of 2002. The results confirm the prominent role of NO3 and N2O5 in converting NOx to HNO3 at night with an efficiency on par with daytime photochemical conversion. The findings demonstrate the large role of nighttime chemistry in determining the NOx budget and consequent production of ozone. INDEX TERMS: 0322 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Constituent sources and sinks; 0345 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Pollution—urban and regional (0305); 0365 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Troposphere—composition and chemistry. Citation: Brown, S. S., et al. (2004), Nighttime removal of NOx in the summer marine boundary layer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L07108, doi:10.1029/2004GL019412


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Geophysical Research Letters



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Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.