Concentrations and fluxes of NOy (total reactive nitrogen), ozone concentrations and fluxes of sensible heat, water vapor, and momentum were measured from May 1 to July 20, 1995 at Summit, Greenland. Median NOy concentrations declined from 947 ppt in May to 444 ppt by July. NOy fluxes were observed into and out of the snow, but the magnitudes were usually below 1 μmol m−2 h−1 because of the low HNO3 concentration and weak turbulence over the snow surface. Some of the highest observed fluxes may be due to temporary storage by equilibrium sorption of peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) or other organic nitrogen species on ice surfaces in the upper snowpack. Sublimation of snow at the surface or during blowing snow events is associated with efflux of NOy from the snowpack. Because the NOy fluxes during summer at Summit are bidirectional and small in magnitude, the net result of turbulent NOyexchange is insignificant compared to the 2 μmol m−2 d−1 mean input from fresh snow during the summer months. If the arctic NOy reservoir is predominantly PAN (or compounds with similar properties), thermal dissociation of this NOy is sufficient to support the observed flux of nitrate in fresh snow. Very low HNO3 concentrations in the surface layer (1% of total NOy) reflect the poor ventilation of the surface layer over the snowpack combined with the relatively rapid uptake of HNO3 by fog, falling snow, and direct deposition to the snowpack.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres



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Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.