Measurements of trace gas emissions from Australian forest fires and correlations with coincident measurements of aerosol optical depth

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Abstract

[1] We present vertically integrated measurements of C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, HCOOH, CO, H2CO, HCN and NH3 through smoke plumes from Australian forest fires measured by ground-based solar absorption spectroscopy. The column amounts of these gases are highly correlated with simultaneous, colocated measurements of aerosol optical depth, providing a potential method of mapping biomass-burning emissions using satellite measurements of aerosol optical depth. We have calculated emission ratios relative to CO for the trace gases using aerosol optical depth as a proxy for CO and converted to emission factors by using an average emission factor for CO from literature measurements of extratropical forest fires. The results show that Australian forest fire emissions are broadly similar to those from other geographical regions except for comparatively low emissions of C2H6.

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