A comparison of Arctic BrO measurements by chemical ionization mass spectrometry and long path-differential optical absorption spectroscopy

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Abstract

[1] A measurement intensive was carried out in Barrow, Alaska, in spring 2009 as part of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea-Ice–Snowpack (OASIS) program. The central focus of this campaign was the role of halogen chemistry in the Arctic. A chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) performed in situ bromine oxide (BrO) measurements. In addition, a long path-differential optical absorption spectrometer (LP-DOAS) measured the average concentration of BrO along light paths of either 7.2 or 2.1 km. A comparison of the 1 min observations from both instruments is presented in this work. The two measurements were highly correlated and agreed within their uncertainties (R2 = 0.74, slope = 1.10, and intercept = −0.15 pptv). Better correlation was found (R2 = 0.85, slope = 1.04, and intercept = −0.11 pptv) for BrO observations at moderate wind speeds (>3 m s−1 and <8 m s−1) and low nitric oxide (NO) mixing ratios (<100 pptv). The improved agreement is likely due to the elimination of periods when the spatial distribution of BrO is inhomogeneous. The detection limit obtained for the CIMS was 2.6 pptv (3σ) for a 4 s integration period, and the estimated uncertainty was ∼30%. The detection limits for the LP-DOAS ranged from 0.7 to 5 pptv (3σ) depending on the level of ambient light and the chosen light path, and the estimated systematic error was 10%. The agreement between the CIMS and LP-DOAS is excellent and demonstrates the capability of both instruments to selectively and accurately measure BrO with high sensitivity.

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