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Keywords:

  • ClNO2;
  • land breeze;
  • nighttime chemistry;
  • nitrogen oxides;
  • sea breeze

[1] The sea breeze/land breeze diurnal circulation within the Los Angeles Basin and adjacent waters transports marine air into the basin during the day and urban air to Santa Monica Bay during the night. Nitryl chloride, ClNO2 is a nocturnal trace gas formed from the heterogeneous reaction of dinitrogen pentaoxide (N2O5) with chloride containing aerosol. Its photolysis after sunrise produces atomic chlorine radicals and regenerates NO2, both of which may increase ozone production. Mixing of the chloride source from marine sea salt with the urban NOx source in Los Angeles provides conditions ideal for the production of ClNO2. This paper presents an analysis using a wind profiler on the coast and measurements of ClNO2 and its precursors made from both ship and aircraft to assess the prevailing meteorological conditions important for ClNO2 production in this region, with a particular focus on the production over water within the land breeze phase of the circulation. A box model is used to calculate an upper limit to the amount of ClNO2 capable of being produced strictly over Santa Monica Bay during the land breeze. On three out of the four nights of ClNO2 measurements in Santa Monica Bay, the ClNO2 exceeds the upper limit calculated using the box model and shows that the majority of the ClNO2 is produced over the city and transported to Santa Monica Bay by the land breeze. This ClNO2 transport suggests the sea breeze more efficiently transports aerosol chloride inland than land breeze transports NOx offshore.