Airborne measurements of gases and particles from an Alaskan wildfire


  • J. David Nance,

  • Peter V. Hobbs,

  • Lawrence F. Radke,

  • Darold E. Ward


Airborne measurements of several gaseous and particulate chemical species were obtained in the emissions from a wildfire that burned in an old black spruce forest in Alaska during the summer of 1990. The relative proportions of most of the measured plume constituents are consistent with ground-based and airborne measurements in the plumes of several other biomass fires, and with laboratory measurements. Possible exceptions include the mean fine-particle emission factor, which was about 3 times larger than predicted from a regression relation based on measurements of the smoke from several prescribed biomass fires, and the mean CH4/CO molar emission ratio which was at the low end of a range of values measured for other biomass fires. Measurements of water-soluble particulate ions in the smoke plume from the Alaskan wildfire indicate that acids formed from the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen were partially neutralized inside cloud droplets by NH3 absorbed from the plume.