We performed measurements of nitrous acid (HONO) during the PRIDE-PRD2006 campaign in the Pearl River Delta region 60 km north of Guangzhou, China, for 4 weeks in June 2006. HONO was measured by a LOPAP in-situ instrument which was setup in one of the campaign supersites along with a variety of instruments measuring hydroxyl radicals, trace gases, aerosols, and meteorological parameters. Maximum diurnal HONO mixing ratios of 1-5 ppb were observed during the nights. We found that the nighttime build-up of HONO can be attributed to the heterogeneous NO2 to HONO conversion on ground surfaces and the OH + NO reaction. In addition to elevated nighttime mixing ratios, measured noontime values of approximate to 200 ppt indicate the existence of a daytime source higher than the OH + NO -> HONO reaction. Using the simultaneously recorded OH, NO, and HONO photolysis frequency, a daytime additional source strength of HONO (P-M) was calculated to be 0.77 ppb h(-1) on average. This value compares well to previous measurements in other environments. Our analysis of P-M provides evidence that the photolysis of HNO3 adsorbed on ground surfaces contributes to the HONO formation.
Ambient OH and HO2 concentrations were measured by laser induced fluorescence (LIF) during the PRIDE-PRD2006 (Program of Regional Integrated Experiments of Air Quality over the Pearl River Delta, 2006) campaign at a rural site downwind of the megacity of Guangzhou in Southern China. The observed OH concentrations reached daily peak values of (15-26) x 10(6) cm(-3) which are among the highest values so far reported for urban and suburban areas. The observed OH shows a consistent high correlation with j((OD)-D-1) over a broad range of NOx conditions. The correlation cannot be reproduced by model simulations, indicating that OH stabilizing processes are missing in current models. The observed OH exhibited a weak dependence on NOx in contrast to model predictions. While modelled and measured OH agree well at NO mixing ratios above 1 ppb, a continuously increasing underprediction of the observed OH is found towards lower NO concentrations, reaching a factor of 8 at 0.02 ppb NO. A dependence of the modelled-to-measured OH ratio on isoprene cannot be concluded from the PRD data. However, the magnitude of the ratio fits into the isoprene dependent trend that was reported from other campaigns in forested regions. Hofzumahaus et al. (2009) proposed an unknown OH recycling process without NO, in order to explain the high OH levels at PRD in the presence of high VOC reactivity and low NO. Taking a recently discovered interference in the LIF measurement of HO2 into account, the need for an additional HO2 -> OH recycling process persists, but the required source strength may be up to 20% larger than previously determined. Recently postulated isoprene mechanisms by Lelieveld et al. (2008) and Peeters and Muller (2010) lead to significant enhancements of OH expected for PRD, but an underprediction of the observed OH by a factor of two remains at low NO (0.1-0.2 ppb). If the photolysis of hydroperoxy aldehydes from isoprene is as efficient as proposed by Peeters and Muller (2010), the corresponding OH formation at PRD would be more important than the primary OH production from ozone and HONO. While the new isoprene mechanisms need to be confirmed by laboratory experiments, there is probably need for other, so far unidentified chemical processes to explain entirely the high OH levels observed in Southern China.