Interference of sulphur dioxide to balloon-borne ECC ozone sensors over the Valley of Mexico
I. Kanda1, R. Basaldud2, N. Horikoshi3, Y. Okazaki1, S. E. Benítez Garcia1, A. Ortínez2, V. R. Ramos Benítez4, B. Cárdenas2, and S. Wakamatsu11Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan 2Mexico National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), DF, Mexico City, Mexico 3Meteoric Research Inc., Tokyo, Japan 4Mexico National Weather Service (SMN), DF, Mexico
Received: 22 Nov 2013 – Accepted for review: 18 Dec 2013 – Discussion started: 15 Jan 2014
Abstract. Abnormal decrease in the ozonesonde sensor signal occurred during air-pollution study campaigns in November 2011 and March 2012 in Mexico City. Sharp drops around 5 km a.s.l. and above were observed in November 2011, and a broad deficit in the convective boundary layer in March 2012. Various circumstantial evidence indicates that the decrease was due to interference of SO2 gas to Electrochemical Concentration Cell (ECC) ozone sensors. The sharp drops in November 2011 are considered to be caused by the SO2 plume from the Popocatépetl volcano to the south-east of Mexico City. Response experiments of the ECC sensor to representative atmospheric trace gases showed that only SO2 could generate the observed abrupt drops. The vertical structure of the plume reproduced by a Lagrangian particle diffusion simulation also supported this assumption. The near-ground deficit in March 2012 is considered to be generated by the SO2 plume from the Tula industrial complex to the north-west of Mexico City. Sporadic large SO2 emission is known to occur from this region, and before and at the ozonesonde launching time, large intermittent peaks of SO2 concentration were recorded at the ground-level monitoring stations. The difference between the O3 concentration obtained by ozonesonde and that by UV-based O3 monitor was consistent with the SO2 concentration measured by a UV-based monitor on the ground. The plume vertical profiles estimated by the Lagrangian particle diffusion simulation agreed fairly well with the observed profile. Statistical analysis of the wind field in Mexico City revealed that the Popocatépetl effect is most likely to occur from June to October, and the Tula effect all the year.
Kanda, I., Basaldud, R., Horikoshi, N., Okazaki, Y., Benítez Garcia, S. E., Ortínez, A., Ramos Benítez, V. R., Cárdenas, B., and Wakamatsu, S.: Interference of sulphur dioxide to balloon-borne ECC ozone sensors over the Valley of Mexico, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 7, 293-320, doi:10.5194/amtd-7-293-2014, 2014.