EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
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In situ ammonia measurements in wildfire and agricultural fire plumes in the US

Laura Tomsche1,3, Tomas Mikoviny2, John B. Nowak3, Felix Piel2, and Armin Wisthaler2
Laura Tomsche et al.
  • 1Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, United States of America (
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, United States of America

Emissions of trace gases and particles from fires have a major impact on climate, visibility, air quality, and public health. Biomass burning emissions include reactive nitrogen gases, in particular, ammonia (NH3). NH3 is a short-lived gas that acts as precursor for secondary aerosols formed in the downwind plume. This process is still poorly constrained.

In summer 2019, NASA and NOAA carried out the joint airborne FIREX-AQ (Fire Influence on Regional to global Environments and Air Quality) mission over the continental US to sample plumes from wildfires and agricultural fires. On board the NASA DC-8, we used a modified PTR-ToF-MS instrument for measuring NH3 in situ and at high time resolution. Over the course of the mission, we collected a large set of NH3 data in plumes associated with different fire types and burning conditions. Herein, we will present exemplary data and show results of our initial analyses.

How to cite: Tomsche, L., Mikoviny, T., Nowak, J. B., Piel, F., and Wisthaler, A.: In situ ammonia measurements in wildfire and agricultural fire plumes in the US, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12112,, 2020

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