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- For the Global Troposphere Experiment project Pacific Exploratory Measurements West B (PEM West B), we made determinations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with isotopically labelled internal standards. This technique provides measurements with precision of 1 part-per-trillion by volume below 20 pptv and 1% above 20 pptv. Measurement of DMS and SO2 were performed with a time cycle of 5-6 minutes with intermittent zero checks. The detection limits were about 1 pptv for SO2 and 2 pptv for DMS. Over 700 measurements of each compound were made in flight. Volcanic impacts on the upper troposphere were again found as a result of deep convection in the tropics. Extensive emission of SO2 from the Pacific Rim land masses were primarily observed in the lower well-mixed part of the boundary layer but also in the upper part of the boundary layer. Analyses of the SO2 data with aerosol sulfate, beryllium-7, and lead-210 indicated that SO2, contributed to half or more of the observed total oxidized sulfur (SO2 plus aerosol sulfate) in free tropospheric air. Cloud processing and rain appeared to be responsible for lower SO2 levels between 3 and 8.5 km than above or below this region. During both phases of PEM-West, dimethyl sulfide did not appear to be a major source of sulfur dioxide in the upper free troposphere over the western Pacific Ocean. In 1991 the sources Of SO2 at high altitude appeared to be both anthropogenic and volcanic with an estimated 1% being solely from DMS. The primary difference for the increase in the DMS source was the very low concentration of SO2 at high altitude. In the midlatitude region near the Asian land masses, DMS in the mixed layer was lower than in the tropical region of the western Pacific. Convective cloud systems near volcanoes in the tropical convergence in the western Pacific troposphere were a major source of SO2 at high altitudes during PEM-West B. High levels of SO2 were observed in several instances with large number concentrations of ultrafine CN above 9 km in the tropical convergence zone. Conversion of SO2, by OH to SO3 and subsequently to sulfuric acid may have been enhanced by lightning-produced NO levels exceeding 1 part per billion. Coupling of strong convection and volcanic sources of SO2 apparently is an important source of new particle formation at high altitude in the tropical convergence zone.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19980200996.
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