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Redistribution of free tropospheric chemical species over West Africa: Radicals (OH and HO2), peroxide (H2O2) and acids (HNO3 and H2SO4)

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.05.016
  • Chemical Species
  • Modelling
  • Impact Of Emissions
  • West Africa
  • Chemistry


Abstract The purpose of this paper is to study the redistribution of chemical species (OH, HO2, H2O2, HNO3 and H2SO4) over West Africa, where the cloud cover is ubiquitously present, and where deep convection often develops. In this area, because of these cloud systems, chemical species are redistributed by the ascending and descending flow, or leached if they are soluble. So, we carry out a mesoscale study using the Regional Atmospheric Modelling System (RAMS) coupled to a code of gas and aqueous chemistry (RAMS_Chemistry). It takes into account all processes under mesh. We examine several cases following the period (November and July), with inputs emissions (anthropogenic, biogenic and biomass burning). The radicals OH and HO2 are an indicator of possibilities for chemical activity. They characterize the oxidizing power of the atmosphere and are very strong oxidants. The acids HNO3 and H2SO4 are interesting in their transformation into nitrates and sulfates in precipitation. In November, when photochemistry is active during an event of biomass burning, concentrations of chemical species are higher than those of November in the absence of biomass burning. The concentrations of nitric acid double and sulfuric acid increases 70times. In addition, the concentrations are even lower in July if there is a deep convection. Compared to measures of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA), the results and observations of radicals OH and HO2 are the same order of magnitude. Emissions from biomass burning increase the concentrations of acid and peroxide, and a deep convection cloud allows the solubility and the washing out of species, reducing their concentration. Rainfalls play a major role in solubility and washing out acids, peroxides and radicals in this region.

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