Formaldehyde (HCHO) in air, snow, and interstitial air at Concordia (East Antarctic Plateau) in summer. / Preunkert, S.; Legrand, M.; Frey, Markus; Kukui, A.; Savarino, J.; Gallee, H; King, Martin; Jourdain, B.; Vicars, W; Helmig, Detlev.

In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 15, 17.06.2015, p. 6689-6705.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review




  • S. Preunkert
  • M. Legrand
  • Markus Frey
  • A. Kukui
  • J. Savarino
  • H Gallee
  • Martin King
  • B. Jourdain
  • W Vicars
  • Detlev Helmig


During the 2011/12 and 2012/13 austral summers, HCHO was investigated for the first time in ambient air, snow, and interstitial air at the Concordia site, located near Dome C on the East Antarctic Plateau, by deploying an Aerolaser AL-4021 analyzer. Snow emission fluxes were estimated from vertical gradients of mixing ratios observed at 1 cm and 1 m above the snow surface as well as in interstitial air a few centimeters below the surface and in air just above the snowpack. Typical flux values range between 1 and 2 × 1012 molecules m−2 s−1 at night and 3 and 5 × 1012 molecules m−2 s−1 at noon. Shading experiments suggest that the photochemical HCHO production in the snowpack at Concordia remains negligible compared to temperature-driven air–snow exchanges. At 1 m above the snow surface, the observed mean mixing ratio of 130 pptv and its diurnal cycle characterized by a slight decrease around noon are quite well reproduced by 1-D simulations that include snow emissions and gas-phase methane oxidation chemistry. Simulations indicate that the gas-phase production from CH4 oxidation largely contributes (66%) to the observed HCHO mixing ratios. In addition, HCHO snow emissions account for ~ 30% at night and ~ 10% at noon to the observed HCHO levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6689-6705
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2015
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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