A Caltech Library Service

Field investigations on the snow chemistry in central and southern California—II. Carbonyls and carboxylic acids

Gunz, Dieter W. and Hoffmann, Michael R. (1990) Field investigations on the snow chemistry in central and southern California—II. Carbonyls and carboxylic acids. Atmospheric Environment Part A-General Topics, 24 (7). pp. 1673-1684. ISSN 0960-1686. doi:10.1016/0960-1686(90)90501-D.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Snow samples from central and southern California were collected during the winter of 1987–1988 from there storms and analyzed for carbonyl compounds and carboxylic acids. Approximately 90% of the samples contained total aldehyde concentrations up to 40 μM. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were the dominant aldehydes observed; secondary aldehydes included glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and benzaldehyde. The highest aldehyde concentrations were observed in snow collected in areas where deciduous and coniferous forests are widespread. However, these aldehydes can be attributed also in part to primary and secondary products of anthropogenic activities. Formic and acetic were analyzed in all measured samples with concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 4.9 μM for HCOOH and from <0.3 to 13.4 μM for CH_3COOH. Maximum contribution of organic acids to precipitation-free acidity, calculated by assuming that the only sources of the measured formate and acetate were their respective acid forms, averaged 43.1% for samples with a pH⩽5. A consistent correlation between NH_4^+ and acetate was found. [CH_3COOH] exceeded [HCOOH] in about 50% of the samples with the highest levels for CH_3COOH measured in cores collected from lower elevated locations adjacent to the Los Angeles basin. Results presented in this paper suggest that dry deposition and/or scavenging of carbonyl compounds and organic acids to snow may be important sinks for these compounds.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hoffmann, Michael R.0000-0001-6495-1946
Additional Information:© 1990 Published by Elsevier Ltd. First received 14 December 1988 and in final form 17 July 1989. Support for this work was made available through funds provided by the Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Vienna, Austria) and the California Air Resources Board (Contr.#A6-185-32). We are also grateful to Mark Williams of the University of California, Santa Barbara for the obtaining the snow cores from the Emerald Lake site and to Dr J. William Munger and the reviewers for their valuable suggestions. We acknowledge the assistance of Erich Linse (California Air Resources Board, Meteorology Section) and Annie Esperanza (National Park Service) for providing the meteorological data.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen ForschungUNSPECIFIED
California Air Resources Board (CARB)A6-185-32
Subject Keywords:Organic snow chemistry; carbonyls; carboxylic acids and free acidity
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150813-105954683
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Dieter W Gunz, Michael R Hoffmann, Field investigations on the snow chemistry in central and southern california—II. Carbonyls and carboxylic acids, Atmospheric Environment. Part A. General Topics, Volume 24, Issue 7, 1990, Pages 1673-1684, ISSN 0960-1686, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59489
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Aug 2015 20:57
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page