Photochemical characteristics of high and low ozone episodes observed in the Taehwa Forest observatory (TFO) in June 2011 near Seoul South Korea

Saewung Kim, Soyoung Kim, Meehye Lee, Suyeon Kim, Soonho Choi, Sonjung Seok

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14 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive discussion on what cause high ozone episodes at a suburban photochemical observation site of the Seoul Metropolitan Area (population ∼23 million). The observational site, Taehwa Research Forest (TRF), is situated ∼30 km from the center of Seoul. In June 2011, we observed two very distinctive ozone periods-high ozone (peak up to 120 ppbv) and low ozone (peak up to 60 ppbv) in the mid and early month, respectively. The trace gas measurement dataset, especially CO and NO X clearly indicate that less anthropogenic influences during the high ozone period. Volatile organic compound (VOC) measurement results show that at the observational site, biogenic VOCs (mostly isoprene) contribute most of chemical reactivity towards OH, although toluene from anthropogenic activities was observed in higher concentrations. Back-trajectory analysis indicates that air-masses from the forest part of Korea Peninsula were dominant influences during the high ozone episode event. On the other hand, Aged air masses from China were the dominant influence during the low ozone episode event. Model calculations conducted using the University of Washington Chemical Mechanism (UWCM) box model, also consistently show that BVOC, especially isoprene photochemistry, can be the significantly contribution to local ozone formation in the given photochemical environments of TRF. These research results strongly suggest that ozone control strategy in the Eastern Asian megacities, mostly situated in surrounding forest areas should be based on the comprehensive scientific understanding in BVOC photochemistry and interplays between anthropogenic and biogenic interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May


  • BVOCs
  • MCM v3.2
  • Photochemical ozone
  • Taehwa Forest Observatory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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