Impact of biogenic volatile organic compounds on ozone production at the Taehwa Research Forest near Seoul, South Korea

So Young Kim, Xiaoyan Jiang, Meehye Lee, Andrew Turnipseed, Alex Guenther, Jong Choon Kim, Suk Jo Lee, Saewung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) in understanding of air-quality and climate on regional to global scales has been highlighted in a number of modeling and observational studies. At the same time, another important emerging research topic in atmospheric chemistry is the regional and global impacts of fast growing East Asian megacities. These two research topics must be integrated in order to adequately understand and address air quality challenges emerging from Eastern Asian megacities surrounded by planted or natural forest areas. We present initial measurement results for May, June and September 2011 from the Taehwa Research Forest (TRF) which has been developed to serve as a long term observatory for investigating biosphere-atmosphere interactions at the edge of the Seoul Metropolitan Area (population of ∼23.5 million). The comprehensive measurement datasets of ozone and its precursors such as CO, NOx, SO2 and VOCs shows that high ozone episodes in the suburban site could not be explained by just anthropogenic pollutants alone. In addition, isoprene (C5H8) and monoterpenes (C10H16) were observed as two of the most important OH chemical sinks inside of the forest canopy. In order to understand the impacts of these BVOCs on ozone and related photochemistry, we conducted model sensitivity simulations using a coupled meteorology-chemistry model (WRF-Chem) for conditions including with and without BVOC emissions. The modeling results suggest that BVOC emissions could enhance regional daytime ozone production from 5 to 20 ppbv. The observed temporal variations in ozone correspond well with the variations in BVOCs, which likely reflects the influence of BVOCs on ozone formation. These findings strongly suggest that interactions between anthropogenic pollutants and BVOCs must be understood and quantified in order to assess photochemical ozone formation in the regions surrounding East Asian megacities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May


  • Asian megacities
  • BVOCs
  • Tropospheric ozone
  • WRF-Chem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of biogenic volatile organic compounds on ozone production at the Taehwa Research Forest near Seoul, South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this