Formaldehyde (HCHO) is involved in a lot of chemical reactions in the atmosphere. Taking into account that HCHO basically undergo by photolysis and reaction with hydroxyl radical within a few hours, short-lived VOCs and direct HCHO emissions can cause local HCHO enhancement over certain areas, and, hence, exceeding background level of HCHO can be examined as a local pollution of the atmosphere by VOCs or existence of a local HCHO source.
Several retrieval algorithms applicable for DOAS measurements in cloudless were previously developed. In previous works we proposed a new algorithm applicable for the overcast conditions. The algorithm has the typical F-coefficient error of about 10% for winter season, about 5% for summer season, and varying from 15 to 45% for transition season if the atmospheric boundary layer is below the cloud base.
In this paper we briefly present our results of the HCHO vertical column retrieval measured at Zvenigorod Scientific Station (ZSS) for overcast. ZSS (55°41'49''N, 36°46'29''E) is located in Moscow region in 38 km west from Moscow. Because Western winds prevail in this region, ZSS is a background station the most part of time. But in cases of Eastern wind, the air quality at ZSS is affected by Moscow megapolis, and polluted air masses formed above Moscow can reach station in a few hours. Due to the absence of alternative overcast data of HCHO, we compare our overcast data with the HCHO vertical content, which we obtained for clear sky. We investigate similarities and differences in their statistical behavior in different air mass.
The average overcast HCHO data have similar to clear-sky HCHO positive temperature trends for all wind direction. We found that the average retrieved overcast HCHO contents are systematically greater than the clear-sky retrieval data. But the difference between data retrieved for the overcast and clear-sky conditions are different for Eastern and Western winds. This difference is about 0.5×1016 mol cm-2 for Western winds and about 1.2×1016 mol cm-2 for Eastern winds. We suppose that observed difference between the overcast and clear-sky formaldehyde data can be caused by dependence of chemical reactions leading to the HCHO destruction and the HCHO formation from Moscow anthropogenic predecessors on the cloudy conditions.