USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

Investigation of the Levels, Composition and Reactivity of VOCs in the Marine Boundary Layer of Bermuda

Kelli Deja

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg December 2020.


Two field measurements were performed to evaluate the oxidation capacity and HONO formation mechanism on sea salt aerosols in the marine boundary layer (MBL) of Bermuda. The Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) composition and reactivity has also been investigated during the field measurements. During the summer, the measurement site was impacted by two different air masses, local air masses from the north/northeast and aged marine air masses from the west. Initial VOC measurements reveal varying concentrations based on the origin of the air masses and are composed mainly of aromatics and haloalkanes in addition to minor contributions from alkenes and ketones. Correlations of key VOC’s indicate aged air masses, and NOx limited conditions. It seems that westerly winds bring not only haloalkane rich marine air masses but also aged polluted air masses.