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Health and Environmental Effects Research

University of Colorado Tests Optical Spectroscope To Measure Atmospheric Trace Gases at NHEERL's GED

The University of Colorado has deployed its MAX-DOAS instrument at NHEERL's Gulf Ecology Division (GED) in Gulf Breeze, FL. GED was asked to host the placement of this experimental instrument because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, with an unobstructed view of both the northern and southern horizons. The MAX-DOAS instrument is used to measure bromine oxide, among other gases, to explore the possible role of halogen oxides in the atmospheric oxidation of elemental mercury to its reactive forms (and the subsequent uptake of mercury to the water bodies). MAX-DOAS is a passive optical spectroscopic technique that observes solar stray light under different elevation angles over the horizon to perform column-integrated trace gas measurements directly in the atmosphere. The purpose of the device is to measure atmospheric concentrations of trace gases of relevance to urban air quality and mercury oxidation in the Pensacola Bay atmosphere. The research group at University of Colorado, Boulder, is developing this instrument, which will be deployed at GED for 6 months.

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