Lab work completed!
We have been working all summer on finishing up the measurements from this campaign. We are finished, and have used up all of our snow and aerosol samples in the processes. We hired a UW undergraduate student, Lauren Easley, to work on this project for the summer, and she has been fantastic. She learned our laboratory methods and became independent very quickly, which allowed this project to progress while Maria made progress on another project. Below are a couple of pictures of Lauren working in the lab.
(Nothing says science like liquid nitrogen...
...or a pipet.)
We will be contributing to a summary report, which is due next week. Lauren is working on making a figure for this report, and learning to write code for producing figures in Matlab. I will be posting a copy of our portion of the report to this site in a couple of weeks.
There is still lots of work to do. So far our conclusions from the measurements are fairly qualitative. We can say that the snow actively recycles reactive nitrogen back to the atmosphere only within the 2-3 days after fresh snow fall. This may in part explain why ground-level ozone was much higher in 2013 than in 2014, as it snowed much more frequently in 2013. However, environmental managers need more quantitative information on the actual recycling rates. The next step is to perform these calculations, which will be done using a snow chemistry model constrained by our (and others') field observations. The model was designed for Antarctic snow, so we will need to make a few modifications to account for the fact that snow in Utah is not nearly as deep or homogeneous as it is in Antarctica.