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Toronto Ground-based FTIR Observations of HCOOH Enhancement and its Source Attribution to Boreal Wildfires

In this study, biomass burning emission enhancement events were identified by examining the time-series datasets of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ethane (C2H6), obtained from a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer situated at the University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory (TAO). This study focused on an enhancement event observed in early July 2015, and concurrent formic acid (HCOOH) measurements were examined to determine if its enhanced signal could be detected in Toronto. Enhancements were attributed to fires south-west of the Hudson Bay by utilizing the FLEXPART dispersion model and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Fire Hot Spot data. Travel times were estimated using the HYSPLIT trajectory model, which was then used to estimate losses due to decay. Emission estimates were calculated and presented as emission factors for HCN: 0.65 ± 0.24 g/kg, C2H6: 2.04 ± 0.75 g/kg, and HCOOH: 5.03 ± 1.9 g/kg.