Prodigious Amounts of Hydrogen Oxides Generated by Corona Discharges on Tree Leaves

J. M. Jenkins, G. A. Olson, P. J. McFarland, D. O. Miller, W. H. Brune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Prodigious amounts of the hydroxyl radical (OH) are generated in the laboratory on tree leaves by corona discharges, which also occur on trees during thunderstorms. Production rates of OH and HO2 depend on the applied electric field generating the corona discharge, leaf dryness, and the presence of liquid water on the leaf. However, they are independent of leaf type and corona discharge polarity for a given corona ultraviolet (UV) flux. Production rates of OH, HO2, and O3 strongly correlate with corona UV flux. Although the contribution of corona-produced OH to total global OH production is unlikely to be important, corona-generated OH is likely a few orders of magnitude greater than oxidation by known processes in the vicinity of the affected leaves, potentially influencing atmospheric oxidation and tree and forest ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JD036761
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 27 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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