Advection of NH3 over a pasture field and its effect on gradient flux measurements

Loubet, B.; Milford, C.; Hensen, A.; Daemmgen, U.; Erisman, J.-W.; Cellier, P.; Sutton, M.A.. 2009 Advection of NH3 over a pasture field and its effect on gradient flux measurements. Biogeosciences, 6. 1295-1309.

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Deposition of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) to semi-natural ecosystems leads to serious adverse effects, such as acidification and eutrophication. A step in quantifying such effects is the measurement of NH3 fluxes over semi-natural and agricultural land. However, measurement of NH3 fluxes over vegetation in the vicinity of strong NH3 sources is challenging, since NH3 emissions are highly heterogeneous. Indeed, under such conditions, local advection errors may alter the measured fluxes. In this study, local advection errors (ΔFz,adv) were estimated over a 14 ha grassland field, which was successively cut and fertilised, as part of the GRAMINAE integrated Braunschweig experiment. The magnitude of ΔFz,adv was determined up to 810 m downwind from farm buildings emitting between 6.2 and 9.9 kg NH3 day−1. The GRAMINAE experiment provided a unique opportunity to compare two methods of estimating ΔFz,adv: one inference method based on measurements of horizontal concentration gradients, and one based on inverse dispersion modelling with a two-dimensional model. Two sources of local advection were clearly identified: the farm NH3 emissions leading to positive ΔFz,adv ("bias towards emissions") and field NH3 emissions, which led to a negative ΔFz,adv ("bias towards deposition"). The local advection flux from the farm was in the range 0 to 27 ng NH3 m−2 s−1 at 610 m from the farm, whereas ΔFz,adv due to field emission was proportional to the local flux, and ranged between −209 and 13 ng NH3 m−2 s−1. The local advection flux ΔFz,adv was either positive or negative depending on the magnitude of these two contributions. The modelled and inferred advection errors agreed well. The inferred advection errors, relative to the vertical flux at 1 m height, were 52% on average, before the field was cut, and less than 2.1% when the field was fertilised. The variability of the advection errors in response to changes in micrometeorological conditions is also studied. The limits of the 2-D modelling approach are discussed. [Abstract from: ]

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: Billett
ISSN: 1726-4170
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Paper published in Biogeosciences 6 (Special Issue): Processes controlling the exchange of ammonia between grassland and the atmosphere (GRAMINAE), edited by K.Pilegaard, J.K. Schjoerring and M.A. Sutton Open access journal
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 23 Sep 2009 13:04

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