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The importance of source configuration in quantifying footprints of regional atmospheric sulphur deposition

Vieno, M.; Dore, A.J.; Bealey, W.J.; Stevenson, D.S.; Sutton, M.A.. 2010 The importance of source configuration in quantifying footprints of regional atmospheric sulphur deposition. Science of the Total Environment, 408 (4). 985-995. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.048

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Abstract/Summary

An atmospheric transport-chemistry model is applied to investigate the effects of source configuration in simulating regional sulphur deposition footprints from elevated point sources. Dry and wet depositions of sulphur are calculated for each of the 69 largest point sources in the UK. Deposition contributions for each point source are calculated for 2003, as well as for a 2010 emissions scenario. The 2010 emissions scenario has been chosen to simulate the Gothenburg protocol emission scenario. Point source location is found to be a major driver of the dry/wet deposition ratio for each deposition footprint, with increased precipitation scavenging of SOx in hill areas resulting in a larger fraction of the emitted sulphur being deposited within the UK for sources located near these areas. This reduces exported transboundary pollution, but, associated with the occurrence of sensitive soils in hill areas, increases the domestic threat of soil acidification. The simulation of plume rise using individual stack parameters for each point source demonstrates a high sensitivity of SO2 surface concentration to effective source height. This emphasises the importance of using site-specific information for each major stack, which is rarely included in regional atmospheric pollution models, due to the difficulty in obtaining the required input data. The simulations quantify how the fraction of emitted SOx exported from the UK increases with source magnitude, effective source height and easterly location. The modelled reduction in SOx emissions, between 2003 and 2010 resulted in a smaller fraction being exported, with the result that the reductions in SOx deposition to the UK are less than proportionate to the emission reduction. This non-linearity is associated with a relatively larger fraction of the SO2 being converted to sulphate aerosol for the 2010 scenario, in the presence of ammonia. The effect results in less-than-proportional UK benefits of reducing in SO2 emissions, together with greater-than-proportional benefits in reducing export of UK SO2 emissions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.048
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 2 - Biogeochemistry and Climate System Processes > BGC - 2.1 - Quantify & model processes that control the emission, fate and bioavailability of pollutants
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: Atmospheric transport model; Point sources; Sulphur; Abatement; Dry deposition; Wet deposition
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 20 Apr 2010 15:23
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9507

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