Surface–atmosphere exchange of inorganic water-soluble gases and associated ions in bulk aerosol above agricultural grassland pre- and postfertilisation

Ramsay, Robbie; Di Marco, Chiara F.; Heal, Mathew R.; Twigg, Marsailidh M.; Cowan, Nicholas; Jones, Matthew R.; Leeson, Sarah R.; Bloss, William J.; Kramer, Louisa J.; Crilley, Leigh; Sörgel, Matthias; Andreae, Meinrat; Nemitz, Eiko. 2018 Surface–atmosphere exchange of inorganic water-soluble gases and associated ions in bulk aerosol above agricultural grassland pre- and postfertilisation. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (23). 16953-16978.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N521786JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (6MB) | Preview


The increasing use of intensive agricultural practices can lead to damaging consequences for the atmosphere through enhanced emissions of air pollutants. However, there are few direct measurements of the surface–atmosphere exchange of trace gases and water-soluble aerosols over agricultural grassland, particularly of reactive nitrogen compounds. In this study, we present measurements of the concentrations, fluxes and deposition velocities of the trace gases HCl, HONO, HNO3, SO2 and NH3 as well as their associated water-soluble aerosol counterparts Cl−, NO2−, NO3−, SO42− and NH4+ as determined hourly for 1 month in May–June 2016 over agricultural grassland near Edinburgh, UK, pre- and postfertilisation. Measurements were made using the Gradient of Aerosols and Gases Online Registrator (GRAEGOR) wet-chemistry two-point gradient instrument. Emissions of NH3 peaked at 1460ng m−2 s−1 3h after fertilisation, with an emission of HONO peaking at 4.92ng m−2 s−1 occurring 5h after fertilisation. Apparent emissions of NO3− aerosol were observed after fertilisation which, coupled with a divergence of HNO3 deposition velocity (Vd) from its theoretical maximum value, suggested the reaction of emitted NH3 with atmospheric HNO3 to form ammonium nitrate aerosol. The use of the conservative exchange fluxes of tot-NH4+ and tot-NO3− indicated net emission of tot-NO3−, implying a ground source of HNO3 after fertilisation. Daytime concentrations of HONO remained above the detection limit (30ng m−3) throughout the campaign, suggesting a daytime source for HONO at the site. Whilst the mean Vd of NH4+ was 0.93mm s−1 in the range expected for the accumulation mode, the larger average Vd for Cl− (3.65mm s−1), NO3− (1.97mm s−1) and SO42− (1.89mm s−1) reflected the contribution of a super-micron fraction and decreased with increasing PM2.5∕PM10 ratio (a proxy measurement for aerosol size), providing evidence – although limited by the use of a proxy for aerosol size – of a size dependence of aerosol deposition velocity for aerosol chemical compounds, which has been suggested from process-orientated models of aerosol deposition.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1680-7316
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 04 Dec 2018 11:53 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...