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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-278
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
31 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Estimation of nocturnal CO2 and N2O soil emissions using changes in surface boundary layer mass storage
Richard H. Grant and Rex A. Omonode Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907, USA
Abstract. Abstract. Annual emissions of greenhouse and other trace gases requires knowledge of the emissions throughout the year. Unfortunately emissions into the surface boundary layer during stable, calm nocturnal periods are not measureable using most micrometeorological methods due to non-stationarity and uncoupled flow. However, during nocturnal periods with very light winds the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) frequently accumulates near the surface and this mass accumulation can be used to determine emissions. Gas concentrations were measured at four heights (one within and three above canopy) and turbulence was measured at three heights above a mature 2.5 m high maize canopy from 23 July to 10 September 2015. Nocturnal CO2 and N2O fluxes from the canopy were determined using the accumulation of mass within a 6.3 m vertical domain of the nocturnal surface boundary layer. Diffusive fluxes out of the top of this domain were also estimated. Fluxes during near-calm nights (friction velocities < 0.05 m s−1) averaged 906 mg CO2 m−2 h−1 and 38 μg N2O m−2 h−1. Fluxes were also measured using chambers during corresponding days. Carbon dioxide flux determined by the accumulation method were generally comparable to those determined using soil chambers. Nitrous oxide flux determined by the accumulation method were equal to or below those determined using soil chambers. The more homogenous emission of CO2 over N2O from nearby fields and the better signal to noise ratio of the chamber method for CO2 over N2O were likely major reasons for the differences in chambers versus accumulated nocturnal mass flux estimates. Near-surface N2O accumulation flux measurements in more homogeneous regions are needed to confirm the conclusion that mass accumulation can be effectively used to estimate soil emissions during nearly calm nights.

Citation: Grant, R. H. and Omonode, R. A.: Estimation of nocturnal CO2 and N2O soil emissions using changes in surface boundary layer mass storage, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-278, in review, 2017.
Richard H. Grant and Rex A. Omonode
Richard H. Grant and Rex A. Omonode
Richard H. Grant and Rex A. Omonode

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Short summary
Annual emissions of trace gases requires knowledge of the emissions throughout the day and year. Unfortunately emissions into the surface boundary layer during calm nights are rarely measured. During such conditions surface layer concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) often accumulate in the surface boundary layer and the time rate of change of this accumulation was used to estimate emissions. Results showed this approach to be reasonable.
Annual emissions of trace gases requires knowledge of the emissions throughout the day and year....
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