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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-286
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-286
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 26 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 26 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Can statistics of turbulent tracer dispersion be inferred from camera observations of SO2 in the ultraviolet?

Arve Kylling1, Hamidreza Ardeshiri1, Massimo Cassiani1, Anna Solvejg Dinger1, Soon-Young Park2, Ignacio Pisso1, Norbert Schmidbauer1, Kerstin Stebel1, and Andreas Stohl1 Arve Kylling et al.
  • 1NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, NO-2007 Kjeller, Norway
  • 2Center for Earth and Environmental Modeling Studies, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Abstract. Turbulence is one of the unsolved problems of physics. Atmospheric turbulence and in particular its effect on tracer dispersion may be measured by cameras sensitive to the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) sun-light by sulfur dioxide (SO2), a gas that can be considered a passive tracer over short transport distances. We present a method to simulate UV camera measurements of SO2 with a 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer model which takes input from a large eddy simulation (LES) of a SO2 plume released from a point source. From the simulated images the apparent absorbance and various plume density statistics (centerline position, meandering, absolute and relative dispersion, skewness, and fractal dimension) were calculated. These were compared with corresponding quantities obtained directly from the LES. Mean differences of centerline position, absolute and relative dispersion, and skewness between the simulated images and the LES were found to be smaller than a quarter of one camera pixel, with standard deviations between 1/2 and 3/2 camera pixel. Furthermore sensitivity studies were made to quantify how changes in solar azimuth and zenith angles, aerosol loading (background and in plume), and surface albedo impact the UV camera image plume statistics. Changing the values of these parameters within realistic limits have negligible effect on the centerline position, meandering, absolute and relative dispersions, and skewness of the SO2 plume. Thus, we demonstrate that UV camera images of SO2 plumes may be used to derive plume statistics of relevance for the study of atmospheric turbulent dispersion.

Arve Kylling et al.
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Short summary
Turbulence is one of the unsolved problems of physics. Atmospheric turbulence and in particular its effect on tracer dispersion may be measured by cameras sensitive to the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) sun-light by sulfur dioxide (SO2), Using Large Eddy Simulation and 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer modelling of a SO2 plume we demonstrate that UV camera images of SO2 plumes may be used to derive plume statistics of relevance for the study of atmospheric turbulent dispersion.
Turbulence is one of the unsolved problems of physics. Atmospheric turbulence and in particular...
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