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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-2020-39
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-39
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Spatial distribution and seasonal variability in atmospheric ammonia measured from ground-based FTIR observations at Hefei, China

Wei Wang1, Cheng Liu2,3,1,4,5, Lieven Clarisse6, Martin Van Damme6, Pierre-François Coheur6, Yu Xie7, Changgong Shan1, Qihou Hu1, Huifang Zhang1, Youwen Sun1, Hao Yin1, and Nicholas Jones8,9 Wei Wang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Environmental Optics and Technology, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, China
  • 2Department of Precision Machinery and Precision Instrumentation, University of Science and Technology of China, 230026 Hefei, China
  • 3Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361021, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Precision Scientific Instrumentation of Anhui Higher Education Istitutes, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China
  • 5Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Polar Environment and Global Change, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China
  • 6Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Atmospheric Spectroscopy, Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • 7Department of Automation, Hefei University, Hefei 230601, Anhui, China
  • 8School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia
  • 9School of Physics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia

Abstract. Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) plays an important role in the formation of fine particulate matter, leading to severe environmental degradation and human health issues. In this work, ground-based FTIR observations are used to obtain the total columns and vertical profiles of atmospheric NH3 at a measurement site in Hefei, China, from December 2016 to November 2018. The spatial distribution and temporal variation, seasonal trend, emission sources and potential sources of NH3 are analyzed. The time series of ammonia columns show that FTIR observations captured the seasonal cycle of NH3 over the two years of measurement, with a 22.14 % yr-1 annual increase rate over the Hefei site. We used IASI satellite data to compare with the FTIR data, and the correlation coefficients (R) between the two datasets are 0.86 and 0.78 for IASI-A and IASI-B, respectively. The results demonstrate the IASI data are in broad agreement with our FTIR data. To examine the contribution of traffic to NH3 columns, we analyze the relationship of NH3 columns with CO surface concentrations. NH3 columns show high correlation (R = 0.77) with CO concentrations in summer, indicating that the elevated NH3 columns are partly caused by urban emissions from vehicles. Further, high correlation of NH3 columns with air temperature is obvious from their diurnal variation during the observation period. In addition, the clear correlation between NH3 columns and air temperature in spring and autumn over Hefei, suggests that agriculture was indeed the main source of ammonia in spring and autumn. Furthermore, the back trajectories of air masses calculated by the HYSPLIT model confirmed that agriculture was the dominant source of ammonia in spring, autumn and winter, while urban anthropogenic emissions contributed to the high level of NH3 in summer over the Hefei site. The potential source areas influencing the NH3 columns were distributed in the local area of Hefei, the northern part of Anhui province, as well as Shangdong, Jiangsu and Henan provinces. This study helps to identify the emission sources and potential sources that contribute to NH3 columns over Hefei, a highly populated and polluted area. This is the first time that ground-based FTIR remote sensing of NH3 columns and comparison with satellite data are reported in China.

Wei Wang et al.

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Short summary
Ground-based FTIR observations are used to obtain the total columns and vertical profiles of atmospheric NH3 at a measurement site in Hefei, China. The spatial distribution, temporal variation, seasonal trend, and emission sources of NH3 are analyzed. FTIR observations captured the seasonal cycle of NH3. The IASI data are in broad agreement with our FTIR data. This is the first time that ground-based FTIR remote sensing of NH3 columns and comparison with satellite data are reported in China.
Ground-based FTIR observations are used to obtain the total columns and vertical profiles of...
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