Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 117–126

Temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes and profiles over a Central European city


  • R. Vogt
    • Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, University of Basel
  • A. Christen
    • Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, University of Basel
  • M. W. Rotach
    • Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • M. Roth
    • Department of GeographyNational University of Singapore
  • A. N. V. Satyanarayana
    • Department of GeographyNational University of Singapore

DOI: 10.1007/s00704-005-0149-9

Cite this article as:
Vogt, R., Christen, A., Rotach, M. et al. Theor. Appl. Climatol. (2006) 84: 117. doi:10.1007/s00704-005-0149-9


In Summer 2002 eddy covariance flux measurements of CO2 were performed over a dense urban surface. The month-long measurements were carried out in the framework of the Basel Urban Boundary Layer Experiment (BUBBLE). Two Li7500 open path analysers were installed at z/zH = 1.0 and 2.2 above a street canyon with zH the average building height of 14.6 m and z the height above street level. Additionally, profiles of CO2 concentration were sampled at 10 heights from street level up to 2 zH. The minimum and maximum of the average diurnal course of CO2 concentration at 2 zH were 362 and 423 ppmv in late afternoon and early morning, respectively. Daytime CO2 concentrations were not correlated to local sources, e.g. the minimum occurred together with the maximum in traffic load. During night-time CO2 is in general accumulated, except when inversion development is suppressed by frontal passages. CO2 concentrations were always decreasing with height and correspondingly, the fluxes – on average – always directed upward. At z/zH = 2.2 low values of about 3 µmol m−2 s−1 were measured during the second half of the night. During daytime average values reached up to 14 µmol m−2 s−1. The CO2 fluxes are well correlated with the traffic load, with their maxima occurring together in late afternoon. Daytime minimum CO2 concentrations fell below regional background values. Besides vertical mixing and entrainment, it is suggested that this is also due to advection of rural air with reduced CO2 concentration. Comparison with other urban observations shows a large range of differences among urban sites in terms of both CO2 fluxes and concentrations.

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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005