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Measuring eddy covariance fluxes of ammonia using tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy

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Field measurements of NH3 fluxes using an eddy covariance technique were made for a total of 60 days between July and September 2002 at an intensively managed grassland in Southern Scotland. The collected data demonstrate the suitability of a tuneable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) system coupled with a sonic anemometer for eddy covariance measurements. The novelty of these measurements is the application to ammonia, which has only become measurable using TDLAS techniques recently, because of its small ambient concentration. Data presented in this paper show typical features of the fluxes and concentration for the summer season. NH3 concentration and flux values are in a similar range to previous studies using flux gradient methods at the same field site, although the particularly wet season reduced the concentration of NH3 in the air. For an example day, measured NH3 fluxes ranged between –11 and 44 ng m–2 s–1 with an average value of 3.78 ng m–2 s–1 indicating a small net emission from the vegetation. Spectral analysis executed on the data shows the percentage of flux carried by the small eddies (from 0.2 to 2 m) suggesting that high detection frequency instruments are particularly suitable for estimating NH3 fluxes between atmosphere and vegetation.

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Correspondence to D. Famulari.

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Famulari, D., Fowler, D., Hargreaves, K. et al. Measuring eddy covariance fluxes of ammonia using tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy. Water Air Soil Pollut: Focus 4, 151–158 (2005).

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  • ammonia emissions
  • eddy covariance
  • micrometeorological measurements
  • tunable diode laser