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Title: Quantifying the local influence at a tall tower site in nocturnal conditions

The influence of the local terrestrial environment on nocturnal atmospheric CO2 measurements at a 329-m television transmitter tower (and a component of a CO2 monitoring network) was estimated with a tracer release experiment and a subsequent simulation of the releases. This was done to characterize the vertical transport of emissions from the surface to the uppermost tower level and how it is affected by atmospheric stability. The tracer release experiment was conducted over two nights in May of 2009 near the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. Tracer was released on two contrasting nights—slightly stable and moderately stable—from several upwind surface locations. Measurements at the 329-m level on both nights indicate that tracer was able to mix vertically within a relatively short (~24 km) distance, implying that nocturnal stable conditions do not necessarily prevent vertical dispersion in the boundary layer and that CO2 measurements at the tower are at least partly influenced by nearby emissions. A simulation of the tracer release is used to calculate the tower footprint on the two nights to estimate the degree to which the local domain affects the tower readings. The effect of the nocturnal boundary layer on the area sampledmore » by the tower can be seen clearly, as the footprints were affected by changes in stability. The contribution of local sources to the measurements at the tower was minimal, however, suggesting that nocturnal concentrations at upper levels are contributed mostly by regional sources.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0177-798X; PII: 1648
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Theoretical and Applied Climatology (Austria)
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States