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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 9
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1821–1840, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1821–1840, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Sep 2011

Research article | 09 Sep 2011

Determination of field scale ammonia emissions for common slurry spreading practice with two independent methods

J. Sintermann1, C. Ammann1, U. Kuhn1,*, C. Spirig1,**, R. Hirschberger2, A. Gärtner3, and A. Neftel1 J. Sintermann et al.
  • 1Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART – Air Pollution and Climate, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Engineering consultants Niemann and Partner, University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  • 3Northrhine-Westphalian Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection, Recklinghausen, Germany
  • *now at: Institut für Energie- und Klimaforschung Troposphäre (IEK-8) Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • **now at: Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. At a cropland and a grassland site field scale ammonia (NH3) emissions from slurry application were determined simultaneously by two approaches based on (i) eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements using high temperature Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (HT-CIMS) and on (ii) backward Lagrangian Stochastic (bLS) dispersion modelling using concentration measurements by three optical open path Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) systems. Slurry was spread on the fields in sequential tracks over a period of one to two hours. In order to calculate field emissions, measured EC/HT-CIMS fluxes were combined with flux footprint analysis of individual slurry spreading tracks to parameterise the NH3 volatilisation with a bi-exponential time dependence. Accordingly, track-resolved concentration footprints for the FTIR measurements were calculated using bLS. A consistency test with concentrations measured by impingers showed very low systematic deviations for the EC/HT-CIMS results (<8%) but larger deviations for the bLS/FTIR results. For both slurry application events, the period during fertilisation and the subsequent two hours contributed by more than 80% to the total field emissions. Averaged over the two measurement methods, the cumulated emissions of the first day amounted to 17 ± 3% loss of applied total ammoniacal nitrogen over the cropland and 16 ± 3% over the grassland field.

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