Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 5.509 IF 5.509
  • IF 5-year value: 5.689 IF 5-year 5.689
  • CiteScore value: 5.44 CiteScore 5.44
  • SNIP value: 1.519 SNIP 1.519
  • SJR value: 3.032 SJR 3.032
  • IPP value: 5.37 IPP 5.37
  • h5-index value: 86 h5-index 86
  • Scimago H index value: 161 Scimago H index 161
Volume 17, issue 10 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 6197-6213, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-6197-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 22 May 2017

Research article | 22 May 2017

Temporal and spatial variability of ammonia in urban and agricultural regions of northern Colorado, United States

Yi Li1,a, Tammy M. Thompson2, Martin Van Damme3, Xi Chen1, Katherine B. Benedict1, Yixing Shao1, Derek Day2, Alexandra Boris1, Amy P. Sullivan1, Jay Ham4, Simon Whitburn3, Lieven Clarisse3, Pierre-François Coheur3, and Jeffrey L. Collett Jr.1 Yi Li et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere/NPS, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 3Atmospheric Spectroscopy, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium
  • 4Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • anow at: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Abstract. Concentrated agricultural activities and animal feeding operations in the northeastern plains of Colorado represent an important source of atmospheric ammonia (NH3). The NH3 from these sources contributes to regional fine particle formation and to nitrogen deposition to sensitive ecosystems in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), located  ∼ 80km to the west. In order to better understand temporal and spatial differences in NH3 concentrations in this source region, weekly concentrations of NH3 were measured at 14 locations during the summers of 2010 to 2015 using Radiello passive NH3 samplers. Weekly (biweekly in 2015) average NH3 concentrations ranged from 2.66 to 42.7µgm−3, with the highest concentrations near large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The annual summertime mean NH3 concentrations were stable in this region from 2010 to 2015, providing a baseline against which concentration changes associated with future changes in regional NH3 emissions can be assessed. Vertical profiles of NH3 were also measured on the 300m Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) tower throughout 2012. The highest NH3 concentration along the vertical profile was always observed at the 10m height (annual average concentration of 4.63µgm−3), decreasing toward the surface (4.35µgm−3) and toward higher altitudes (1.93µgm−3). The NH3 spatial distributions measured using the passive samplers are compared with NH3 columns retrieved by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) satellite and concentrations simulated by the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx). The satellite comparison adds to a growing body of evidence that IASI column retrievals of NH3 provide very useful insight into regional variability in atmospheric NH3, in this case even in a region with strong local sources and sharp spatial gradients. The CAMx comparison indicates that the model does a reasonable job simulating NH3 concentrations near sources but tends to underpredict concentrations at locations farther downwind. Excess NH3 deposition by the model is hypothesized as a possible explanation for this trend.

Download & links
Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation
Share