Articles | Volume 11, issue 11
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 5263–5275, 2011
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 5263–5275, 2011

Research article 06 Jun 2011

Research article | 06 Jun 2011

Chemical sensor resolution requirements for near-surface measurements of turbulent fluxes

M. D. Rowe1,*, C. W. Fairall2, and J. A. Perlinger1 M. D. Rowe et al.
  • 1Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI, 49931, USA
  • 2NOAA/ESRL, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
  • *now at: US Environmental Protection Agency, 9311 Groh Rd., Grosse Ile, MI, 48138, USA

Abstract. Businger and Delany (1990) presented an approach to estimate the sensor resolution required to limit the contribution of the uncertainty in the chemical concentration measurement to uncertainty in the flux measurement to 10 % for eddy covariance, gradient, and relaxed eddy accumulation flux measurement methods. We describe an improvement to their approach to estimate required sensor resolution for the covariance method, and include disjunct eddy covariance. In addition, we provide data to support selection of a form for the dimensionless scalar standard deviation similarity function based on observations of the variance of water vapor fluctuations from recent field experiments. We also redefine the atmospheric parameter of Businger and Delany in a more convenient, dimensionless form. We introduce a "chemical parameter" based on transfer velocity parameterizations. Finally, we provide examples in which the approach is applied to measurement of carbon dioxide, dimethylsulfide, and hexachlorobenzene fluxes over water. The information provided here will be useful to plan field measurements of atmosphere-surface exchange fluxes of trace gases.

Final-revised paper