A modified micrometeorological gradient method for estimating O3 dry depositions over a forest canopy
- 1Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Canada
- 2School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
- 3School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Abstract. Small pollutant concentration gradients between levels above a plant canopy result in large uncertainties in estimated air–surface exchange fluxes when using existing micrometeorological gradient methods, including the aerodynamic gradient method (AGM) and the modified Bowen ratio method (MBR). A modified micrometeorological gradient method (MGM) is proposed in this study for estimating O3 dry deposition fluxes over a forest canopy using concentration gradients between a level above and a level below the canopy top, taking advantage of relatively large gradients between these levels due to significant pollutant uptake in the top layers of the canopy. The new method is compared with the AGM and MBR methods and is also evaluated using eddy-covariance (EC) flux measurements collected at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurement Site, Massachusetts, during 1993–2000. All three gradient methods (AGM, MBR, and MGM) produced similar diurnal cycles of O3 dry deposition velocity (Vd(O3)) to the EC measurements, with the MGM method being the closest in magnitude to the EC measurements. The multi-year average Vd(O3) differed significantly between these methods, with the AGM, MBR, and MGM method being 2.28, 1.45, and 1.18 times that of the EC, respectively. Sensitivity experiments identified several input parameters for the MGM method as first-order parameters that affect the estimated Vd(O3). A 10% uncertainty in the wind speed attenuation coefficient or canopy displacement height can cause about 10% uncertainty in the estimated Vd(O3). An unrealistic leaf area density vertical profile can cause an uncertainty of a factor of 2.0 in the estimated Vd(O3). Other input parameters or formulas for stability functions only caused an uncertainly of a few percent. The new method provides an alternative approach to monitoring/estimating long-term deposition fluxes of similar pollutants over tall canopies.