Articles | Volume 18, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 2011–2034, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-2011-2018

Special issue: Atmospheric emissions from oil sands development and their...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 2011–2034, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-2011-2018

Research article 13 Feb 2018

Research article | 13 Feb 2018

Contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources to ambient ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands and north-western Canada

Cynthia H. Whaley et al.

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Cited articles

Aneja, V., Bunton, B., Walker, J., and Malik, B.: Measurement and analysis of atmospheric ammonia emissions from anaerobic lagoons, Atmos. Environ., 35, 1949–1958, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1352-2310(00)00547-1, 2001. a, b
Asman, W. A. H., Sutton, M. A., and Schjorring, J. K.: Ammonia: emission, atmospheric transport and deposition, New Phytol., 139, 27–48, https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1469-8137.1998.00180.x, 1998. a, b
Ayres, J., Bittman, S., Girdhar, S., Sheppard, S., Niemi, D., Ratte, D., and Smith, P.: Chap. 5: Sources of Ammonia Emissions, in: The 2008 Canadian Atmospheric Assessment of Agricultural Ammonia, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, QC, Canada, 2009. a
Bash, J. O., Walker, J. T., Katul, G. G., Jones, M. R., Nemitz, E., and Robarge, W. P.: Estimation of In-Canopy Ammonia sources and sinks in a fertilized Zea mays field, Environ. Sci. Technol., 44, 1683–1689, https://doi.org/10.1021/es9037269, 2010. a
Bash, J. O., Cooter, E. J., Dennis, R. L., Walker, J. T., and Pleim, J. E.: Evaluation of a regional air-quality model with bidirectional NH3 exchange coupled to an agroecosystem model, Biogeosciences, 10, 1635–1645, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-1635-2013, 2013. a
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Short summary
Using a modified air quality forecasting model, we have found that a significant fraction (> 50 %) of ambient ammonia comes from re-emission from plants and soils in the broader Athabasca Oil Sands region and much of Alberta and Saskatchewan. We also found that about 20 % of ambient ammonia in Alberta and Saskatchewan came from forest fires in the summer of 2013. The addition of these two processes improved modelled ammonia, which was a motivating factor in undertaking this research.
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