Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 24409-24433, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Chemical sensor resolution requirements for near-surface measurements of turbulent fluxes
M. D. Rowe1,*, C. W. Fairall2, and J. A. Perlinger1
1Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA
2NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO, USA
*now at: US Environmental Protection Agency, Grosse Ile, MI, 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 the flux measurement uncertainty to 10% for eddy covariance, gradient, and relaxed eddy accumulation flux measurement methods. We describe an improvement to their approach to estimate required resolution for the covariance method. 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. To make the expression convenient for gas transfer applications, we introduce a "chemical parameter" based on the gas transfer (piston) velocity. Finally, we provide examples in which the approach is applied to measurement of carbon dioxide, dimethylsulfide, and hexachlorobenzene fluxes. The information provided here will be useful to plan field measurements of atmosphere-surface exchange fluxes of trace gases.

Citation: Rowe, M. D., Fairall, C. W., and Perlinger, J. A.: Chemical sensor resolution requirements for near-surface measurements of turbulent fluxes, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 24409-24433, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-24409-2010, 2010.
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