Articles | Volume 4, issue 10
Research article
25 Oct 2011
Research article |  | 25 Oct 2011

Evaluation of the flux gradient technique for measurement of ozone surface fluxes over snowpack at Summit, Greenland

F. Bocquet, D. Helmig, B. A. Van Dam, and C. W. Fairall

Abstract. A multi-step procedure for investigating ozone surface fluxes over polar snow by the tower gradient method was developed and evaluated. These measurements were then used to obtain five months (April–August 2004) of turbulent ozone flux data at the Summit research camp located in the center of the Greenland ice shield. Turbulent fluxes were determined by the gradient method incorporating tower measurements of (a) ozone gradients measured by commercial ultraviolet absorption analyzers, (b) ambient temperature gradients using aspirated thermocouple sensors, and (c) wind speed gradients determined by cup anemometers. All gradient instruments were regularly inter-compared by bringing sensors or inlets to the same measurement height. The developed protocol resulted in an uncertainty on the order of 0.1 ppbv for 30-min averaged ozone gradients that were used for the ozone flux calculations. This protocol facilitated a lower sensitivity threshold for the ozone flux determination of ∼8 × 10−3μg m−2 s−1, respectively ∼0.01 cm s−1 for the ozone deposition velocity for typical environmental conditions encountered at Summit. Uncertainty in the 30-min ozone exchange measurements (evaluated by the Monte Carlo statistical approach) was on the order of 10−2 cm s−1. This uncertainty typically accounted to ~20–100% of the ozone exchange velocities that were determined. These measurements are among the most sensitive ozone deposition determinations reported to date. This flux experiment allowed for measurements of the relatively low ozone uptake rates encountered for polar snow, and thereby the study of their environmental and spring-versus-summer dependencies.