Articles | Volume 5, issue 6
Research article
01 Jun 2012
Research article |  | 01 Jun 2012

Comparison of methods for the determination of NO-O3-NO2 fluxes and chemical interactions over a bare soil

P. Stella, B. Loubet, P. Laville, E. Lamaud, M. Cazaunau, S. Laufs, F. Bernard, B. Grosselin, N. Mascher, R. Kurtenbach, A. Mellouki, J. Kleffmann, and P. Cellier

Abstract. Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a known greenhouse gas responsible for impacts on human and animal health and ecosystem functioning. In addition, O3 plays an important role in tropospheric chemistry, together with nitrogen oxides. The determination of surface-atmosphere exchange fluxes of these trace gases is a prerequisite to establish their atmospheric budget and evaluate their impact onto the biosphere. In this study, O3, nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) fluxes were measured using the aerodynamic gradient method over a bare soil in an agricultural field. Ozone and NO fluxes were also measured using eddy-covariance and automatic chambers, respectively. The aerodynamic gradient measurement system, composed of fast response sensors, was capable to measure significant differences in NO and O3 mixing ratios between heights. However, due to local advection, NO2 mixing ratios were highly non-stationary and NO2 fluxes were, therefore, not significantly different from zero. The chemical reactions between O3, NO and NO2 led to little ozone flux divergence between the surface and the measurement height (less than 1% of the flux on average), whereas the NO flux divergence was about 10% on average. The use of fast response sensors allowed reducing the flux uncertainty. The aerodynamic gradient and the eddy-covariance methods gave comparable O3 fluxes. The chamber NO fluxes were down to 70% lower than the aerodynamic gradient fluxes, probably because of either the spatial heterogeneity of the soil NO emissions or the perturbation due to the chamber itself.