Articles | Volume 7, issue 7
Research article
23 Jul 2014
Research article |  | 23 Jul 2014

A tethered-balloon PTRMS sampling approach for surveying of landscape-scale biogenic VOC fluxes

J. P. Greenberg, J. Peñuelas, A. Guenther, R. Seco, A. Turnipseed, X. Jiang, I. Filella, M. Estiarte, J. Sardans, R. Ogaya, J. Llusia, and F. Rapparini

Abstract. Landscape-scale fluxes of biogenic gases were surveyed by deploying a 100 m Teflon tube attached to a tethered balloon as a sampling inlet for a fast-response proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTRMS). Along with meteorological instruments deployed on the tethered balloon and a 3 m tripod and outputs from a regional weather model, these observations were used to estimate landscape-scale biogenic volatile organic compound fluxes with two micrometeorological techniques: mixed layer variance and surface layer gradients. This highly mobile sampling system was deployed at four field sites near Barcelona to estimate landscape-scale biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission factors in a relatively short period (3 weeks).

The two micrometeorological techniques were compared with emissions predicted with a biogenic emission model using site-specific emission factors and land-cover characteristics for all four sites. The methods agreed within the uncertainty of the techniques in most cases, even though the locations had considerable heterogeneity in species distribution and complex terrain. Considering the wide range in reported BVOC emission factors for individual vegetation species (more than an order of magnitude), this temporally short and inexpensive flux estimation technique may be useful for constraining BVOC emission factors used as model inputs.