Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-409
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-409

  09 Nov 2020

09 Nov 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Uncertainty of the hourly average concentration values derived from non-continuous measurements

László Haszpra and Ernő Prácser László Haszpra and Ernő Prácser
  • Geodetic and Geophysical Institute, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Sopron, H-9400, Hungary

Abstract. Continental greenhouse gas monitoring networks extensively use tall towers for higher spatial representativeness. In most cases, several intakes are built along the tower to give information also on the vertical concentration profile of the components considered. Typically, a single gas analyzer is used, and the intake points are sequentially connected to the instrument. It involves that the continuous concentration signal is only sampled for discrete short periods at each intake points, which does not allow the perfect reconstruction of the original concentration variation. It increases the uncertainty of the calculated hourly averages usually used by the transport and budget models. The purpose of the study is to give the data users an impression on the potential magnitude of this kind of uncertainty, as well as how it depends on the number of intakes sampled, on the length of the sampling period at each intake, on the season, and on the time of the day. It presents how much improvement can be achieved using linear or spline interpolation between the measurement periods instead of the simple arithmetic averaging of the available measurements. Although the results presented here may be site-specific, the study calls attention to the potentially rather heterogeneous spatial and temporal distribution of the uncertainty of the hourly average concentration values derived from tall-tower measurements applying sequential sampling.

László Haszpra and Ernő Prácser

 
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

László Haszpra and Ernő Prácser

László Haszpra and Ernő Prácser

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Short summary
Most of the tall-tower GHG observatories applies a single gas analyzer for the sequential sampling of several intakes along the tower. The non-continuous sampling at each intake introduces excess uncertainty to the calculated hourly average concentrations used in several applications. Based on real-world measurements the paper systematically assesses this type of uncertainty.