18 Jul 2022
18 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A modular field system enabling cavity ring-down spectroscopy of in-situ vapor observations in harsh environments: The ISE-CUBE system

Andrew Walter Seidl, Harald Sodemann, and Hans Christian Steen-Larsen Andrew Walter Seidl et al.
  • Geophysical Institute and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Over the last two decades, cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) has allowed for increasingly widespread, in-situ observations of trace gases in vapor, including the stable isotopic composition of water vapor. However, in-situ observation in harsh environments pose a particular challenge, as these CRDS analyzers are designed for use in a conventional laboratory. As such, field deployments typically enclose the instrument in a "quasi-laboratory". These deployments often involve substantial logistical effort, in addition to potentially affecting the measurement site, such as impacting flow conditions around near-surface processes. We designed the ISE-CUBE system as a modular CRDS deployment system for stable water isotope measurements, with a specific focus on observing near-surface processes. We tested the system during a two-week field campaign during Feb–March 2020 in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway, with ambient temperatures down to −30 °C, and winds gusting over 20 m s−1. The system functioned suitably throughout the campaign, with field periods exhibiting only a minimal decrease in isotopic measurement precision (δ18O: 0.06 ‰ & δD: 0.47 ‰) as compared to optimal laboratory operation. Having proven itself in challenging arctic conditions, the ISE-CUBE system can be readily adapted to the particular needs of future stable water isotope researchers, wherever their research aims might take them.

Andrew Walter Seidl et al.

Status: open (until 05 Sep 2022)

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Andrew Walter Seidl et al.

Andrew Walter Seidl et al.


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Short summary
It is challenging to make field measurements of stable water isotopes in the Arctic. To this end, we present a modular stable water isotope analyzer deployment system, the ISE-CUBEs. The system operated for a two week field campaign during the Arctic winter. We evaluate the system’s performance and analyze any potential impact that the field conditions might have had on the isotopic measurements.