22 Dec 2022
22 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Analysis of high gas concentration and flux measurements at Swiss Beromünster tall tower

Andreas Plach1,2, Rolf Rüfenacht3, Simone Kotthaus4, and Markus Leuenberger2,5 Andreas Plach et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna, Josef-Holaubek-Platz 2, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • 2Physics Institute, Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Federal Office for Meteorology and Climate MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland
  • 4Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
  • 5Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Hochschulstrasse 4, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. The main research goal of this paper is to identify the most likely source regions of pollution events at Beromünster, Switzerland. Trace gas concentration and flux observations are essential to investigate emission source regions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutants. Here we present an analysis of observations taken at an altitude of 212 m above ground at one of the few European tall towers located close to Beromünster, Switzerland (2017–2020). The relatively high observation height — especially for flux measurements — results in a large tower footprint, i.e., area sampled by the tower, predestined for a source analysis on a large scale. We identify high observations and analyze subsets of the concentrations and fluxes by atmospheric stability conditions (local vertical temperature gradient and atmospheric boundary layer height) to distinguish shorter from longer transport distances. And we split the data by prevailing wind direction as an additional separation of potential source regions. Furthermore, we perform inter-species correlation analyses and a parameterized Flux Footprint (FFP) estimation for the tower. We find that pollution events at Beromünster tower are not associated with local emission sources, but are transported from further away — most prominently from the Northeast (NE) and Southeast (SE), where Zurich and Luzern are located, respectively. All species concentrations are highly correlated during winter, while in summer only a limited inter-species correlation exists. The parameterized annual mean FFP shows an extent of roughly 50-x-25 km along and perpendicular to the main wind axis, respectively.

Andreas Plach et al.

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1019', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Jan 2023 reply

Andreas Plach et al.


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Short summary
Greenhouse gases emissions are contributing to global warming and it is essential to better understand where they originate from and how they are transported. In this study we analyze greenhouse gas observations at a Swiss tall tower where measurements are taken more than 200 m above ground and investigate their origin by looking at the condition of the atmosphere at the time of the observations. We find that most pollution at this site is caused from emissions transported from further away.