22 Dec 2022
 | 22 Dec 2022

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

Andreas Plach, Rolf Rüfenacht, Simone Kotthaus, and Markus Leuenberger

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: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1019', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Jan 2023
    • AC1: 'Author's response to RC1 and RC2 on egusphere-2022-1019', Andreas Plach, 22 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1019', Dafina Kikaj, 31 Mar 2023
    • AC1: 'Author's response to RC1 and RC2 on egusphere-2022-1019', Andreas Plach, 22 May 2023
  • AC1: 'Author's response to RC1 and RC2 on egusphere-2022-1019', Andreas Plach, 22 May 2023

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.