10 Feb 2023
 | 10 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Sources and sinks of carbonyl sulfide inferred from tower and mobile atmospheric observations

Alessandro Zanchetta, Linda Maria Johanna Kooijmans, Steven van Heuven, Andrea Scifo, Hubertus Scheeren, Ivan Mammarella, Ute Karstens, Jin Ma, Maarten Krol, and Huilin Chen

Abstract. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is a promising tracer for the estimation of terrestrial ecosystem gross primary production (GPP). However, understanding its non-GPP related sources and sinks, e.g., anthropogenic sources and soil sources and sinks, is also critical to the success of the approach. Here we infer the regional sources and sinks of COS using continuous in-situ mole fraction profile measurements of COS along the 60-m tall Lutjewad tower (1 m a.s.l., 53°24'N, 6°21'E) in the Netherlands. To identify potential sources that caused the observed enhancements of COS mole fractions at Lutjewad, both discrete flask samples and in-situ measurements in the province of Groningen were made on a mobile van using a quantum cascade laser spectrometer (QCLS). We also simulated the COS mole fractions at Lutjewad using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model combined with emission inventories and plant uptake fluxes. We determined the nighttime COS fluxes to be -3.0 ± 2.6 pmol m-2 s-1 using the radon-tracer correlation approach and Lutjewad observations. Furthermore, we identified and quantified several COS sources, including biodigesters, sugar production facilities, and silicon carbide production facilities in the province of Groningen. Moreover, the simulation results show that the observed COS enhancements can be partially explained by known industrial sources of COS and CS2, in particular from the Ruhr valley (51.5° N, 7.2° E) and Antwerp (51.2° N, 4.4° E) areas. The contribution of likely missing anthropogenic sources of COS and CS2 in the inventory may be significant. The impact of the identified sources in the province of Groningen is estimated to be negligible to the observed COS enhancements. However, in specific conditions, these sources may influence the measurements in Lutjewad. These results are valuable for improving our understanding of the sources and sinks of COS, contributing to the use of COS as a tracer for GPP.

Alessandro Zanchetta et al.

Status: open (until 24 Mar 2023)

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Alessandro Zanchetta et al.

Alessandro Zanchetta et al.


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Short summary
Carbonyl sulfide (COS) has been suggested as a tool to estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake by plants during photosynthesis. However, understanding its sources and sinks is critical to prevent biases in this estimate. Combining observations and models, this study proves regional sources to occasionally influence the measurements at the 60-m tall Lutjewad tower (1 m a.s.l., 53°24'N, 6°21'E) in the Netherlands. Moreover, it estimates nighttime COS fluxes to be -3.0 ± 2.6 pmol m-2 s-1.