26 May 2023
 | 26 May 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Measurement report: Ammonia in Paris derived from ground-based open-path and satellite observations

Camille Viatte, Nadir Guendouz, Clarisse Dufaux, Arjan Hensen, Daan Swart, Martin Van Damme, Lieven Clarisse, Pierre Coheur, and Cathy Clerbaux

Abstract. Ammonia (NH3) is an important air pollutant which, as precursor of fine particulate matter, raises public health issues. This study analyzes 2.5-years of NH3 observations derived from ground-based (miniDOAS) and satellite (IASI) remote sensing instruments to quantify, for the first time, temporal variabilities (from interannual to diurnal) of NH3 concentrations in Paris.

The IASI and miniDOAS datasets are found to be in relatively good agreement (R > 0.70) when atmospheric NH3 concentrations are high and driven by regional agricultural activities. Over the investigated period (January 2020–June 2022), NH3 average concentrations in Paris measured by the miniDOAS and IASI are 2.23 μg.m−3 and 7.10 × 1015−2, respectively, which are lower or equivalent to those documented in urban areas. The seasonal and monthly variabilities of NH3 concentrations in Paris are driven by sporadic agricultural emissions influenced by meteorological conditions, with NH3 concentrations in spring up to 2 times higher than in other seasons.

The potential source contribution function (PSCF) reveals that the close (100–200 km) east and northeast regions of Paris constitute the most important potential emission source areas of NH3 in the megacity.

Weekly cycles of NH3 derived from satellite and ground-based observations show different ammonia sources in Paris. In spring, agriculture has a major influence on ammonia concentrations and, in the other seasons, multi-platform observations suggest that ammonia is also controlled by traffic-related emissions.

In Paris, the diurnal cycle of NH3 concentrations is very similar to the one of NO2, with morning enhancements coincident with intensified road traffic. NH3 evening enhancements synchronous with rush hours are also monitored in winter and fall. NH3 concentrations measured during the weekends are consistently lower than NH3 concentrations measured during weekdays in summer and fall. This is a further evidence of a significant traffic source of NH3 in Paris.

Camille Viatte et al.

Status: open (until 07 Jul 2023)

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Camille Viatte et al.

Data sets

IASI BC data AM Viatte Camille

Camille Viatte et al.


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Short summary
Ammonia (NH3) is an important air pollutant which, as precursor of fine particulate matter, raises public health issues. Models have difficulty predicting events of pollution associated with NH3 since ground-based observations of this gas are still relatively sparse and difficult to implement. We present the first relatively long (2.5-years) and continuous record of hourly NH3 concentrations in Paris to determine its temporal variabilities at different scales to unravel emission sources.