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Exchange between Atmosphere and Underlying Surface


Investigations of Gas and Aerosol Exchange Between the Atmosphere and Underlying Surface Using New Instruments with Fast time response

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-THE/Physical and Theoretical Chemistry/Chemistry
  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryzhova T B

Leading Institute
Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS, Russia, Moscow\nInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, Russia, Moscow


  • Umveltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle GmbH, Germany, Leipzig\nYork University, School of Analytic Studies and Information Technology
  • Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, Canada, ON, Toronto\nUniversity of Graz / Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics and Meteorology, Austria, Graz\nTNO, The Netherlands, Apeldoorn

Project summary

The aims of the Project are as follows:
  1. design of specialized gas-analyzing instrumentation based on semiconductor chemical sensors characterized by high sensitivity, accuracy and speed of operation and intended for pulsation measurements of the atmospheric concentrations of ozone, nitrogen oxides, and water vapor;
  2. complex monitoring of gas, aerosol, and dynamic characteristics of atmosphere in regions characterized by different anthropogenic situations based on the specialized high-speed instrumentation;
  3. study of characteristics of the processes of gas and aerosol exchange between the atmosphere and underlying surface and parameterization of these characteristics;
  4. design of a model of ozone dry deposition with regard to fast gaseous reactions and ozone sink at aerosol.

A simultaneous study of a great number of the atmospheric interconnected chemical and dynamic processes by using modern approaches, computation techniques and procedures, and instrumentation providing combined monitoring of all interacting components is necessary to forecast the effect of the atmospheric-state variations on the Earth's ecosystems and climate. The measurement of mean characteristic values is insufficient for the description of the majority of the processes (fast chemical reactions, turbulent transport, and sinks). Synchronous measurements of pulsation components of all interconnected chemical and dynamic variables are also necessary. By now, highly accurate procedures for synchronous pulsation measurements of components of the wind speed, heat, and solar radiation are developed on the basis of the eddycorrelation method. These procedures are to be supplemented with pulsation measurements of the concentrations of chemical substances reacting with each other. Fast ozone pulsations are of special interest because the adequate understanding of the mechanisms of the ozone action on the flora and fauna and of ozone generation, transformation, and sinking in the atmospheric surface layer are connected with the study of these pulsations. Only scarce information on measurements of the fast atmospheric ozone pulsations is available. Investigations of the ozone pulsations are hampered because notions on the mechanisms of their origination are hypothetical and appropriate instrumentation is unavailable. The requirements imposed on the instruments intended for pulsation measurements of gas pollutants are determined by the scale of the turbulence under measurements: for pulsation measurements of the ozone flows in the atmospheric surface layer, a diminutive sensor that does not deteriorate the aerodynamics of flows, reproduces a frequency band of 0 - 2 Hz, and has a high (several tens of ppt) measurement accuracy is necessary.

This project represents a proposal for designing gas-analyzing instrumentation intended for pulsation measurements of ozone and nitrogen oxides based on semiconductor chemical sensors. At present, semiconductor chemical sensors are, apparently, unique sensors corresponding to all the above-listed requirements. Preliminary field experiments showed that the semiconductor sensors designed in the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry can be used for measurement of a wide spectrum of temporal variations contributing to the turbulent ozone flows. A solution of the problem of designing the analyzers for pulsation measurements of ozone and other gaseous pollutants (NOx) makes it possible to study the fast chemical reactions under the conditions of developed turbulence and to obtain values of the characteristic parameters of the processes of transport and sinking of atmospheric gaseous pollutants to aerosol particles and to the underlying surface. At present, quantitative information on these characteristic parameters is almost unavailable. We suppose to use this new instrumentation as a constituent of a specialized instrumentation unit intended for synchronous measurements of pulsations of the concentrations of ozone and nitrogen oxides (NOx) capable of interacting with each other, meteorological parameters, and aerosol concentrations. This equipment can be used in an off-line operation regime in the ambient air under any weather conditions or as a section of the realized polyfunctional measuring unit, such as the gas–aerosol unit of the Oboukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics and the mobile observatory (carriage-laboratory) operating in the framework of the International TROICA expeditions. Location of the specialized equipment within the mobile unit consisting of the carriage-laboratory and a car gives a possibility to widen significantly the scale of measurements in different ecological zones, including boreal forests and regions with ecosystems depressed and degraded by enterprises of chemical, oil-chemical, and nuclear industry. Pulsation measurements are to allow the monitoring of short-scale plums of polluted air during fast movement of the leading train.

The success of this project is provided by a significant experience of its participants in studies and simulation of the processes of turbulent transport of pollutants in the atmospheric surface layer, in simulation of fast chemical reactions within turbulent flows, in monitoring of atmospheric gas and aerosol components, in designing of semiconductor chemical sensors and gas analyzers based on such sensors, in studies of the mechanisms of elementary steps of hetero-phase processes, and in simulation of processes of ozone formation in impulse high-voltage discharges. The long-term experience accumulated as a result of the cooperative atmospheric studies performed by the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry and the Oboukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics in the framework of the International TROICA experiments provides reasons for confidence in the success of this project.

Realization of the project includes designing of a new gas-analyzing instrumentation and its application as a constituent of a gas–aerosol instrumentation unit intended for synchronous monitoring of the gas and aerosol components and dynamics of the atmosphere of different climatic and ecological zones, for formation of the database of parameters characterizing the processes of gas and aerosol exchange between the atmosphere and underlying surface, simulation of the processes of ozone transport and sinking to aerosol and the underlying surface.

The expected results of the project realization are: operable pilot gas-analyzing instrumentation; technical documentation and software for the designed instrumentation; procedures for monitoring of chemical components and dynamic parameters of the atmosphere on the basis of the eddycorrelation method; database of atmospheric monitoring in regions characterized by different anthropogenic situations; database of parameters characterizing the gas and aerosol exchange between the atmosphere and underlying surface for different meteorological conditions, types of the underlying surface, and the level of atmospheric pollution; and a model of the turbulent transport and dry deposition of ozone to the underlying surface with regard to the fast gaseous reactions and ozone sink at aerosol.

This project represents a comprehensive study composed of fundamental investigations in the fields of atmospheric, physical, and analytical chemistry and the solution of applied problems. The obtained characteristics of the gas and aerosol exchange between the atmosphere and underlying surface can be used as the input parameters for transport and photochemical models of the atmosphere and for global climatic models. In the case of examination of the gas-analyzing instrumentation developed according to this project, this result can be considered as the basis for the line production of this instrumentation. Upon completion of this project, the Horiba, Thermo-Environment, Sci-Tech Corporations and others producing network instrumentation for meteorological stations and for stations of atmospheric monitoring will receive our proposals relative to the line production of the instrumentation developed in the framework of this project. We intend to design the corresponding scientific and technical documentation for these corporations. Upon completion of this project, we will submit a proposal to the International Standardization Organization (ISO) to develop a new international standard for measurements of the ozone concentration in the atmospheric surface layer and of the ozone flows to the underlying surface using the method of semiconductor sensors. The gas-analyzing instrumentation developed according to this project can be applied not only for atmospheric monitoring, but also for monitoring the ozone and nitrogen oxides contents in industrial equipment and in the atmosphere over working areas of water-treatment plants, bleaching and chemical enterprises and for gathering the mobile laboratories and fast response systems intended for identification of the sources and sinks of atmospheric pollutants in extreme situations connected with ecological and man-caused catastrophes. The spectrum of pollutants that can be analyzed by using semiconductor sensors can be significantly widened in future. The development of highly sensitive and fast-response sensors and of gas analyzers designed on their basis corresponds to the tasks connected with the modern period of passage to the market economy.

There are several scientists among the participants of the project, who earlier participated in studies aimed at solution of defense problems. The activity planned in the framework of this project is directed primarily to solution of national and international scientific and technical problems of environmental protection. This project supports fundamental and applied studies developing in the context of peaceful policy and promoting the scientific and technological advance in the field of environmental monitoring and forecasting the impact of atmospheric pollution on the ecosystems and climate. Thus, this project fully corresponds to the aims and objects of the International Science and Technology Center.

In the course of the work on this project, scientific laboratories of Russia are to communicate with scientific co-laboratories of other countries and are to provide them with technical reports, pilot sensors, and instruments intended for independent examinations. We are planning to propose to our collaborators to perform a cross validation of the data obtained in the framework of the project, to visit the laboratories, to participate in prospective field examinations of new instruments, to organize international workshops, and to participate in joint expeditions aimed at atmospheric monitoring.


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