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Identification of micro-scale anthropogenic CO2, heat and moisture sources – processing eddy covariance fluxes for a dense urban environment

Kotthaus, S. and Grimmond, C. S. B. ORCID: (2012) Identification of micro-scale anthropogenic CO2, heat and moisture sources – processing eddy covariance fluxes for a dense urban environment. Atmospheric Environment, 57. pp. 301-316. ISSN 1352-2310

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.04.024


Anthropogenic emissions of heat and exhaust gases play an important role in the atmospheric boundary layer, altering air quality, greenhouse gas concentrations and the transport of heat and moisture at various scales. This is particularly evident in urban areas where emission sources are integrated in the highly heterogeneous urban canopy layer and directly linked to human activities which exhibit significant temporal variability. It is common practice to use eddy covariance observations to estimate turbulent surface fluxes of latent heat, sensible heat and carbon dioxide, which can be attributed to a local scale source area. This study provides a method to assess the influence of micro-scale anthropogenic emissions on heat, moisture and carbon dioxide exchange in a highly urbanized environment for two sites in central London, UK. A new algorithm for the Identification of Micro-scale Anthropogenic Sources (IMAS) is presented, with two aims. Firstly, IMAS filters out the influence of micro-scale emissions and allows for the analysis of the turbulent fluxes representative of the local scale source area. Secondly, it is used to give a first order estimate of anthropogenic heat flux and carbon dioxide flux representative of the building scale. The algorithm is evaluated using directional and temporal analysis. The algorithm is then used at a second site which was not incorporated in its development. The spatial and temporal local scale patterns, as well as micro-scale fluxes, appear physically reasonable and can be incorporated in the analysis of long-term eddy covariance measurements at the sites in central London. In addition to the new IMAS-technique, further steps in quality control and quality assurance used for the flux processing are presented. The methods and results have implications for urban flux measurements in dense urbanised settings with significant sources of heat and greenhouse gases.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:33535

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