Ammonia emissions from a grazed field estimated by miniDOAS measurements and inverse dispersion modelling

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Bell, Michael ; Flechard, Christophe ; Fauvel, Yannick ; Häni, Christoph ; Sintermann, Jörg ; Jocher, Markus ; Menzi, Harald ; Hensen, Arjan ; Neftel, Albrecht (2016)
  • Journal: (issn: 1867-8548, eissn: 1867-8548)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5194/amt-10-1875-2017, doi: 10.5194/amt-2016-350
  • Subject: Agricultural sciences | ammoniac | exploitation laitière | Meteorology | Météorologie | modèle stochastique | azote | Sciences agricoles | émission de gaz | pâturage | batiment | modèle de dispersion

Ammonia (NH<sub>3</sub>) fluxes were estimated from a field being grazed by dairy cattle during spring, by applying a backward-Lagrangian Stochastic model (bLS) model combined with horizontal concentration gradients measured across the field. Continuous concentration measurements at field boundaries were made by open-path miniDOAS (differential optical absorption spectroscopy) instruments, during the cattle’s presence and for 6 subsequent days. The deposition of emitted NH<sub>3</sub> to ‘clean’ patches on the field was also simulated, allowing both ‘net’ and ‘gross’ emission estimates, where the dry deposition velocity (<i>v</i><sub><i>d</i></sub>) was predicted by a canopy resistance (<i>R<sub>c</sub></i>) model developed from local NH<sub>3</sub> flux and meteorological measurements. Estimated emissions peaked during grazing and decreased after the cattle had left the field, while control on emissions was observed from covariance with temperature, wind speed and humidity/wetness measurements made on the field, revealing a diurnal emission profile. Large concentration differences were observed between downwind receptors, due to spatially heterogeneous emission patterns. This was caused by uneven cattle distribution and a low grazing density, where ‘hotspots’ of emissions would arise as the cattle grouped in certain areas, such as around the water trough. The spatial complexity was accounted for by separating the model source area into sub-sections, and optimising individual source area coefficients to measured concentrations. The background concentration was the greatest source of uncertainty, and based on a sensitivity/uncertainty analysis the overall uncertainty associated with derived emission factors from this study is at least 30&ndash;40&thinsp;%. Emission factors can be expressed as 6&thinsp;±&thinsp;2&thinsp;g&thinsp;NH<sub>3</sub>&thinsp;cow<sup>&minus;1</sup>&thinsp;day<sup>&minus;1</sup>, or 9&thinsp;±&thinsp;3&thinsp;% of excreted urine-N emitted as NH<sub>3</sub>, when deposition is not simulated, and 7&thinsp;±&thinsp;2&thinsp;g&thinsp;NH<sub>3</sub>&thinsp;cow<sup>&minus;1</sup>&thinsp;day<sup>&minus;1</sup>, or 10&thinsp;±&thinsp;3&thinsp;% excreted urine-N emitted as NH<sub>3</sub> when deposition is included in the gross emission model. The results suggest that around 14&thinsp;±&thinsp;4&thinsp;% of emitted NH<sub>3</sub> was deposited to patches within the field that were not affected by urine or dung.
Share - Bookmark