Influence of gas-particle partitioning on ammonia and nitric acid fluxes above a deciduous forest in the Midwestern USA

Kristina Hansen, Lise Lotte Sørensen, Karen E. Hornsby, Eva Boegh, Sara C. Pryor

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Quantifying the atmosphere-biosphere exchange of reactive nitrogen gasses (including ammonia (NH3) and nitric acid (HNO3)) is crucial to assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, measuring the deposition of reactive nitrogen is challenging due to bi-directionality of the flux, and the dynamics of the chemical gas/aerosol equilibrium of NH3 and HNO3 (or other atmospheric acids) with aerosol-phase ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-). NH3 and HNO3 are both very reactive and typically exhibit higher deposition velocities than aerosol NH4+. Therefore, the phase partitioning between gas and aerosol phases can have a significant effect on local budgets and atmospheric transport distances (Nemitz et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2004).

In this study, fluxes of NH3, HNO3 and carbon dioxide (CO2) along with size-resolved N-aerosol concentrations are measured above the deciduous forest, Morgan Monroe State Forest (MMSF) in south-central Indiana (39°53’N, 86°25’W) during a field campaign. Two relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) systems are used to measure fluxes and concentrations of NH3 and HNO3 at 44 m. The NH3 REA system operates based on wet effluent diffusion denuders with detection by florescence and half-hourly flux measurements are calculated. HNO3 REA system is based on gas capture on sodium chloride (NaCl) coated denuders with subsequent analysis by ion-chromatography, and the resulting fluxes have a resolution of 3-4 hours. CO2 fluxes are measured by eddy covariance using a closed-path Licor LI-7500, while two MSP MOUDI-110 impactors are used to measure the 24-hourly average inorganic and 48 hourly averaged organic ion concentrations in 11 size bins, respectively, just above the canopy level (28 m).

The results of this field campaign are used to quantify the fluxes of NH3, HNO3, CO2 to/from the forest during the transition towards senescence, and to investigate process-level controls (e.g. the role of phase partitioning) on the exchange of reactive nitrogen between the forest and the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013 - Moscone Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 9 Dec 201313 Dec 2013


ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013
LocationMoscone Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
OtherAmerican Geophysical Union
Internet address

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