Spatial, temporal and vertical distribution of ammonia concentrations over Europe – comparing a static and dynamic approach with WRF-Chem

M. Werner, M. Kryza, C. Geels, T. Ellermann, C. Ambelas Skjøth
2015 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The study focuses on the application of a dynamic ammonia emission into the Weather Research and Forecasting Chemistry model (WRF-Chem) and the influence on the simulated ammonia concentrations and the overall model performance. We have focused on agricultural ammonia sources and have analysed both hourly and daily patterns of ammonia emissions and concentrations at measurement sites located in agricultural areas or influenced by this activity. For selected
more » ... or selected episodes, we have also investigated the 3-D patterns of the ammonia concentrations in the atmosphere. The application of the dynamic ammonia emission into the WRF-Chem model (the "DYNAMIC" simulation) results in an improvement of the modelled daily ammonia concentrations in comparison to a static approach (the "BASE" simulation), which is currently widely used in chemical transport models. In the case of hourly resolution, we have observed an improvement for the DYNAMIC approach for the winter and autumn seasons, but for the entire year the modelled hourly ammonia peaks are shifted toward the afternoon hours if compared with measurements. This study indicates that the current description of the diurnal cycle of the ammonia concentration from fields is not accurate and more research is needed in order to improve the processes that describe the emission from fertilised fields. The results suggest that the governing processes in relation to the diurnal cycle are the atmospheric mixing and the emission strength. Therefore, an improved description of the diurnal profile of ammonia concentrations within atmospheric models requires a better description of the planetary boundary layer height and a stronger daily pattern of ammonia emission, e.g. through increased evaporation or increased fluxes from the surface.</p>
doi:10.5194/acpd-15-22935-2015 fatcat:n7cyoc4i4zamnemnj564qbhbfe