Uncertainty of hourly-average concentration values derived from non-continuous measurements

Haszpra, László; Prácser, Ernő

Continental greenhouse gas monitoring networks extensively use tall towers for higher spatial representativeness. In most cases, several intakes are built along the tower to give information also on the vertical concentration profile of the components considered. Typically, a single gas analyzer is used, and the intake points are sequentially connected to the instrument. It involves that the continuous concentration signal is only sampled for discrete short periods at each intake point, which does not allow for a perfect reconstruction of the original concentration variation. It increases the uncertainty of the calculated hourly averages usually used by the atmospheric transport and budget models. The purpose of the study is to give the data users an impression of the potential magnitude of this kind of uncertainty, as well as how it depends on the number of intakes sampled, on the length of the sampling period at each intake, on the season, and on the time of the day. It presents how much improvement can be achieved using linear or spline interpolation between the measurement periods instead of the simple arithmetic averaging of the available measurements. Although the results presented here may be site-specific, the study calls attention to the potentially rather heterogeneous spatial and temporal distribution of the uncertainty of the hourly-average concentration values derived from tall-tower measurements applying sequential sampling.

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Haszpra, László / Prácser, Ernő: Uncertainty of hourly-average concentration values derived from non-continuous measurements. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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