TNA8: Access to AMO

WP Leader: Eiko Nemitz


Name of the infrastructure: Auchencorth Moss (AMO)
Location (town, country): 6 km S of Penicuik, UK; Longitude : 3°14’35’’ W, Latitude: 55°47’32’’ N, United Kingdom
Web site address: (the dedicated website is currently under construction)
Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: Natural Environment Research Council
Location of organisation (town, country): Edinburgh, Penicuik, United Kingdom
Annual operating costs (excl. investment costs) of the infrastructure (€): 284.908

Description of the infrastructure:
Auchencorth Moss (AMo) is an extensive Scottish blanket bog and forms one of the two UK Supersites under the EMEP monitoring programme of the UNECE/CLRTAP, monitoring concentrations of a wide range of gases and aerosol properties. The uniqueness of the measurements at Auchencorth focuses on two areas:

1. Micrometeorological measurements of surface / atmosphere exchange fluxes:
The site offers a unique fetch for micrometeorological flux measurements.
- Continuous flux measurements include NO, NO2, SO2, O3, CO2, CH4 using automated systems and soil exchange of N2O, CH4 and CO2 using manual cuvette sampling.
- AMO formed part of the CarboEurope and NitroEurope flux networks.
- Aerosol fluxes have been measured at this site on a campaign basis.
- Detailed characterisation of (micro-)meteorological parameters (turbulence, heat fluxes, radiation, temperature, humidity), incl. present weather sensor.

2. Real-time measurements of aerosol composition and reactive gases:
- Unique hourly measurements of inorganic aerosol composition of both PM2.5 and PM10 (NO3-, Cl-, SO42-, NH4+, Na+, ) and gas phase NH3, HNO3, HCl, SO2 are made continuously using a combined wet denuder / steam jet aerosol collector instrument (MARGA) and assessment of gas/aerosol equilibrium.
- Black carbon is measured continuously by MAAP
- Continuous measurement of PM2.5/PM10 aerosol mass (by TEOM/FDMS and daily gravimetric) and aerosol size-distribution (SMPS following EUSAAR protocol is being established from October 2010)
- A large range of C2-C7 organic precursor gases (VOCs) are measured at hourly time resolution; measurement of carbonyls according to EMEP protocol is being implemented
- Mercury is measured hourly in its three principal forms (elemental gaseous, reactive gaseous and
In addition AMo forms part of several UK monitoring networks, adding the following routine measurements:
- Acid Gas and Aerosol Monitoring Network (AGANET): monthly measurement of reactive gases and aerosol components with a low-cost denuder/filter pack sampler (gas-phase NH3, HNO3, HCl, HONO, SO2; aerosol phase NO3-, Cl-, SO42-, NH4+, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+)
- Daily wet-only measurement of rain chemistry and deposition, including organic nitrogen (semi-continuous).
- Rural Heavy Metal Monitoring Network (weekly concentration of 32 trace metals in PM10 and wet deposition)
- Toxic organic micro-pollutants (TOMP) (PCDDs, PCBs etc.) (1 day / week)
- PAH concentrations (weekly integrated sampling)

NERC/CEH, located only 10 km N of the field site, offers further state-of-the-art measurement technology, which has been applied at AMo during intensive campaign measurements and which can be requested for collaborative work at AMo. This includes PTR-MS for VOC flux measurements, Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS and Q-AMS), CIMS for reactive gases, tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer for CH4, N2O and NH3, gradient analysers for NH3 flux measurements, GRAEGOR gradient system for reactive gases and aerosol components, as well as ATOFMS and organic marker measurements (through sub-contract with Univ. Birmingham).

The long-term monitoring is conducted under the leadership of NERC/CEH with contributions from other UK research institutes such as AEA Technology, BureauVeritas, Univ. Birmingham and Univ. Edinburgh. AMo has hosted several collaborative field campaigns and CEH has recently hosted the largest ever field intercomparison of NH3 measurement techniques under the auspices of NitroEurope IP. AMo benefits from a satellite site (Easter Bush), near CEH, which provides the opportunity for contrasting flux measurements over an intensive pasture in the same climate.
The site offers an ideal opportunity to compare real-time chemical sensors for aerosol components (and gaseous precursors) against well established and maintained state-of-the-art instrumentation at this site. Due to the large fetch it also offers the unique opportunity to test flux measurement systems against NERC/CEH setups.

The monitoring of aerosol composition at a background site is a new requirement under the revised EU Air Quality Directive. Yet, measurement approaches tend to be poorly quality assured and harmonised. AMo will take a lead role in ACTRIS in organising workshops on Aerosol Speciation measurements, contributing to the development and testing of standard approaches, and hosting inter-comparison activities.

AMO has taken part in several international networking activities (e.g. EUCAARI/EMEP intensive measurement campaigns, NitroEurope IP, CarboEurope, ACCENT) and delivered high quality data.
A satellite site to AMo (Easter Bush), on the doorstep of NERC/CEH just 10 km N of AMo, also forms part of international networks (EMEP, NitroEurope IP, CarboEurope IP) and provides the opportunity to test and compare flux measurement approaches over a contrasting surface (agricultural grassland) with easy access.
While no aerosol monitoring is conducted here, a range of micrometeorological measurements is in place as well as ample power.

Due to its location, AMo experiences clean Atlantic air masses during much of the year. It thus provides a measurement of the background inflow into the European domain under westerly wind direction, while not being directly influenced by the marine environment. This provides valuable information for the ACTRIS network, and provides an interesting station to include in (pseudo) Lagrangian studies. At the same time AMo periodically experiences pollution episodes facilitating deposition flux measurements.

Proposals for work at AMo are expected to be closely linked to NA3 and NA4 and particularly address any of the following priority areas:
1. Flux measurements of aerosols or precursor gases (including instrument testing, calibration &
2. Measurement of aerosol composition and precursor gases.
3. Network activities requiring a NW European site, where local site management can be provided.
4. Inter-comparisons of instrumentation against state-of-the-art online measurement approaches.

Description of work

Modality of access under this project:
Applicants will be given the opportunity to conduct work at AMo in collaboration or independently, as long as local site rules and health and safety protocols are followed. In addition, it can be requested to make use of local site operators to operate instruments over longer periods of time or for sample switch-over, e.g. for inclusion of AMo into international measurement networks. Thus both intensive field campaigns and extensive low-level measurements can be accommodated.
There is the potential of designing international inter-comparison campaigns of measurement approaches (we recently hosted one for NH3 measurement), also in connection with other European activities, such as the EMEP Intensive Measurement Periods and the development of a new European standard for chemical aerosol speciation measurements.

Support offered under this project:
NERC/CEH will offer users the use of the site infrastructure (cabin space, instrument transport to remote site, electricity, broadband connection and provision of transport between CEH and AMo) as well as access to NERC/CEH measurement data. It will provide desk space, internet access and library access at CEH Edinburgh, 10 km north of AMo during their visit. Importantly, CEH will provide training and advice in the measurement of fluxes of reactive gases and aerosols and in the design of new measurement instrumentation. A limited number of specialised (campaign-based) measurements can be offered, based on the additional CEH instrumentation pool described above. Access will also extend to the AMo satellite site ‘Easter Bush’ for comparative flux measurements, if this of interest to visiting research groups.

Outreach of new users:
The opportunity to conduct work at AMo will be actively advertised not just through ACTRIS, but also within the flux community, e.g. through the upcoming project ACCENT+, the COST Action ES0804 (ABBA), IGBP/iLEAPS and FLUXNET. NERC will, in collaboration with other sites, provide training opportunities for the measurement of fluxes of reactive gases and aerosols, and aerosol inorganic speciation. The TNA access opportunities will furthermore be advertized on a dedicated station website to provide potential new users with timely, comprehensive information on the facilities available as well as the current research activities.

Review procedure under this project:
The selection of users will be performed by a single TNA selection panel and is described under the general ACTRIS procedure in section 2.1.6.

Unit of Access:
One unit of access corresponds to 1 full research person-working day (rwd) by a user accessing the
infrastructure (the minimum acceptable access is half a day). The access includes the use of the general infrastructure, on-site logistic support by the infrastructure staff, as well as technical and scientific support related to the use of the facility and data analysis. A confirmation of visit indicating the total quantity of access per user, countersigned by the access provider, is provided after each access.

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