CO2 emission estimation in the urban environment: Measurement of the CO2 storage term

A. B. Bjorkegren*, C. S B Grimmond, S. Kotthaus, B. D. Malamud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


Eddy covariance has been used in urban areas to evaluate the net exchange of CO2 between the surface and the atmosphere. Typically, only the vertical flux is measured at a height 2-3 times that of the local roughness elements; however, under conditions of relatively low instability, CO2 may accumulate in the airspace below the measurement height. This can result in inaccurate emissions estimates if the accumulated CO2 drains away or is flushed upwards during thermal expansion of the boundary layer. Some studies apply a single height storage correction; however, this requires the assumption that the response of the CO2 concentration profile to forcing is constant with height. Here a full seasonal cycle (7th June 2012 to 3rd June 2013) of single height CO2 storage data calculated from concentrations measured at 10 Hz by open path gas analyser are compared to a data set calculated from a concurrent switched vertical profile measured (2 Hz, closed path gas analyser) at 10 heights within and above a street canyon in central London. The assumption required for the former storage determination is shown to be invalid. For approximately regular street canyons at least one other measurement is required. Continuous measurements at fewer locations are shown to be preferable to a spatially dense, switched profile, as temporal interpolation is ineffective. The majority of the spectral energy of the CO2 storage time series was found to be between 0.001 and 0.2 Hz (500 and 5 s respectively); however, sampling frequencies of 2 Hz and below still result in significantly lower CO2 storage values. An empirical method of correcting CO2 storage values from under-sampled time series is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-790
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Carbon dioxide
  • CO profile
  • CO storage
  • Urban environment
  • Wavelet analysis


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