Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Agricultural Air Quality

Publication Date



Lidar technology offers the ability to quantify concentrations of small particulates in the atmosphere in certain ranges of time and space. While this is a valuable tool to visualize the behavior of plumes emitted from the surface, the actual flux of particles cannot be estimated from such data alone. To determine the mass flux of particles, the concentrations must be properly integrated with wind and turbulence properties. The goal of this study is to utilize a model that uses wind and particle density information to calculate the flux of particles from an animal facility near Ames, Iowa. The model is a simplified conservation equation for particle density in the atmosphere. This approach essentially quantifies fluxes in and out of a box centered over the facility and estimates the surface source by assuming conservation of mass. In addition, we hypothesize that distinct turbulence structures will sometimes interact with the intermittency of the surface emission from the buildings, resulting in episodic changes in emission fluxes from the site. A second objective involves documenting how intermittent the emission plumes are and how they are connected to periodic large scale turbulence events. Lidar data of particle size and density in the vicinity of the site were collected during an intensive field campaign lasting nearly 2 weeks. In addition to the lidar data, turbulence data were measured at several levels on each of three towers, located upwind, inside and downwind of the source area. The model requires measurements of the vertical profiles of both concentrations of particulates and the mean horizontal wind. The concentrations were measured using the lidar, while winds were measured using a combination of cup anemometers and sonic anemometers. This allows the emission fluxes to be calculated during 15 to 30 minute periods when winds are consistent. Flux calculations await the final calibration of the lidar returns using measured particle densities. Flux estimates will be made when distinct plumes are observed under steady-state wind conditions. Current results are presented showing evidence of episodic plumes of CO2 in response to intermittent vertical motions of turbulences.