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Greenhouse Gases Measured from Instrumented Communication Towers

Submitted by ORNL DAAC Staff on
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A communication tower at the Wessington, South Dakota.
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The communication tower at the Wessington, South Dakota site. This site was instrumented from January of 2017 to September of 2019.

ACT-America: L1 In Situ CO2, CO, and CH4 Concentrations from Towers, Eastern USA

This dataset from the Atmospheric Carbon and Transport - America (ACT-America) project provides Level 1 (L1) in situ atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methane (CH4) concentrations as measured on a network of instrumented communications towers across the central and eastern USA. Eleven towers were instrumented with cavity ring-down spectrometers (CRDS; Picarro Inc.) with measurements beginning in January 2015 and continuing to October 2019. The Picarro analyzers continuously measured total CH4, isotopic ratio of CH4, CO2, CO, and other greenhouse gas concentrations. Tower location, elevation, instrument height, and date/time information are also provided. Determination of greenhouse gas fluxes and uncertainty bounds is essential for the evaluation of the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. These L1 data are raw instrument outputs from the Picarro instruments. A Level 2 (L2) product derived from this L1 data is available and generally the preferred data for most use cases.

The ACT-America mission spanned five years and included field campaigns covering all four seasons over central and eastern regions of the United States. ACT-America's objectives were to study the transport and fluxes of atmospheric CO2 and CH4. Two instrumented aircraft platforms, the NASA Langley Beechcraft B-200 King Air and the NASA Wallops Flight Facility's C-130 Hercules, were used to collect high-quality in situ measurements across a variety of continental surfaces and atmospheric conditions. At times they flew directly under Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) overpasses to evaluate the ability of OCO-2 to observe high-resolution atmospheric CO2 variations. The C-130 aircraft was also equipped with active remote sensing instruments for planetary boundary layer height detection and column greenhouse gas measurements.

Additional data from ACT-America and other relevant links can be found on the ORNL DAAC's ACT-America Project Page.

Data Citation: Miles, N.L. 2020. ACT-America: L1 In Situ CO2, CO, and CH4 Concentrations from Towers, Eastern USA. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1798