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Huidige versie begroting CeCIOMA

Dit is mijn versie aan het einde van 2-8-2011, sinds 31-7 alleen een paar toevoegingen aan het einde. Commentaar is op ieder moment welkom!

Centre for Continuous Innovation of Observation Methods for the Atmosphere (CeCIOMA)

Science case
Reliable, trustworthy observations in the atmosphere are the conditio sine qua non for the ICOS operation as a whole.
For atmospheric concentration (or, more correctly, mixing ratio) measurements, the accuracy of the measurement result is of utmost importance: accurate and well-maintained calibration, a reliable preferably linear behaviour, drifts as small as possible, etc. For Eddy covariance measurements, high temporal resolution, linearity and precision are the most important aspects. For both fields, methods should also be economical, which includes purchase and installation costs, but most of all low, as well as low-tech, maintenance.
Greenhouse gas measurement equipment has seen an impressive development recently, with the introduction of optical cavity ringdown techniques as an indisputable highlight. Nevertheless, for still only few of all the potentially useful observables the measurement methods currently on the market meet the above requirements. For Eddy covariance, only CO2 (and water vapour) has become a routine measurement, whereas for atmospheric concentration measurements one can argue that none of the measurements are low maintenance as of yet, although CO2 and CH4 concentration measurements are about to reach this stadium.
In research stations, however, an enormous suite of greenhouse gas concentrations and related other atmospheric constituents are being observed: concentrations of CO2 and CH4 (and N2O and SF6), but also atmospheric Oxygen, CO and Rn are being measured in a (quasi-)continuous fashion. All of these observations contribute significantly to the quantification (gross and net processes) of the carbon cycle and its human perturbation. This comes, however, at the cost of high use of reference gases and other materials, frequent calibration, and, most of all, continuous attention of researchers. Yet other observables, such as CO2 and CH4 stable isotopes, and 14CO2, can so far only be performed in laboratories, and samples (either grab sample type or integrated ones) need to be taken at the stations and transported to the laboratory. For Eddy covariance, fast CH4 and N2O measurements are state of the art, and their use by research groups is still non-standard.
The above list is far from complete; it serves the goal to show that innovations in atmospheric measurements are still much needed, in order to make atmospheric monitoring stations more versatile in the sense that they can be equipped with an extended set of measurements.
For all ICOS-nl partner groups involved in observations instrument and method development is an important part of the carbon cycle-related research program. This development can be sorted in two classes:
(1) Make (commercial and home-built) instrumentation suited for the necessary high-quality observations, compare different instruments, test their quality extensively and implement improvements, design proper protocols with minimisation of maintenance, costs, etc.
(2) Design and develop entirely new measurement methods.

Category (1) type of research is being performed by all observational ICOS-nl partners (ECN, VU, WUR and RUG), whereas category (2) research takes place at UU and RUG.
Within ICOS-nl, we propose to bundle category (1) work in the CeCIOMA. For Category (2), we will intensify co-operation between UU and RUG.

For category (1), work, the CeCIOMA at RUG will be the focal point of work. New space for dedicated laboratories will be made available, with substantial support by the Faculty and University Board. Many facilities are already in place, such as a clean air cylinder pumping facility and the “Zernike” atmospheric test site. These facilities will be extended by the basics needed for especially optical instruments and experiments (optical tables, equipment and tools), as well as advanced, taylor-made testing equipment, such as chambers for programmed temperature, pressure and humidity variation at a certain, known, CO2 concentration. The laboratory will be designed such that the moving in and out of equipment is optimally facilitated. ICOS-NL will provide the laboratory with a research technician position, post-doctoral researchers and Ph.D. students. The scientific leader of the CeCIOMA laboratory and its experiments will be a tenure track scientist (RUG position provided). Last but not least the CeCIOMA will be embedded in a scientific and engineering environment with already ample experience.
For field tests, the “super site” Lutjewad is close by. (Ph.D.) researchers and technicians for the ICOS-nl partners meet frequently at RUG, where they can co-ordinate their various projects and plan intercomparisons where suited.
Together, the ICOS-nl groups represent an impressive knowledge base in the field of atmospheric measurements. By bundling this knowledge, important and discriminating improvement in the field of engineering and technology of atmospheric measurements will be made, bringing ICOS-NL internationally at the forefront of this field.
This type (1) category of work ranges from “mere” characterization, calibration and testing of commercial equipment before field deployment, to new and improved observational techniques, based on basic sensors that need to be fully equipped to make them suited for routine observations. All Category (1) work, however, strives for actual field use of the instruments within the time frame of this proposal. Obviously, flexibility in the program is needed, as it cannot be foreseen which developments will pop up in the coming years that need category (1) type of attention. Nevertheless, a series of subjects that will be studied in the coming years can readily be identified (between brackets the ICOS-NL research group(s) primarily involved):

- Atmospheric Oxygen (RUG)

The ability to measure the (relative) atmospheric Oxygen concentration at the sub-ppm level has provided us with a powerful tracer that can discriminate effectively between biospheric and oceanic fluxes of CO2. Originally, the acquired accuracy could only be obtained using an adapted form of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry, which implied the taking of air samples in flasks and laboratory measurements. Later developments have made in situ, on-line measurements with the required accuracy possible, albeit still at the costs of quite complicated arrangements. The continuous measurements also give less information, as IRMS also provides, in principle, the isotopes of Oxygen, and the Ar/N2 ratio.
In CeCIOMA, research will be done to –improve precision and accuracy of on-line Oxygen measurements, and simplify the measurements where possible –investigate the integrative filling of flasks (slow flow, prevent turbulence) while still keep them useful for Oxygen measurements in the lab –optimize a new IRMS setup for the whole suite of O2, O2 isotopes, N2, Ar and even CO2, and investigate the deployment of such an IRMS in situ.
The research will be conducted in concert with existing research at the RUG, especially a project started late 2010 on transportable observation of atmospheric Oxygen aimed at leak detection of subsurface CO2 storage (equipment and Ph.D. student financed by the Dutch CATO-2 CCS research initiative).

- Concentration measurements for Eddy Covariance flux measurements (ECN, VUA?, RUG?)

The well-known Eddy covariance flux measurement system consists of a three-dimensional wind meter, and a fast concentration measurement (integration times of 0.1 s or less). So far, such fast concentration measurements can only routinely be achieved for CO2, and water vapour.
For the greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O, state of the art fast concentration measurements are being performed by (Quantum Cascade) laser systems. These are, however, not yet routine measurements. At CeCIOMA, we will work on such systems, and develop them into robust, low-maintenance and reliableinsturments for routine flux measurements. We will then use them (semi-)routinely in one or both of our super flux sites.
If fast concentration measurements are not possible, the next best thing is the technique called relaxed Eddy Accumulation. In spite of some disadvantages compared to true Eddy covariance, such a system can nevertheless determine local scale fluxes with satisfactory reliability.
By coupling a Wollongong FTIR system to a relaxed eddy accumulation system a unique system will be developed for local total greenhouse gas flux balance measurements. Such a system will be capable of presenting a total overview of fluxes of the greenhouse gases, and can thereby present an unsurpassed detailed view of greenhouse gas fluxes of agricultural fields (crops, grasslands). As in the previous paragraph ECN will take the lead in this FTIR work, and co-operate with EcoTech and the University of Bremen.

- Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy (ECN)

The Wollongong closed-path FTIR in situ system (Griffith, 2010) is a promising instrument for observing ambient concentrations of greenhouse gases at excellent accuracy and precision. The setup allows measuring a full infrared spectrum with a long integration time to reach the required precision for a large number of gases simultaneously. Currently this one instrument system is capable of measuring simultaneously CO2, CH4, N2O, CO and 13CO2 in dried air at the WMO target precision or better. At CeCIOMA we will investigate to further improve the usability of the instrument for ambient measurements, by reducing the measurement cell volume and further improving the system stability and portability. The work will be performed in co-operation with the companies EcoTech Pty Ltd and SensorSense.

- On-line 13CO2 (and C18OO) detection (RUG, UU)

The development of fast optical techniques in the past years allows for real-time in-situ measurements of both 13C and 18O in CO2, by FTIR (see other paragraph), by various forms of cavity ring down spectroscopy (Los Gatos, Picarro, Grenoble), by linear absorption spectroscopy, and by Non-Dispersive InfraRed spectroscopy (NDIR). IRMS is still unbeaten in analytical precision and even less in long-term accuracy, but the on-line, in-situ possibilities that the optical techniques offer make them potentially highly valuable, in particular when it comes to measuring and modelling CO2 on smaller spatial scales and higher temporal resolution. In CeCIOMA, we will evaluate the potential of the new optical isotope sensors for being incorporated in in-situ monitoring networks. This work is related to Category 2 research (see later). In the RUG CCS project mentioned above, there is also interest in on-line monitoring of 13C in CO2, and the NDIR instrument (ABB URAS 26) will be deployed there (co-operation with Delta Analytics, Bremen).

- Measurement of methane isotopes (UU, ECN)
Hier heb ik te weinig informatie over. Off-line is dat toch al routine? Wat wil Thomas dan gaan doen? En hoeveel gebeurt er op EMPA al?

- Measuring Area Integrated Greenhouse gas fluxes with scintillometry (WUR, ECN, RUG)

Eddy Covariance is a successful and generally used technique for small scale (hundreds of meters at most) flux determination. Concentration measurements on the other hand, combined with (inverse) atmospheric modelling tools (or alternatively using additional tracers such as Radon) have spatial resolutions of tens of km or more. Between the ranges of these techniques is a gap, and given the heterogeneity of the (Dutch) landscape, this gap in scale is critical for accurate greenhouse gas flux determination. the fluxes vary with the heterogeneity of the landscape, the vegetation and the ground water level.
Scintellometry is a methodology, commonly used for turbulence and heat fluxes, which measures over path lengths of 50 m to 5 km. Such a system has been operational at our super site Lutjewad for a few years (using the 2 km distance between the mast of Lutjewad and the church tower of the nearby village). In CeCIOMA, we will extend the scintellometer system by greenhouse concentration measurements over the same path length. Candidates for this are the FTIR technique (already present at CeCIOMA for another project, see above), and Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS). The latter is similar to other optical detection techniques investigated at CeCIOMA.

- Rn detectors (RUG)

The translation of measured concentrations of greenhouse gases into fluxes into and out of the atmosphere is the crucial step in the quantification of fluxes based on atmospheric observations. This translation is made based on the modelling of atmospheric transport and mixing. One can, however, in principle also perform this translation solely based on observations, if one observes concentrations of a trace gas of which the emissions (that is fluxes to and from the atmosphere) are known, both in time and in space. Such an ideal tracer does not exist, but 222Rn and progenies form a good approximation. The observation of 222Rn both leads to an entirely observation-based estimate of greenhouse gas fluxes, and functions as a much constraining validation measurement for model development.
222Rn is radio-active, its half-life is almost 4 days. This half life limits the area for which greenhouse gas fluxes can be determined to the (sub)continental scale. Another isotope of Rn, 220Rn has a very short half-life, and produces 212Pb, which, in turn has a half-life of 10.6 hours. Using 212Pb in addition to 222Rn will make the discrimination between continental and regional fluxes possible (and provides an even more powerful model validation).
In CeCIOMA, we will acquire, modify and test instruments for both 222Rn and 212Pb detection, and put them to use in our two supersites Lutjewad and Cabauw. This research will benefit from the on-going work at RUG into quantification of the Rn source for the Netherlands. The latter is done by a RUG Ph.D. student, using both observations, soil flux parameterizations, and the RIVM gamma dose rate network for the Netherlands.

- Test, calibration and correction algorithms for “Class B” CO2 sensors (KNMI and RUG)

This application contains the use of so-called “Class B” CO2 concentration detectors. These detectors are used in those cases where one needs a cheap, low maintenance, and sometimes lightweight and low power, CO2 detector with limited accuracy (typically ± 1 ppm). Normally, such detectors function outdoors directly in the air, without temperature, pressure and relative humidity control.
Several of such detectors are offered, by a variety of commercial manufacturers. Our experience has, however, shown that the claims of these manufacturers in many times are unrealistic.
In CeCIOMA, we will put several of these detectors to the test, and establish temperature, pressure and humidity correction functions for them. We will concentrate initially on the CO2 sensor on the radio sondes (Meisei Electric, Japan), and the CO2 sensor for the high spatial density CO2 network (Vaisala, Finland). For the latter, experience has already been acquired during the establishment of the RUG “School CO2 web” network (financed by the EU FP6 CarboSchools program), and overlap exists with the Dutch CATO-2 CCS research initiative, for which the same detectors will be used for leakage detection for CO2 pipe line transport (ECN and RUG).

The above list of projects shows the surplus value of combining research at the CeCIOMA, development and testing of the various techniques, as there is considerable overlap between the projects, and a true knowledge base and ample experience will be built up by this co-operation.
Results of CeCIOMA research will not only lead to better and more extensive atmospheric monitoring, but also to publications in scientific journals (several of which are dedicated to this type of work).

Category (2) work will lean on the expertise of partners UU and RUG. This type of work consists of a limited number of, quite fundamental, research projects, with both high potential and a certain risk of failure (that is: not leading to a suited atmospheric observation technique in the end). Within the time frame of this proposal, the projects will reach the proof-of-principle level, but will not be ready for actual deployment in the field. RUG and UU will closely co-operate, but exploit their own development labs.
The proposed projects both concentrate on isotope measurements, and aim to extend these measurements into the region of 17O excess and “clumped isotopes”: new developments in the field of isotope ratio mass spectrometry have recently enabled measurement of 2 additional isotope signatures, namely the 17O-18O anomaly and the double substituted isotopologue 13C16O18O (“clumped” isotopes).
The 17O excess of CO2 (Δ17O) in the troposphere originates from photochemical interaction of CO2 with O3 in the stratosphere and is therefore a new tracer for CO2 exchange between the Stratosphere and Troposphere. The fact that this isotope anomaly is removed via exchange of CO2 with leaf water makes it in addition a tracer for the gross biosphere-atmosphere exchange flux. Also, anthropogenic CO2 emitted from fossil fuel burning has a clear Δ17O signature that can be used as additional tracer to quantify the input of this source on local to regional scales.
Measurements of the double substituted CO2 isotopologue 13C16O18O, molecular mass 47, denoted 47Δ have shown deviations from the value expected from thermodynamic equilibrium (47Δ~0.9‰). First measurements in ambient air show that measurements of 47Δ may allow to distinguish large gross flux terms in the CO2 budget, namely CO2-water exchange flux in photosynthesis (47Δ in thermodynamic equilibrium) from the respiration flux (low 47Δ). Also for this signature, CO2 from anthropogenic fossil fuel combustion has a distinct 47Δ signature.
Within ICOS-nl, we will develop these innovative techniques for isotope monitoring in Europe and evaluate their potential for incorporation in the operational flask sampling networks.
UU will concentrate on its proven strength: IRMS. This technique has high chances of success, thanks to the very high precision and stability that can be achieved. UU will select the IRMS instrument, and adapt it in close co-operation with the manufacturer (Thermo Fisher). If successful, flasks of supersites Cabauw and Lutjewad can be analysed for both new tracers.
RUG will exploit laser-optical techniques, by further developing the on-line 13C and 18O “bulk” isotope measurements of CO2 (see Category 1). The system of choice is the OFCEAS Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer developed at the university of Grenoble. Whereas the optical selectivity for clumped isotopes is superb, the small signals and above all the required precision and accuracy will put the very principle of optical spectroscopy to the test. While the Grenoble colleagues concentrate on 13C and 18O isotope measurements on very small quantities of air (application for ice cores), RUG will develop the technique further for C17OO and for the clumped isotope 13C18OO.

RUG will add another category 2 experiment to the CeCIOMA: on-line, in situ detection of 14CO2.
This project is a co-operation between the RUG and Rutgers University (NJ, USA) that is financed by the multinational electricity producer RWE. 14CO2 is instrumental in the detection of fossil fuel derived CO2, and is monitored for that reason on a number of stations. Present day state of the art measurements, however, are off-line and quite expensive (as they require an Accelarator Mass Spectrometer). Nevertheless, sampling for 14CO2 analysis is routinely foreseen within ICOS-EU, and a dedicated 14C analysis centre will be established. If the new RUG-Rutgers inititative will be successful, it will lead to a substantial cost reduction, and a wealth of data (such as hourly instead of weekly or even biweekly averages). The 14CO2 project will fit well in CeCIOMA, and its incorporation will lead to mutual benefits.

Talent case

Innovation case

Partnership case

Business case

Total Costs 5070 k€

non-NWO contributions
RUG:
Tenture Track scientist position for centre leader 350 k€
Central means for laboratory renovation, basic laboratory costs 500 k€
Additional Category 2 experiment (continuous 14C detection) p.m.
(project budget 515k financed by electricity company RWE)
Integration of two other Ph.D. projects p.m.

Requested NWO financing 4220 k€

Technical case

Possible focus for the Netherlands

Critical mass
Critical mass is THE key word behind the idea of CeCIOMA. The bundling of research will lead to a shared expertise in this field, which is world-competitive, and goes far beyond what each of the participating groups can achieve by its own.

Embedding
The CeCIOMA will be housed at the Centre for Isotope Research at the RUG, but is a shared responsibility of all observational groups within ICOS-NL. A high-potential scientist will be hired to lead and coordinate the CeCIOMA. The CeCIOMA will be housed in a separate wing of the natural sciences building, and care will be taken that transportation of equipment is well facilitated.
Proven willingness to cooperate
The bundling of all instrument development, calibration and testing into one centre is the very proof of our willingness to co-operate. Indeed, this bundling will lead to a shared expertise in this field, which is world-competitive, and goes far beyond what each of the participating groups can achieve by its own.

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