Articles | Volume 8, issue 12
Model description paper
10 Dec 2015
Model description paper |  | 10 Dec 2015

Singular vector-based targeted observations of chemical constituents: description and first application of the EURAD-IM-SVA v1.0

N. Goris and H. Elbern

Abstract. Measurements of the large-dimensional chemical state of the atmosphere provide only sparse snapshots of the state of the system due to their typically insufficient temporal and spatial density. In order to optimize the measurement configurations despite those limitations, the present work describes the identification of sensitive states of the chemical system as optimal target areas for adaptive observations. For this purpose, the technique of singular vector analysis (SVA), which has proven effective for targeted observations in numerical weather prediction, is implemented in the EURAD-IM (EURopean Air pollution and Dispersion – Inverse Model) chemical transport model, yielding the EURAD-IM-SVA v1.0. Besides initial values, emissions are investigated as critical simulation controlling targeting variables. For both variants, singular vectors are applied to determine the optimal placement for observations and moreover to quantify which chemical compounds have to be observed with preference. Based on measurements of the airship based ZEPTER-2 campaign, the EURAD-IM-SVA v1.0 has been evaluated by conducting a comprehensive set of model runs involving different initial states and simulation lengths. For the sake of brevity, we concentrate our attention on the following chemical compounds, O3, NO, NO2, HCHO, CO, HONO, and OH, and focus on their influence on selected O3 profiles. Our analysis shows that the optimal placement for observations of chemical species is not entirely determined by mere transport and mixing processes. Rather, a combination of initial chemical concentrations, chemical conversions, and meteorological processes determines the influence of chemical compounds and regions. We furthermore demonstrate that the optimal placement of observations of emission strengths is highly dependent on the location of emission sources and that the benefit of including emissions as target variables outperforms the value of initial value optimization with growing simulation length. The obtained results confirm the benefit of considering both initial values and emission strengths as target variables and of applying the EURAD-IM-SVA v1.0 for measurement decision guidance with respect to chemical compounds.