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Tuesday, October 30

The Atmospheric Chemistry and Canopy Exchange Simulation System (ACCESS):
Motivation, Model Description and Initial Results

Rick D. Saylor , NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division , Oak Ridge
Environmental Sciences Division Seminar
11:00 AM — 12:00 PM, Building 1520, Beech River Conference Room (202)
Contact: Meng-Dawn Cheng (, 865.241.5918


The dynamic, bi-directional exchange of trace chemical species between forests and the atmosphere has important impacts on both the forest ecosystem and atmospheric composition, with potentially profound consequences on air quality, climate and global ecosystem functioning. Forests are a dominant source of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions into the earth's atmosphere and thus play an important role in the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). To arrive at a better scientific understanding of the complex chemical and physical processes of forest-atmosphere exchange and provide a platform for robust analysis of field measurements of these processes, a process-level, multiphase model of the atmospheric chemistry and physics of forest canopies is being developed. This model, the Atmospheric Chemistry and Canopy Exchange Simulation System (ACCESS) is being used to investigate various aspects of forest-atmosphere exchange and chemistry including gas, aqueous and aerosol phases. ACCESS currently includes processes accounting for the emission of BVOCs from the canopy, turbulent vertical transport within and above the canopy and throughout the height of the planetary boundary layer, detailed chemical reactions, mixing with the background atmosphere and bi-directional exchange between the atmosphere and the canopy and the forest floor.

The Walker Branch Watershed (WBW) is a dedicated ecosystem research area on the U. S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation in eastern Tennessee. The 97.5 ha watershed has been the site of long-term ecosystem and atmospheric research activities since the mid- 1960's. A flux tower located within the watershed (35°57´ 30 N, 84°17´ 15 W; 365 m above mean sea level) and 10 km southwest of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has served as a focal point for previous atmospheric turbulence and chemical flux measurements and the canopy morphology of the forest surrounding the flux tower has been extensively documented. At the time of isoprene flux measurements made at the tower in 1999, the stand was approximately 50 years old, the overstory canopy height was 24 m, and the whole canopy leaf area index was 4.9 m2 leaf/m2 ground area. In this presentation, the model formulation is described and results from the application of ACCESS to the WBW forest are presented and compared to measurements made at the site. Initial results investigating the influence of background anthropogenic sources on above canopy fluxes of SOA precursors in an isoprene emission dominated landscape in the southeastern United States are presented. In particular, levels of background NOx concentrations are found to significantly influence both the magnitude and chemical composition of fluxes of SOA precursors from the canopy.