Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #240231

Title: Atmospheric Stability Measurements at a Swine Facility and an Adjacent Corn Field in Iowa

item Hernandez Ramirez, Guillermo
item Sauer, Thomas - Tom
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Prueger, John

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2009
Publication Date: 11/5/2009
Citation: Hernandez Ramirez, G., Sauer, T.J., Hatfield, J.L., Prueger, J.H. 2009. Atmospheric Stability Measurements at a Swine Facility and an Adjacent Corn Field in Iowa [CD-ROM]. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, Nov. 1-5, 2009, Pittsburgh, PA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Atmospheric stability conditions at the surface layer can determine direction and momentum transport of air contaminants. Near confined animal facilities, these transport processes can significantly impact air quality as these sites typically act as net source of pollutants; however, little information is available on this respect. This study was conducted to assess year-round temporal patterns of atmospheric stability at a swine facility (S) compared with an adjacent commercial corn field (C) in the US Midwest. Two towers of 20 and 10 m heights for continuous micrometeorological measurements were respectively deployed in S (between buildings) and in C. Each tower was equipped with an eddy-covariance system at 6.8 m height as well as 6 cup anemometers and 6 thermocouples installed at log-distributed heights. Ancillary instrumentation included infrared thermometers (IRT) in each tower and a weather station deployed between S and C. Overall results from Richardson bulk number and Monin-Obukhov Length (z/L) calculations revealed predominant unstable conditions for S compared to C. During the August-March period, unstable cases (z/L ranging from -1 to -0.01) occurred 1.4 times more frequently for S than C (51 vs. 36%, respectively), while stable cases (0.01-1) were concurrently 2.2 times more frequent for C than S (40 vs. 18%, respectively). These patterns were partly associated with higher surface IRT values for S. Relatively greater diurnal heat capture at S (ground and roof surfaces) and a cooling off effect in C via active canopy transpiration contributed to explain these z/L and IRT results. Prevalent atmospheric instability at S can suggest enhanced ascendant vertical transport of air pollutants perhaps causing their greater mixing/dilution with the atmospheric layer and/or their preferential transport over farther distances from S. An enhanced understanding of the spatio-temporal atmospheric stability patterns could aid to identify effective odor mitigation systems near commercial animal facilities.