Pollution events at the high-altitude mountain site Zugspitze-Schneefernerhaus (2670 m a.s.l.), Germany

Homa Ghasemifard, Felix R. Vogel, Ye Yuan, Marvin Luepke, Jia Chen, Ludwig Ries, Michael Leuchner, Christian Schunk, Sanam Noreen Vardag, Annette Menzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Within the CO2 time series measured at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS), Germany, as part of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program, pollution episodes are traced back to local and regional emissions, identified by δ13C(CO2) as well as ratios of CO and CH4 to CO2 mixing ratios. Seven episodes of sudden enhancements in the tropospheric CO2 mixing ratio are identified in the measurements of mixing/isotopic ratios during five winter months from October 2012 to February 2013. The short-term CO2 variations are closely correlated with changes in CO and CH4 mixing ratios, achieving mean values of 6.0 ± 0.2 ppb/ppm for CO/CO2 and 6.0 ± 0.1 ppb/ppm for CH4/CO2. The estimated isotopic signature of CO2 sources (δs) ranges between -35‰ and -24‰, with higher values indicating contributions from coal combustion or wood burning, and lower values being the result of natural gas or gasoline. Moving Keeling plots with site-specific data selection criteria are applied to detect these pollution events. Furthermore, the HYSPLIT trajectory model is utilized to identify the trajectories during periods with CO2 peak events. Short trajectories are found covering Western and Central Europe, while clean air masses flow from the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article number330
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Air pollutant transport
  • Atmospheric CO mixing ratio
  • Emission ratio
  • Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS)
  • Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW)
  • HYSPLIT model
  • Isotopic CO


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