Use of moss biomonitors for turbulent transport coefficient estimation for industrial emissions

Nadezhda K. Ryzhakova, Alexei L. Borisenko, Valentina O. Babicheva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The important mechanism transporting substances in the surface layer of the atmosphere is turbulent diffusion. The intensity of turbulent transport is characterized by the turbulent diffusion coefficient. Calculation is a difficult task without a unique characterization. Distinguished turbulent models of atmospheric flow have been developed for particular atmospheric states and simple landscapes. These restrictions complicate the use of such models when assessing the distribution of industrial emissions in the atmosphere. The aims of the present work are to (i) develop a semi-empirical method for estimating the turbulent diffusion coefficient of the emissions of large industries, and (ii) study the turbulence intensity dependence of fundamental factors: the wind speed and landscape. The method relies on the distribution function of the concentration of contaminants measured along any direction of the altitude of a point source. Epiphytic mosses (Pylaisia polyantha, Sanionia uncinata) were used with an exposure time of 3 years. The chemical contents of the mosses were determined by neutron activation analysis and atomic emissive spectrometry. It is shown that in the territories of the coal-fired thermal power station and aluminum plant, the average values of the turbulent transport coefficient at heights above 1 m are k1¯=0.15 m2/s and k1¯=0.02 m2/s respectively. High turbulence within the location of the thermal power station is explained by obstacles of various heights and a higher wind speed. The proposed method is useful for the estimation and forecast of the spatial distribution of emissions from large industries and for determining the zones of their influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1004
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Heavy metals
  • Industry emissions
  • Moss biomonitors
  • The surface layer of the atmosphere
  • Turbulent transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science

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