Tedlar bag sampling technique for vertical profiling of carbon dioxide through the atmospheric boundary layer with high precision and accuracy

Kristen Schulz, Michael L. Jensen, Ben B. Balsley, Kenneth Davis, John W. Birks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas other than water vapor, and its modulation by the biosphere is of fundamental importance to our understanding of global climate change. We have developed a new technique for vertical profiling of CO2 and meteorological parameters through the atmospheric boundary layer and well into the free troposphere. Vertical profiling of CO2 mixing ratios allows estimates of landscape-scale fluxes characteristic of ≈100 km2 of an ecosystem. The method makes use of a powered parachute as a platform and a new Tedlar bag air sampling technique. Air samples are returned to the ground where measurements of CO 2 mixing ratios are made with high precision (≤0.1%) and accuracy (≤0.1%) using a conventional nondispersive infrared analyzer. Laboratory studies are described that characterize the accuracy and precision of the bag sampling technique and that measure the diffusion coefficient of CO2 through the Tedlar bag wall. The technique has been applied in field studies in the proximity of two AmeriFlux sites, and results are compared with tower measurements of CO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3683-3688
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 7 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this