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Camera Observation and Modelling of 4D Tracer Dispersion in the Atmosphere

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 COMTESSA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the COMTESSA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "COMTESSA" about.

atmospheric    tower    er    infrared    retrievals    lt    passive    instance    fumaroles    dioxide    richardson    near    function    model    resolved    tomographic    les    sulfur    back    quantify    six    releases    sight    code    push    deepen    radiation    vision    revise    constant    data    density    velocity    dimensional    3d    plume    radiative    line    time    space    special    relative    altitudes    uv    lagrangian    nearly    estimate    sensitive    transfer    limits    concentration    full    cameras    gt    made    reconstruction    power    turbulence    sampling    resolution    eddy    yielding    vector    sensitivity    models    accuracy    ground    probability    dispersion    campaign    2d    absolute    puff    observations    turbulent    so2    hz    multiple    images    pdf    smelters    parameterizations    improvements    fast    extensively    tracer    phenomena    volcanic    first    ultraviolet    comtessa    flow    ir    plants    sources    underlying    atmosphere    obukhov    optical    simultaneous    transport   

Project "COMTESSA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 2027

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Norway [NO]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙800˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙800˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-11-01   to  2020-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

COMTESSA will push back the limits of our understanding of turbulence and plume dispersion in the atmosphere by bringing together full four-dimensional (space and time) observations of a (nearly) passive tracer (sulfur dioxide, SO2), with advanced data analysis and turbulence and dispersion modelling.

Observations will be made with six cameras sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and three cameras sensitive to infrared (IR) radiation. The UV cameras will be built specifically for this project where high sensitivity and fast sampling is important. The accuracy of UV and IR retrievals will be improved by using a state-of-the art-3D radiative transfer model.

Controlled puff and plume releases of SO2 will be made from a tower, which will be observed by all cameras, yielding multiple 2D images of SO2 integrated along the line of sight. The simultaneous observations will allow - for the first time - a tomographic reconstruction of the 3D tracer concentration distribution at high space (< 1 m) and time (>10 Hz) resolution. An optical flow code will be used to determine the eddy-resolved velocity vector field of the plume. Special turbulent phenomena (e.g. plume rise) will be studied using existing SO2 sources (e.g. smelters, power plants, volcanic fumaroles).

Analysis of the novel campaign observations will deepen our understanding of turbulence and tracer dispersion in the atmosphere. For instance, for the first time we will be able to extensively measure the concentration probability density function (PDF) in a plume not only near the ground but also at high-er altitudes; quantify relative and absolute dispersion; estimate the value of the Richardson-Obukhov constant, etc. We will also use the data to evaluate state-of-the-art LES and Lagrangian dispersion models and revise their underlying parameterizations.

COMTESSA’s vision is that the project results will lead to large improvements of tracer transport in all atmospheric models.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anna Solvejg Dinger, Kerstin Stebel, Massimo Cassiani, Hamidreza Ardeshiri, Cirilo Bernardo, Arve Kylling, Soon-Young Park, Ignacio Pisso, Norbert Schmidbauer, Jan Wasseng, Andreas Stohl
Observation of turbulent dispersion of artificially released SO<sub>2</sub> puffs with UV cameras
published pages: 6169-6188, ISSN: 1867-8548, DOI: 10.5194/amt-11-6169-2018
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11/11 2019-04-18

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The information about "COMTESSA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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