Reactive Nitrogen Dry Deposition Flux Monitoring over North America

Reactive nitrogen (defined here as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ammonia (NH3)) is an essential nutrient to plants and limiting element for growth in many ecosystems. However, when reactive nitrogen is in excess it has deleterious effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (such as soil acidification, eutrophication, and loss of biodiversity). Atmospheric deposition of reactive nitrogen in sensitive ecosystems has been a widespread environmental issue worldwide since the mid 20th century.

Comprehensive monitoring of reactive nitrogen dry deposition flux is essential in assessing its ecological impacts. The measurement networks for reactive nitrogen dry deposition are sparse in nature and lack the required spatial coverage. On the contrary, satellite measurements of NO2 and NH3 with a daily global coverage offer a valuable data source to fulfill the measurement gaps and provide an opportunity to analyze the reactive nitrogen dry deposition fluxes spatially.

Therefore, we have developed an interactive cloud-based Reactive Nitrogen Flux Mapper (RNFM) for providing easy access of satellite-derived reactive nitrogen dry deposition flux spatial maps to decision-makers/stakeholders over North America using a user- friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI). The RNFM facilitates the users to specify their choice of geographical regions and time periods ranging between January 2018 to December 2020 for computing the average fluxes on the fly using an integrated cloud-based computing platform. RNFM also helps overcome the scarcity of ground-based reactive nitrogen dry deposition flux measurements by providing additional new satellite-based information that decision-makers can use to make more informed and timely decisions on mitigation strategies for environmental protection.

RNFM link: Reactive Nitrogen Flux Mapper


Kharol S. K., Prapavessis C., Shephard M. W., McLinden C. A. and Griffin D.: Cloud-based Data Mapper (CDM): application for monitoring dry deposition of reactive nitrogen. Front. Environ. Sci. 11:1172977. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2023.1172977, 2023.