Atmospheric chemical transport based on high-resolution model-derived winds: A case study

John R. Hannan, Henry E. Fuelberg, Anne M. Thompson, George Bieberbach, Richard D. Knabb, Yutaka Kondo, Bruce E. Anderson, Edward V. Browell, Gerald L. Gregory, Glen W. Sachse, Hanwant B. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Flight 10 of NASA's Subsonic Assessment (SASS) Ozone and Nitrogen Oxide Experiment (SONEX) extended southwest of Lajes, Azores. A variety of chemical signatures was encountered. These signatures are examined in detail, relating them to meteorological data from a high-resolution numerical model having a horizontal grid spacing of 30 and 90 km with 26 vertical levels. The meteorological output at hourly intervals is used to create backward trajectories from the locations of the chemical signatures. Four major categories of chemical signatures are discussed: stratospheric, lightning, continental pollution, and a mixed chemical layer. The strong stratospheric signal is encountered just south of the Azores in a region of depressed tropopause height. Three chemical signatures at different altitudes in the upper troposphere are attributed to lightning. Backward trajectories from these signatures extend to locations of cloud-to-ground lightning. Specifically, results show that the trajectories pass over regions of lightning 1-2 days earlier over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the southeast coast of the United States. The lowest leg of the flight exhibits a chemical signature consistent with continental pollution. Trajectories from this signature are found to pass over the highly populated Northeast Corridor of the United States. Surface-based pollution apparently is lofted to the altitudes of the trajectories by convective clouds along the East Coast that did not contain lightning. Finally, a mixed layer is described. Its chemical signature is intermediate to those of lightning and continental pollution. Backward trajectories from this layer pass between the trajectories of the lightning and pollution signatures. Thus they likely are impacted by both sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JD900989
Pages (from-to)3807-3820
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume105
Issue numberD3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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