Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 2237–2256, 2010

Special issue: SCOUT-O3 Tropics

Special issue: AMMA Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 2237–2256, 2010

  03 Mar 2010

03 Mar 2010

An introduction to the SCOUT-AMMA stratospheric aircraft, balloons and sondes campaign in West Africa, August 2006: rationale and roadmap

F. Cairo1, J. P. Pommereau2, K. S. Law2, H. Schlager3, A. Garnier2, F. Fierli1, M. Ern4, M. Streibel5, S. Arabas6, S. Borrmann8,7, J. J. Berthelier2, C. Blom9, T. Christensen10, F. D'Amato11, G. Di Donfrancesco12, T. Deshler13, A. Diedhiou14, G. Durry15, O. Engelsen16, F. Goutail2, N. R. P. Harris5, E. R. T. Kerstel17, S. Khaykin18, P. Konopka4, A. Kylling16, N. Larsen10, T. Lebel14, X. Liu15, A. R. MacKenzie19, J. Nielsen10, A. Oulanowski18, D. J. Parker20, J. Pelon2, J. Polcher21, J. A. Pyle22,29, F. Ravegnani1, E. D. Rivière15, A. D. Robinson22, T. Röckmann23, C. Schiller4, F. Simões2, L. Stefanutti24,25, F. Stroh4, L. Some26, P. Siegmund27, N. Sitnikov18, J. P. Vernier2, C. M. Volk28, C. Voigt7,3, M. von Hobe4, S. Viciani11, and V. Yushkov18 F. Cairo et al.
  • 1Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima ISAC-CNR , Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
  • 2LATMOS, CNRS, Université de Versailles St-Quentin, Université Paris 6, France
  • 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 4ICG-1, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 5European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  • 6Institute of Geophysics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 7Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 8Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
  • 9Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe und Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 10Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 11Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Firenze, Italy
  • 12Ente Nazionale per le Nuove tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente, Frascati, Italy
  • 13Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Wyoming University, Laramie, USA
  • 14LTHE, Université J.Fourier, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement-France, Grenoble, France
  • 15Groupe de Spectroscopie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne and CNRS, Reims, France
  • 16Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 17Center for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 18Central Aerological Observatory, Moscow, Russia
  • 19Lancaster Environmental Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 20School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 21Laboratoire de Météoreologie Dynamique, CNRS, Paris, France
  • 22Chemistry Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  • 23Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 24Istituto di Ricerche per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Firenze, Italy
  • 25Geophysica-EEIG, Firenze, Italy
  • 26INERA, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • 27Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute – KNMI, The Netherlands
  • 28Department of Physics, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
  • 29National Centre for Atmospheric Science, NCAS-Climate, Cambridge, UK

Abstract. A multi-platform field measurement campaign involving aircraft and balloons took place over West Africa between 26 July and 25 August 2006, in the frame of the concomitant AMMA Special Observing Period and SCOUT-O3 African tropical activities.

Specifically aiming at sampling the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, the high-altitude research aircraft M55 Geophysica was deployed in Ouagadougou (12.3° N, 1.7° W), Burkina Faso, in conjunction with the German D-20 Falcon, while a series of stratospheric balloons and sonde flights were conducted from Niamey (13.5° N, 2.0° E), Niger.

Altogether, these measurements were intended to provide experimental evidence for a better understanding of large scale transport, assessing the effect of lightning on NOx production, and studying the impact of intense mesoscale convective systems on water, aerosol, dust and chemical species in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The M55 Geophysica carried out five local and four transfer flights between southern Europe and the Sahel and back, while eight stratospheric balloons and twenty-nine sondes were flown from Niamey.

These experiments allowed a characterization of the tropopause and lower stratosphere of the region. The paper provides an overview of SCOUT-AMMA campaign activities together with a description of the meteorology of the African monsoon and the situation prevailing during the flights and a brief summary of the observations accomplished.

Final-revised paper