Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 201–214, 2011

Special issue: AMMA Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 201–214, 2011

  11 Jan 2011

11 Jan 2011

Impact of deep convection in the tropical tropopause layer in West Africa: in-situ observations and mesoscale modelling

F. Fierli1, E. Orlandi1, K. S. Law2, C. Cagnazzo3, F. Cairo1, C. Schiller4, S. Borrmann6,5, G. Di Donfrancesco7, F. Ravegnani1, and C. M. Volk8 F. Fierli et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, ISAC-CNR, Italy
  • 2UPMC Univ. Paris 06; Univ. Versailles St-Quentin; CNRS/INSU, UMR 8190, LATMOS-IPSL, Paris, France
  • 3CMCC, Bologna, Italy
  • 4Forschungzentrum Juelich, Juelich, Germany
  • 5Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Germany
  • 6Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • 7ENEA, UTMEA-TER, Rome, Italy
  • 8Department of Physics, University of Wuppertal, Germany

Abstract. We present the analysis of the impact of convection on the composition of the tropical tropopause layer region (TTL) in West-Africa during the AMMA-SCOUT campaign. Geophysica M55 aircraft observations of water vapor, ozone, aerosol and CO2 during August 2006 show perturbed values at altitudes ranging from 14 km to 17 km (above the main convective outflow) and satellite data indicates that air detrainment is likely to have originated from convective cloud east of the flights. Simulations of the BOLAM mesoscale model, nudged with infrared radiance temperatures, are used to estimate the convective impact in the upper troposphere and to assess the fraction of air processed by convection. The analysis shows that BOLAM correctly reproduces the location and the vertical structure of convective outflow. Model-aided analysis indicates that convection can influence the composition of the upper troposphere above the level of main outflow for an event of deep convection close to the observation site. Model analysis also shows that deep convection occurring in the entire Sahelian transect (up to 2000 km E of the measurement area) has a non negligible role in determining TTL composition.

Final-revised paper