Articles | Volume 13, issue 17
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 8623–8642, 2013
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 8623–8642, 2013

Research article 02 Sep 2013

Research article | 02 Sep 2013

Dehydration in the tropical tropopause layer estimated from the water vapor match

Y. Inai1,*, F. Hasebe2, M. Fujiwara2, M. Shiotani3, N. Nishi4,**, S.-Y. Ogino5, H. Vömel6, S. Iwasaki7, and T. Shibata8 Y. Inai et al.
  • 1Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  • 2Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
  • 3Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
  • 4Geophysical Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
  • 5Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan
  • 6GRUAN Lead Center, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Lindenberg, Germany
  • 7Department of Earth and Ocean Science, National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Japan
  • 8Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • *now at: Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
  • **now at: Faculty of Science, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract. We apply the match technique, whereby the same air mass is observed more than once and such cases are termed a "match", to study the dehydration process associated with horizontal advection in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) over the western Pacific. The matches are obtained from profile data taken by the Soundings of Ozone and Water in the Equatorial Region (SOWER) campaign network observations using isentropic trajectories calculated from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational analyses. For the matches identified, extensive screening procedures are performed to verify the representativeness of the air parcel and the validity of the isentropic treatment, and to check for possible water injection by deep convection, consistency between the sonde data and analysis field referring to the ozone conservation. Among the matches that passed the screening tests, we identified some cases corresponding to the first quantitative value of dehydration associated with horizontal advection in the TTL. The statistical features of dehydration for the air parcels advected in the lower TTL are derived from the matches. The threshold of nucleation is estimated to be 146 ± 1% (1σ) in relative humidity with respect to ice (RHice), while dehydration seems to continue until RHice reaches about 75 ± 23% (1σ) in the altitude region from 350 to 360 K. The efficiency of dehydration expressed by the relaxation time required for the supersaturated air parcel to approach saturation is empirically determined from the matches. A relaxation time of approximately one hour reproduces the second water vapor observation reasonably well, given the first observed water vapor amount and the history of the saturation mixing ratio during advection in the lower TTL.

Final-revised paper