Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Research article
02 Jun 2014
Research article |  | 02 Jun 2014

Influence of air mass downward transport on the variability of surface ozone at Xianggelila Regional Atmosphere Background Station, southwest China

J. Ma, W. L. Lin, X. D. Zheng, X. B. Xu, Z. Li, and L. L Yang

Abstract. In situ measurements of ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and meteorological parameters were made from December 2007 to November 2009 at the Xianggelila Regional Atmosphere Background Station (28.006° N, 99.726° E; 3580 m a.s.l.), southwest China. It was found that both O3 and CO peaked in spring while the minima of O3 and CO occurred in summer and winter, respectively. A normalized indicator (marked as "Y") on the basis of the monthly normalized O3, CO and water vapor, is proposed to evaluate the occurrence of O3 downward transport from the upper, O3-rich atmosphere. This composite indicator has the advantage of being less influenced by the seasonal or occasional variations of individual factors. It is shown that the most frequent and effective transport occurred in winter (accounting for 39% of the cases on the basis of a threshold of the Y value larger than 4) and they can make a significant contribution to surface O3 at Xianggelila. A 9.6 ppb increase (21.0%) of surface ozone is estimated based on the impact of deep downward transport events in winter. A case of strong O3 downward transport event under the synoptic condition of a deep westerly trough is studied by the combination of the Y indicator, potential vorticity, total column ozone and trajectory analysis. Asian monsoon plays an important role in suppressing O3 accumulation in summer and fall. The seasonal variation of O3 downward transport, as suggested by the Y indicator at Xianggelila, is consistent with the seasonality of stratosphere-to-troposphere transport and the subtropical jet stream over the Tibetan Plateau.

Final-revised paper