Articles | Volume 16, issue 14
Research article
19 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 19 Jul 2016

How stratospheric are deep stratospheric intrusions? LUAMI 2008

Thomas Trickl, Hannes Vogelmann, Andreas Fix, Andreas Schäfler, Martin Wirth, Bertrand Calpini, Gilbert Levrat, Gonzague Romanens, Arnoud Apituley, Keith M. Wilson, Robert Begbie, Jens Reichardt, Holger Vömel, and Michael Sprenger

Abstract. A large-scale comparison of water-vapour vertical-sounding instruments took place over central Europe on 17 October 2008, during a rather homogeneous deep stratospheric intrusion event (LUAMI, Lindenberg Upper-Air Methods Intercomparison). The measurements were carried out at four observational sites: Payerne (Switzerland), Bilthoven (the Netherlands), Lindenberg (north-eastern Germany), and the Zugspitze mountain (Garmisch-Partenkichen, German Alps), and by an airborne water-vapour lidar system creating a transect of humidity profiles between all four stations. A high data quality was verified that strongly underlines the scientific findings. The intrusion layer was very dry with a minimum mixing ratios of 0 to 35 ppm on its lower west side, but did not drop below 120 ppm on the higher-lying east side (Lindenberg). The dryness hardens the findings of a preceding study (“Part 1”, Trickl et al., 2014) that, e.g., 73 % of deep intrusions reaching the German Alps and travelling 6 days or less exhibit minimum mixing ratios of 50 ppm and less. These low values reflect values found in the lowermost stratosphere and indicate very slow mixing with tropospheric air during the downward transport to the lower troposphere. The peak ozone values were around 70 ppb, confirming the idea that intrusion layers depart from the lowermost edge of the stratosphere. The data suggest an increase of ozone from the lower to the higher edge of the intrusion layer. This behaviour is also confirmed by stratospheric aerosol caught in the layer. Both observations are in agreement with the idea that sections of the vertical distributions of these constituents in the source region were transferred to central Europe without major change. LAGRANTO trajectory calculations demonstrated a rather shallow outflow from the stratosphere just above the dynamical tropopause, for the first time confirming the conclusions in “Part 1” from the Zugspitze CO observations. The trajectories qualitatively explain the temporal evolution of the intrusion layers above the four stations participating in the campaign.

Short summary
A rather homogeneous deep stratospheric intrusion event was mapped by vertical sounding over central Europe and by model calculations along the transport path. The very low minimum H2O mixing ratios demonstrate almost negligible mixing with tropospheric air during the downward transport. The vertical distributions of O3 and aerosol were transferred from the source region to Europe without major change. A rather shallow outflow from the stratosphere was found.
Final-revised paper