Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
21 Jun 2004
21 Jun 2004

Influence of stratospheric airmasses on tropospheric vertical O3 columns based on GOME (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment) measurements and backtrajectory calculation over the Pacific

A. Ladstätter-Weißenmayer, J. Meyer-Arnek, A. Schlemm, and J. P. Burrows

Abstract. Satellite based GOME (Global Ozone Measuring experiment) data are used to characterize the amount of tropospheric ozone over the tropical Pacific. Tropospheric ozone was determined from GOME data using the Tropospheric Excess Method (TEM). In the tropical Pacific a significant seasonal variation is detected. Tropospheric excess ozone is enhanced during the biomass burning season from September to November due to outflow from the continents. In September 1999 GOME data reveal an episode of increased excess ozone columns over Tahiti (18.0° S; 149.0° W) (Eastern Pacific) compared to Am. Samoa (14.23° S; 170.56° W) and Fiji (18.13° S; 178.40° E), both situated in the Western Pacific. Backtrajectory calculations show that none of the airmasses arriving over the three locations experienced anthropogenic pollution (e. g. biomass burning). Consequently other sources of ozone have to be considered. One possible process leading to an increase of tropospheric ozone is stratosphere-troposphere-exchange. An analysis of the potential vorticity along trajectories arriving above each of the locations reveals that airmasses at Tahiti are subject to enhanced stratospheric influence, compared to Am. Samoa and Fiji. As a result this study shows clear incidents of transport of airmasses from the stratosphere into the troposphere.

Final-revised paper