Articles | Volume 5, issue 6
22 Jun 2005
22 Jun 2005

Variability of the Lagrangian turbulent diffusion in the lower stratosphere

B. Legras, I. Pisso, G. Berthet, and F. Lefèvre

Abstract. Ozone and nitrous oxide are measured at high spatial and temporal resolution by instruments flying on the ER-2 NASA research aircraft. Comparing the airborne transects to reconstructions by ensemble of diffusive backward trajectories allows estimation of the average vertical Lagrangian turbulent diffusion experienced by the air parcels. The resulting estimates show large Lagrangian diffusion of the order of 0.1in the surf zone outside the polar vortex and smaller values of the order of 0.01 inside. Locally, large variation of Lagrangian diffusion occurs over mesoscale distances. It is found that high temporal resolution (3h or less) is required for off-line transport calculations and that the reconstructions are sensitive to spurious motion in standard analysed winds.

Final-revised paper