Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
19 Jan 2009
 | 19 Jan 2009

Effects of regional-scale and convective transports on tropospheric ozone chemistry revealed by aircraft observations during the wet season of the AMMA campaign

G. Ancellet, J. Leclair de Bellevue, C. Mari, P. Nedelec, A. Kukui, A. Borbon, and P. Perros

Abstract. The African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) fourth airborne campaign was conducted in July–August 2006 to study the chemical composition of the middle and upper troposphere in West Africa with the major objective to better understand the processing of chemical emissions by the West African Monsoon (WAM) and its associated regional-scale and vertical transports. In particular, the french airborne experiment was organized around two goals. The first was to characterize the impact of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) on the ozone budget in the upper troposphere and the evolution of the chemical composition of these convective plumes as they move westward toward the Atlantic Ocean. The second objective was to discriminate the impact of remote sources of pollution over West Africa, including transport from the middle east, Europe, Asia and from southern hemispheric fires. Observations of O3, CO, NOx, H2O and hydroperoxide above West Africa along repeated meridional transects were coupled with transport analysis based on the FLEXPART lagrangian model. The cross analysis of trace gas concentrations and transport pathways revealed 5 types of air masses: convective uplift of industrial and urban emissions, convective uplift of biogenic emissions, slow advection from Cotonou polluted plumes near the coast, meridional transport of upper tropospheric air from the subtropical barrier region, and meridional transport of Southern Hemisphere (SH) biomass burning emissions. O3/CO correlation plots and the correlation plots of H2O2 with a OH proxy revealed not only a control of the trace gas variability by transport processes but also significant photochemical reactivity in the mid- and upper troposphere. The study of four MCSs outflow showed contrasted chemical composition and air mass origins depending on the MCSs lifetime and latitudinal position. Favorables conditions for ozone production were found for MCSs with increased MCS lifetime (>1.5 days), which allowed for more H2O2 formation, and with trajectories crossing the 10° N latitude, which increased CO transport to the upper troposphere. The upper tropospheric concentrations sampled in the MCS outflow regions showed mixed origins including local vertical convective transport, and uplifting of air from the low troposphere over the middle-east related to the summer Asian low pressure system or from the southern hemispheric fires.

Final-revised paper