East Asian SO2 pollution plume over Europe – Part 1: Airborne trace gas measurements and source identification by particle dispersion model simulations
Abstract. A large SO2-rich pollution plume of East Asian origin was detected by aircraft based CIMS (Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry) measurements at 3–7.5 km altitude over the North Atlantic. The measurements, which took place on 3 May 2006 aboard of the German research aircraft Falcon, were part of the INTEX-B (Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-B) campaign. Additional trace gases (NO, NOy, CO, H2O) were measured and used for comparison and source identification. The atmospheric SO2 mole fraction was markedly increased inside the plume and reached up to 900 pmol/mol. Accompanying lagrangian FLEXPART particle dispersion model simulations indicate that the probed pollution plume originated at low altitudes from densely populated and industrialized regions of East Asia, primarily China, about 8–12 days prior to the measurements.