07 Oct 2021
07 Oct 2021
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Springtime nitrogen oxides and tropospheric ozone in Svalbard: results from the measurement station network

Alena Dekhtyareva1,2,3, Mark Hermanson4, Anna Nikulina5, Ove Hermansen6, Tove Svendby7, Kim Holmén8,9, and Rune Graversen9,10 Alena Dekhtyareva et al.
  • 1Geophysical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Bergen, Post box 6050, Bergen, 5020 Norway
  • 2Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Jahnebakken 5, 5007 Norway
  • 3Department of Automation and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Post box 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 4Hermanson and Associates LLC, 200 W 53rd str., Minneapolis, MN 55419, USA
  • 5Russian Arctic Scientific Expedition on Spitsbergen, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Beringa str., 38, Sankt-Petersburg, 199397 Russia
  • 6Department of Monitoring and Information Technology, NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, Kjeller, 2007 Norway
  • 7Department of Atmosphere and Climate, NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, Kjeller, 2007 Norway
  • 8International director, Norwegian Polar Institute, Post box 505, Longyearbyen, 9171 Norway
  • 9Department of Physics and Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Post box 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 10Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Kirkegårdsvegen 60, 9239 Tromsø

Abstract. Svalbard is a remote and scarcely populated Arctic archipelago, and is considered to be mostly influenced by the long-range transported air pollution. However, there are also local emission sources such as coal and diesel power plants, snowmobiles and ships, but their influence on the background concentrations of trace gases have not been thoroughly assessed. This study is based on tropospheric ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) data collected in three main Svalbard settlements in spring 2017. In addition to these ground-based observations, radiosonde and O3 sondes soundings, ERA5 reanalysis and BrO satellite data have been applied in order to distinguish the impact of local and synoptic-scale conditions on the NOx and O3 chemistry. The measurement campaign was divided into several sub-periods based on the prevailing large-scale weather regimes.The local wind direction at the stations depended on the large-scale conditions, but was modified due to complex topography. The NOx concentration showed weak correlation for the different stations and depended strongly on the wind direction and atmospheric stability. On the contrary, the O3 concentration was highly correlated among the different measurement sites and was controlled by the long-range atmospheric transport to Svalbard. Lagrangian backward trajectories have been used to examine the origin and path of the air masses during the campaign.

Alena Dekhtyareva et al.

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Alena Dekhtyareva et al.

Alena Dekhtyareva et al.


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Short summary
Despite decades of industrial activity in Svalbard, there is no continuous air pollution monitoring in the region’s settlements except Ny-Ålesund. The NOx and O3 observations from the three stations-network have been compared for the first time in this study. It has been shown how the large-scale weather regimes control the synoptic meteorological conditions and determine the atmospheric long-range transport pathways and efficiency of local air pollution dispersion.