Articles | Volume 19, issue 4
30 Apr 2001
 | 30 Apr 2001

Two case studies on the interaction of large-scale transport, mesoscale photochemistry, and boundary-layer processes on the lower tropospheric ozone dynamics in early spring

S. Brönnimann, F. C. Siegrist, W. Eugster, R. Cattin, C. Sidle, M. M. Hirschberg, D. Schneiter, S. Perego, and H. Wanner

Abstract. The vertical distribution of ozone in the lower troposphere over the Swiss Plateau is investigated in detail for two episodes in early spring (February 1998 and March 1999). Profile measurements of boundary-layer ozone performed during two field campaigns with a tethered balloon sounding system and a kite are investigated using regular aerological and ozone soundings from a nearby site, measurements from monitoring stations at various altitudes, backward trajectories, and synoptic analyses of meteorological fields. Additionally, the effect of in situ photochemistry was estimated for one of the episodes employing the Metphomod Eulerian photochemical model. Although the meteorological situations were completely different, both cases had elevated layers with high ozone concentrations, which is not untypical for late winter and early spring. In the February episode, the highest ozone concentrations of 55 to 60 ppb, which were found at around 1100 m asl, were partly advected from Southern France, but a considerable contribution of in situ photochemistry is also predicted by the model. Below that elevation, the local chemical sinks and surface deposition probably overcompensated chemical production, and the vertical ozone distribution was governed by boundary-layer dynamics. In the March episode, the results suggest that ozone-rich air parcels, probably of stratospheric or upper tropospheric origin, were advected aloft the boundary layer on the Swiss Plateau.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (pollution – urban and regional; troposphere – composition and  chemistry) – Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (mesoscale meteorology)