Retrieval of Stratospheric NO₂ Vertical Profiles from Ground‐based Zenith‐sky DOAS Measurements

Results for the MANTRA 1998 Field Campaign

Published In: Atmosphere-Ocean, v. 43, no. 4, 2005, p. 339-350

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Stella M. L. Melo, Kimberly Strong, Matt Bassford, K. E. Preston, C. Thomas McElroy, Eugene V. Rozanov, T. Egorova

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The importance of measurements of the vertical distribution of odd nitrogen in studies of ozone chemistry and climate change has long being recognized. In this paper, we use the optimal estimation method developed by Rodgers (1976, 1990) to retrieve NO2 vertical profiles from slant column observations made with a portable ultraviolet (UV)‐visible zenith‐sky spectrometer operated on the ground during the Middle Atmosphere Nitrogen TRend Assessment (MANTRA) balloon campaign carried out at Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada (52°N, 107°W), from 18 to 25 August 1998. Late summer was chosen for the campaign because the stratospheric zonal wind velocity changes sign at that time. Under such conditions the stratospheric winds are at a minimum, leaving the stratosphere in a dynamically quiescent state and closer to photochemical control (Fahey et al., 2001; Fioletov and Shepherd, 2003). The NO2 profile retrieved from the ground‐based observations is compared with the co‐located and simultaneous NO2 profile measured by a balloon‐borne UV‐visible spectrometer during sunrise on 24 August. Good agreement is observed, giving us confidence in the retrieval technique adopted. The retrieved NO2 profiles are also compared with the output of the Model for Evaluating oZONe trends (MEZON) 3D stratospheric chemical transport model. It is observed that, for altitudes below the peak concentration, the model underestimates the NO2 amount, and at the altitude of peak concentration, the model values lie between the values measured from the balloon and those retrieved from the ground‐based measurements. Nevertheless, the model reproduces the general shape of the retrieved profiles, including the altitude of the NO2 maximum, for both sunrise and sunset conditions.

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