Ozone structure over the equatorial Andes from balloon-borne observations and zonal connection with two tropical sea level sites

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Abstract

In this paper we present first-time measurements of ozone profiles from a high altitude station in Quito, Ecuador (0.19°S, 78.4°W, and 2391 masl) taken from June 2014 to September 2015. We interpret ozone observations in the troposphere, tropopause, and stratosphere through a zonal comparison with data from stations in the Atlantic and Pacific (Natal and San Cristobal from the SHADOZ network). Tropospheric ozone concentrations above the Andes are lower than ozone over San Cristobal and Natal for similar time periods. Ozone variability and pollution layers are also reduced in the troposphere above the Andes. We explain these differences in terms of reduced contributions from the boundary layer and from horizontal transport. In the tropical tropopause layer, ozone is well-mixed up to near the cold point tropopause level. In this regard, our profiles do not show constraints to deep mixing above 14 km, as has been consistently observed at other tropical stations. Total column ozone and stratospheric column ozone are comparable among the three sites. However, the contribution of tropospheric column ozone to total column ozone is significantly lower above the Andes. Our comparisons provide a connection between observations from tropical stations in equatorial South America separated by the wide continental mass. Identified differences in ozone throughout the atmospheric column demonstrate the global benefit of having an ozone sounding station at the equatorial Andes in support of global monitoring networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-398
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Andes
  • Ozone
  • Ozone soundings
  • Quito

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