Highly resolved observations of trace gases in the lowermost stratosphere and upper troposphere from the Spurt project: an overview

  • During SPURT (Spurenstofftransport in der Tropopausenregion, trace gas transport in the tropopause region) we performed measurements of a wide range of trace gases with different lifetimes and sink/source characteristics in the northern hemispheric upper troposphere (UT) and lowermost stratosphere (LMS). A large number of in-situ instruments were deployed on board a Learjet 35A, flying at altitudes up to 13.7 km, at times reaching to nearly 380 K potential temperature. Eight measurement campaigns (consisting of a total of 36 flights), distributed over all seasons and typically covering latitudes between 35° N and 75° N in the European longitude sector (10° W–20° E), were performed. Here we present an overview of the project, describing the instrumentation, the encountered meteorological situations during the campaigns and the data set available from SPURT. Measurements were obtained for N2O, CH4, CO, CO2, CFC12, H2, SF6, NO, NOy, O3 and H2O. We illustrate the strength of this new data set by showing mean distributions of the mixing ratios of selected trace gases, using a potential temperature – equivalent latitude coordinate system. The observations reveal that the LMS is most stratospheric in character during spring, with the highest mixing ratios of O3 and NOy and the lowest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6. The lowest mixing ratios of NOy and O3 are observed during autumn, together with the highest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6 indicating a strong tropospheric influence. For H2O, however, the maximum concentrations in the LMS are found during summer, suggesting unique (temperature- and convection-controlled) conditions for this molecule during transport across the tropopause. The SPURT data set is presently the most accurate and complete data set for many trace species in the LMS, and its main value is the simultaneous measurement of a suite of trace gases having different lifetimes and physical-chemical histories. It is thus very well suited for studies of atmospheric transport, for model validation, and for investigations of seasonal changes in the UT/LMS, as demonstrated in accompanying and elsewhere published studies.

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Author:Andreas EngelORCiD, Harald BönischORCiDGND, Dominik BrunnerORCiDGND, Herbert Fischer, Harald Franke, Gebhard GüntherORCiDGND, Christian Thomas Gurk, Michaela I. HegglinORCiDGND, Peter HoorORCiDGND, Rainer Königstedt, Michael Krebsbach, Rolf Maser, Uwe Parchatka, Thomas Peter, Dieter Schell, Cornelius SchillerGND, Ulrich Schmidt, Nicole Spelten, T. Szabo, Uwe Weers, Heini WernliORCiDGND, Thomas Wetter, Volkmar Wirth
Parent Title (English):Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 6.2006, S. 283-301
Publisher:European Geosciences Union
Place of publication:Katlenburg-Lindau
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2007/02/16
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/02/16
Page Number:19
First Page:283
Last Page:301
© 2006 Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0