Tropospheric ozonesonde profiles at long-term U.S. monitoring sites: 2. Links...

Stauffer, R. M., A. M. Thompson, S. Oltmans, and B. Johnson (2017), Tropospheric ozonesonde profiles at long-term U.S. monitoring sites: 2. Links between Trinidad Head, CA, profile clusters and inland surface ozone measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 122, 1261-1280, doi:10.1002/2016JD025254.

Much attention has been focused on the transport of ozone (O3) to the western U.S., particularly given the latest revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard to 70 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) of O3. This makes quantifying the contributions of stratosphere-to-troposphere exchange, local pollution, and pollution transport to this region essential. To evaluate free-tropospheric and surface O3 in the western U.S., we use self-organizing maps to cluster 18 years of ozonesonde profiles from Trinidad Head, CA. Three of nine O3 mixing ratio profile clusters exhibit thin laminae of high O3 above Trinidad Head. The high O3 layers are located between 1 and 6 km above mean sea level and reside above an inversion associated with a northern location of the Pacific subtropical high. Ancillary data (reanalyses, trajectories, and remotely sensed carbon monoxide) help identify the high O3 sources in one cluster, but distinguishing mixed influences on the elevated O3 in other clusters is difficult. Correlations between the elevated tropospheric O3 and surface O3 at high-altitude monitors at Lassen Volcanic and Yosemite National Parks, and Truckee, CA, are marked and long lasting. The temporal correlations likely result from a combination of transport of baseline O3 and covarying meteorological parameters. Days corresponding to the high O3 clusters exhibit hourly surface O3 anomalies of +5–10 ppbv compared to a climatology; the positive anomalies can last up to 3 days after the ozonesonde profile. The profile and surface O3 links demonstrate the importance of regular ozonesonde profiling at Trinidad Head.

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Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)