National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

Boundary layer and aerosol evolution during the 3rd Lagrangian experiment of ACE-2

Wood, R., D. Johnson, S. Osborne, M.O. Andreae, B. Bandy, T.S. Bates, C. O'Dowd, P. Glantz, K.J. Noone, P.K. Quinn, J. Rudolph, and K. Suhre

Tellus, 52B(2), 401–422, doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2000.00058.x (2000)

Aircraft measurements are presented of the Lagrangian evolution of a marine boundary layer over a 30-h period during the ACE-2 field campaign. At the start of the observational period, a 500-m deep polluted marine internal boundary layer (MIBL) was overlain by the remnants of a polluted continental boundary layer extending to around 2 km below a clean, dry free troposphere. The MIBL grew rapidly to a thickness of 900-1000 m in response to increasing sea surface temperatures. No significant aerosol spectral evolution was observed in the boundary layer. Low concentrations of SO2 were observed in the MIBL suggesting that the air mass contained relatively aged aerosol. Aerosol spectra show a broad mode with a modal diameter of around 0.1 µm. The polluted layer between the MIBL and the unpolluted free troposphere was only weakly and intermittently turbulent which prevented significant entrainment of clean air into the polluted layer from aloft. The polluted layer depth was thus controlled mainly by subsidence which as a result becomes shallower, decreasing from over 2000 m to around 1200 m during the observational period. The aerosol characteristics of the polluted layer were similar to those in the MIBL and so although the MIBL entrained considerable amounts of air from above the MIBL the aerosol characteristics underwent no significant change. This has important implications for the rate at which a polluted continental air mass is converted to a clean marine one. The dataset should prove useful in the validation of the modelling of continental pollution outbreaks.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |