Distributions and Correlations of Organic Trace Gases in the Western Pacific Atmosphere

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Valeria Donets1, Elliot L Atlas1, Sue Schauffler2, Maria A Navarro1, Richard Lueb2, Teresa Lynn Campos2, Andrew John Weinheimer2, Denise Montzka2, Lisa Kaser2, Laura Pan2, Ross J Salawitch3, Xiaorong Zhu1 and Leslie Pope1, (1)University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States, (2)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States
The chemistry of the Tropical Western Pacific atmosphere was studied during three coordinated research missions (CONTRAST, ATTREX, CAST) during Winter, 2014. The purpose of the studies was to examine the chemical emissions of reactive gases from the marine surface, to diagnose transport characteristics of this region, and to better understand the controls of the chemical composition and reactive gas budgets of the tropical atmosphere, including the Tropical Transition Layer (TTL) and lower tropical stratosphere.

As part of these studies a wide range of trace gases were measured, including various halo- and hydrocarbons, organic nitrates, methyl halides and solvents. In this presentation we will discuss results from whole air samples that were collected from NASA Global Hawk and NSF/NCAR Gulfstream-V aircrafts during ATTREX and CONTRAST, respectively. Samples were collected at altitudes from near 0.5 km to 18 km, and included latitudes from 40°N to 20°S in the Western Pacific. Combined measurements from two aircrafts produced over 1200 samples, which were subsequently analyzed in the field by means of gas chromatography combined with mass selective, flame ionization and electron capture detectors. The observed distributions of trace gases reflected the combined effects of marine emissions and convective mixing, long range transport, and slow ascent in the TTL. We will show our preliminary results featuring vertical and horizontal distributions of selected hydrocarbon and organic halogen trace species and correlations among these species that were observed during the campaigns.