Intercontinental transport of biomass burning pollutants over the Mediterranean Basin during the summer 2014 ChArMEx-GLAM airborne campaign

Brocchi, Vanessa ; Krysztofiak, Gisèle ; Catoire, Valéry ; Guth, Jonathan ; Marécal, Virginie ; Zbinden, Régina ; Amraoui, Laaziz El ; Dulac, François ; Ricaud, Philippe

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The Gradient in Longitude of Atmospheric constituents above the Mediterranean basin (GLAM) campaign was set up in August 2014, as part of the Chemistry and Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx) project. This campaign aimed to study the chemical variability of gaseous pollutants and aerosols in the troposphere along a west-east transect above the Mediterranean Basin (MB). In the present work, we focus on two biomass burning events detected at 5.4 and 9.7km altitude above sea level (a.s.l.) over Sardinia (from 39°12′N-9°15′E to 35°35′N-12°35′E and at 39°30′N-8°25′E, respectively). Concentration variations in trace gas carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and aerosols were measured thanks to the standard instruments on board the Falcon 20 aircraft operated by the Service des Avions Français Instrumentés pour la Recherche en Environnement (SAFIRE) and the Spectromètre InfraRouge In situ Toute Altitude (SPIRIT) developed by LPC2E. Twenty-day backward trajectories with Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART (FLEXible PARTicle) help to understand the transport processes and the origin of the emissions that contributed to this pollution detected above Sardinia. Biomass burning emissions came (i) on 10 August from the North American continent with air masses transported during 5 days before arriving over the MB, and (ii) on 6 August from Siberia, with air masses travelling during 12 days and enriched in fire emission products above Canada 5 days before arriving over the MB. In combination with the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) inventory and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite fire locations, FLEXPART reproduces well the contribution of those fires to CO and aerosols enhancements under adjustments of the injection height to 10km in both cases and application of an amplification factor of 2 on CO GFAS emissions for the 10 August event. The chemistry transport model (CTM) MOCAGE is used as a complementary tool for the case of 6 August to confirm the origin of the emissions by tracing the CO global atmospheric composition reaching the MB. For this event, both models agree on the origin of air masses with CO concentrations simulated with MOCAGE lower than the observed ones, likely caused by the coarse model horizontal resolution that yields the dilution of the emissions and diffusion during transport. In combination with wind fields, the analysis of the transport of the air mass documented on 6 August suggests the subsidence of CO pollution from Siberia towards North America and then a transport to the MB via fast jet winds located at around 5.5km in altitude. Finally, using the ratio ΔO3∕ΔCO, the plume age can be estimated and the production of O3 during the transport of the air mass is studied using the MOCAGE model.
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