On 9 April 2001, while approaching the 'West Coast of the North American continent, flight 20 of the NASA TRACE P campaign penetrated deeply into a stratospheric intrusion. From measurements aboard that flight we derive vertical profiles of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and other short-lived trace gases in the lower stratosphere using Dichlorofluoromethane, CF2Cl2, as the altitude scale. All profiles show an exponential decrease, which permits the description of their vertical distribution by a single parameter, the scale height. These scale heights are shown to be related to the respective lifetimes in a unique fashion. Using the approximation of a 1-D diffusive model with a constant eddy diffusion coefficient, K, and assuming constant lifetimes, we establish an analytical solution for this relation. By fitting this theoretical expression to the experimental data we can estimate K and thus obtain an approximate age spectrum of the form given by Hall and Plumb (1994). A much better fit to the experimental scale heights is obtained, when we allow the lifetimes to be height-dependent and calculate the theoretical scale heights numerically from a 1-D model. An optimization also suggests a constant K, but with a value of 0.46 m2/s, larger than those obtained from the fit of the analytical solution. The obtained age spectra should be valid for transit times not longer than 300 days. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.