Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Airborne measurements of HCl from the marine boundary layer to the lower stratosphere over the North Pacific Ocean during INTEX-B


Abstract. Gas phase HCl was measured from the marine boundary layer (MBL) to the lower stratosphere from the NASA DC-8 during five science flights (41 h) of the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-Phase B (INTEX-B) field campaign. In the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS, 8–12 km) HCl was observed to range from a few tens to 100 pptv due to stratospheric influence with a background tropospheric level of less than 2 pptv. In the 8–12 km altitude range, a simple analysis of the O3/HCl correlation shows that pure stratospheric and mixed tropospheric/stratospheric air masses were encountered 30% and 15% of the time, respectively. In the mid troposphere (4–8 km) HCl levels were usually below 2 pptv except for a few cases of stratospheric influence and were much lower than reported in previous work. These data indicate that background levels of HCl in the mid and upper troposphere are very low and confirm its use in these regions as a tracer of stratospheric ozone. However, a case study suggests that HCl may be produced in the mid troposphere by the dechlorination of dust aerosols. In the remote marine boundary layer HCl levels were consistently above 20 pptv (up to 140 pptv) and strongly correlated with HNO3. Cl atom levels were estimated from the background level of HCl in the MBL. This analysis suggests a Cl concentration of ~3×103 atoms cm−3, which corresponds to the lower range of previous studies. Finally, the observed HCl levels are compared to predictions by the Real-time Air Quality Modeling System (RAQMS) to assess its ability to characterize the impact of stratospheric transport on the upper troposphere.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View