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The observation of nitric acid-containing particles in the tropical lower stratosphere

Popp, P.J. and Marcy, T.P. and Jensen, E.J. and Kärcher, B. and Fahey, D.W. and Gao, R.S. and Thompson, T.L. and Rosenlof, K.H. and Richard, E.C. and Herman, R.L. and Weinstock, E. M. and Smith, J.B. and May, R.D. and Vömel, H. and Wilson, J.C. and Heymsfield, A.J. and Mahoney, M.J. and Thompson, A.M. (2006) The observation of nitric acid-containing particles in the tropical lower stratosphere. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 6, pp. 601-611.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/6/601/2006


Airborne in situ measurements over the eastern Pacific Ocean in January 2004 have revealed a new category of nitric acid (HNO3)-containing particles in the tropical lower stratosphere. These particles are most likely composed of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT). They were intermittently observed in a narrow layer above the tropopause (18±0.1 km) and over a broad geographic extent (>1100 km). In contrast to the background liquid sulfate aerosol, these particles are solid, much larger (1.7-4.7 µm vs. 0.1µm in diameter), and significantly less abundant (<10-4 cm-3 vs. 10 cm-3). Microphysical trajectory models suggest that the NAT particles grow over a 6-14 day period in supersaturated air that remains close to the tropical tropopause and might be a common feature in the tropics. The small number density of these particles implies a highly selective or slow nucleation process. Understanding the formation of solid NAT particles in the tropics could improve our understanding of stratospheric nucleation processes and, therefore, dehydration and denitrification.

Document Type:Article
Title:The observation of nitric acid-containing particles in the tropical lower stratosphere
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Popp, P.J.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Marcy, T.P.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Jensen, E.J.NASA, Moffett Field, CA, USA
Fahey, D.W.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Gao, R.S.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Thompson, T.L.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Rosenlof, K.H.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Richard, E.C.Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
Herman, R.L.California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
Weinstock, E. M.Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA
Smith, J.B.Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA
May, R.D.MayComm Instruments, San Dimas, CA, USA
Vömel, H.NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA
Wilson, J.C.Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO, USA
Heymsfield, A.J.NCAR, Boulder, CO, USA
Mahoney, M.J.California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
Thompson, A.M.Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 601-611
Keywords:Tropen, Tropopause, Spurengastransport
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:05 Jul 2007
Last Modified:11 Nov 2014 21:56

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