Observations of filamentary structures near the vortex edge in the Arctic winter lower stratosphere 1Department of Physics, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
07 Nov 2013
2Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Stratosphere (IEK-7), Research Centre Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
3Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Research Centre Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
Received: 06 March 2013 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 19 April 2013 Abstract. The CRISTA-NF (Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescope for
the Atmosphere – New Frontiers) instrument is an airborne infrared
limb sounder operated aboard the Russian research aircraft
M55-Geophysica. The instrument successfully participated in a large
Arctic aircraft campaign within the RECONCILE (Reconciliation of
essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of
Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions) project
in Kiruna (Sweden) from January to March 2010.
Revised: 13 August 2013 – Accepted: 11 September 2013 – Published: 07 November 2013
This paper concentrates on the measurements taken during one flight of the
campaign, which took place on 2 March in the vicinity of the polar
vortex. We present two-dimensional cross-sections of derived volume mixing
ratios for the trace gases CFC-11, O3, and ClONO2
with an unprecedented vertical resolution of about 500 to
600 m for a large part of the observed altitude range
(≈ 6–19 km) and
a dense horizontal sampling along flight direction of
≈ 15 km. The trace gas distributions show several
structures, for example a part of the polar vortex and a vortex filament,
which can be identified by means of O3–CFC-11 tracer–tracer correlations.
The observations made during this flight are interpreted using the
chemistry and transport model CLaMS (Chemical Lagrangian Model of
the Stratosphere). Comparisons of the observations with the
model results are used to assess the
performance of the model with respect to advection, mixing, and the
chemistry in the polar vortex.
These comparisons confirm the
capability of CLaMS to reproduce even very small-scale structures
in the atmosphere,
which partly have a vertical extent of only 1 km.
Based on the good agreement between simulation and
observation, we use artificial (passive) tracers, which represent different
air mass origins (e.g. vortex, tropics), to
further analyse the CRISTA-NF observations in terms of the composition of
air mass origins. These passive tracers clearly illustrate the observation of
filamentary structures that include tropical air masses.
A characteristic of the Arctic winter 2009/10 was a sudden
stratospheric warming in December that led to a split of the
polar vortex. The vortex re-established at the end of December. Our
passive tracer simulations suggest that large parts of the
re-established vortex consisted to about 45% of high- and
Citation: Kalicinsky, C., Grooß, J.-U., Günther, G., Ungermann, J., Blank, J., Höfer, S., Hoffmann, L., Knieling, P., Olschewski, F., Spang, R., Stroh, F., and Riese, M.: Observations of filamentary structures near the vortex edge in the Arctic winter lower stratosphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 10859-10871, doi:10.5194/acp-13-10859-2013, 2013.