Microphysics and heterogeneous chemistry in aircraft plumes - high sensitivity on local meteorology and atmospheric composition S. K. Meilinger1, B. Kärcher2, and Th. Peter3 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany 2DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Wessling, Germany 3Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Abstract. An aircraft plume model has been developed on the basis of two coupled
trajectory box models. Two boxes, one for plume and one for background
conditions, are coupled by means of a mixing parameterization
based on turbulence theory.
The model considers comprehensive gas phase chemistry for the
tropopause region including acetone, ethane and their oxidation products.
Heterogeneous halogen, N2O5 and HOx chemistry on various
types of background and aircraft-induced aerosols (liquid and ice)
solubility dependent uptake coefficients for liquid phase reactions.
The microphysical scheme allows for coagulation, gas-diffusive particle
growth and evaporation, so that the particle development from
1s after emission to several days can be simulated.
Model results are shown, studying emissions into the upper troposphere as well as
into the lowermost stratosphere for contrail and non-contrail conditions.
We show the microphysical and chemical evolution of spreading plumes and
use the concept of mean plume encounter time, tl,
effective emission and perturbation indices (EEIs and EPIs)
for the North Atlantic Flight Corridor (NAFC) showing
EEI(NOy) and EPI(O3) for various background
conditions, such as relative humidity, local time of emission, and
Our results show a high sensitivity of EEI and EPIs on the exact conditions
under which emissions take place.
The difference of EEIs with and without considering plume processes
indicates that these processes cannot be neglected.
Citation: Meilinger, S. K., Kärcher, B., and Peter, Th.: Microphysics and heterogeneous chemistry in aircraft plumes - high sensitivity on local meteorology and atmospheric composition, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 5, 533-545, doi:10.5194/acp-5-533-2005, 2005.