1Université de Toulouse, UPS, LA (Laboratoire d'Aérologie), 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France and CNRS, LA (Laboratoire d'Aérologie), 31400 Toulouse, France
2Chemical Sciences Division, Earth Science Research Laboaratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
3Forschungszentrum, Jülich, Germany
4Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
5Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, USA
Abstract. This paper analyses a stratospheric injection by deep convection of biomass fire emissions over North America (Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories) on 24 June 2004 and its long-range transport over the eastern coast of the United States and the eastern Atlantic. The case study is based on airborne MOZAIC observations of ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and water vapour during the crossing of the southernmost tip of an upper level trough over the Eastern Atlantic on 30 June and on a vertical profile over Washington DC on 30 June, and on lidar observations of aerosol backscattering at Madison (University of Wisconsin) on 28 June. Attribution of the observed CO plumes to the boreal fires is achieved by backward simulations with a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (FLEXPART). A simulation with the Meso-NH model for the source region shows that a boundary layer tracer, mimicking the boreal forest fire smoke, is lofted into the lowermost stratosphere (2–5 pvu layer) during the diurnal convective cycle at isentropic levels (above 335 K) corresponding to those of the downstream MOZAIC observations. It is shown that the order of magnitude of the time needed by the parameterized convective detrainment flux to fill the volume of a model mesh (20 km horizontal, 500 m vertical) above the tropopause with pure boundary layer air would be about 7.5 h, i.e. a time period compatible with the convective diurnal cycle. Over the area of interest, the maximum instantaneous detrainment fluxes deposited about 15 to 20% of the initial boundary layer tracer concentration at 335 K. According to the 275-ppbv carbon monoxide maximum mixing ratio observed by MOZAIC over Eastern Atlantic, such detrainment fluxes would be associated with a 1.4–1.8 ppmv carbon monoxide mixing ratio in the boundary layer over the source region.