1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
*present address: ETH Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Universitaetstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
**present address: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder, UCB 215, Boulder, CO 80309-0215, USA
Abstract. The aim of the work presented here was to detect BrO in the marine boundary layer over the Eastern North-Atlantic by Multi AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) of scattered sunlight. With this technique, information about the concentration and the vertical profile of trace gases in the atmosphere can be gained. BrO can be formed in the marine atmosphere by degradation of biogenic organohalogens or by oxidation of bromide in sea salt aerosol. BrO influences the chemistry in marine air in many ways, e.g. since it catalytically destroys ozone, changes the NO2/NO-ratio as well as the OH/HO2-ratio and oxidises DMS. However, the abundance and the significance of BrO in the marine atmosphere is not yet fully understood.
We report on data collected during a ship cruise, which took place along the West African Coast in February 2007, within the framework of the Surface Ocean PRocesses in the ANthropocene project (SOPRAN). Tropospheric BrO could be detected during this cruise at peak mixing ratios of (10.2±3.7) ppt at an assumed layer height of 1 km on 18 February 2007. Furthermore, it was found that the mean BrO concentrations increased when cruising close to the African Coast suggesting that at least part of the BrO might have originated from there.