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Keywords:

  • Asian air pollution;
  • free troposphere;
  • long-range transport

[1] This paper describes the chemical, aerosol, and meteorological measurements taken at Mount Bachelor Observatory (MBO), a new mountaintop site in central Oregon, USA (44.0°N, 121.7°W, 2763 m above mean sea level). During the initial campaign (28 March to 19 May 2004) we evaluated the utility of this location as a site to observe the global atmosphere, especially the free troposphere (FT). We observed some boundary layer (BL)/upslope flow during the daytime, which produced a 37–62% higher average water vapor mixing ratio (WV) compared to radiosonde data taken from similar altitudes in western Oregon. However, recently subsided air masses with low WV contained significantly elevated concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), total gaseous mercury (TGM), and ozone (O3), (25 ppbv, 0.16 ng/m3, and 13.9 ppbv, respectively), compared to periods with high-WV measurements. These enhancements represent a significant influence from Asian long-range transport (ALRT). One specific time period (“event”) on 25 April produced some of the largest CO, TGM, O3, and particulate scattering (σsp) measurements ever seen along the West Coast due to ALRT. Enhancement ratios between these species are consistent with the major source being Asian industrial emissions. In particular, the ΔTGM/ΔCO enhancement ratio was 0.0045–0.0048 ng/m3/ppbv for all ALRT events, similar to the value previously obtained from pollution plumes directly downwind of east Asia. A smaller pollution event of North American origin produced a ΔTGM/ΔCO value of only 0.0013 ng/m3/ppbv, suggesting that the ΔTGM/ΔCO value is an effective tracer of ALRT. Finally, thousands of kinematic back trajectories were calculated for each event to evaluate sources and transport processes.