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Keywords:

  • stratosphere to troposphere exchange;
  • tropospheric ozone

[1] We analyze a 1 year campaign of 17 ozonesondes launched in 2008–2009 at Kerguelen Island (49.2°S, 70.1°E), the first such soundings performed at this location. Tropospheric ozone presents a large variability in austral summer (December to February) and austral winter (June to September). The baseline tropospheric ozone is higher in winter (between 30 and 50 ppbv) than in summer (between 20 and 40 ppbv). We compare these observations to a data set obtained during the same period at Lauder (45.0°S, 169.7°E), which presents a marked seasonal pattern. The analysis of trajectory runs and reanalysis output help identify two significant contributors to the tropospheric ozone level at Kerguelen: the stratosphere-to-troposphere air mass transport and the long-range transport of biomass burning plumes. The stratosphere-to-troposphere transport is exemplified by a case study of a dry and enriched ozone layer over Kerguelen (70 ppbv at an altitude of 6 km on 28 February 2009). Using Lagrangian model simulations, we show that wintertime enhancement of the tropospheric ozone baseline can be partially attributed to the long-range transport of ozone precursors from biomass burning plumes originating in southern America and Africa. However, owing to limited data and to the many factors that can cause this wintertime baseline ozone enhancement, further investigations are needed to fully explain it. Additional measurements are also needed to establish an ozone climatology, to further characterize the ozone annual cycle and wintertime enhancement, and to better compare Kerguelen with other midlatitude sites.