Ozone dynamics and snow-atmosphere exchanges during ozone depletion events at Barrow, Alaska



[1] The behavior of lower atmospheric ozone and ozone exchanges at the snow surface were studied using a suite of platforms during the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snow (OASIS) Spring 2009 experiment at an inland, coastal site east of Barrow, Alaska. A major objective was to investigate if and how much chemistry at the snow surface at the site contributes to springtime ozone depletion events (ODEs). Between March 8 and April 16, seven ODEs, with atmospheric ozone dropping below 1.0 ppbv, were observed. The depth of the ozone-depleted layer was variable, extending from the surface to ∼200–800 m. ODEs most commonly occurred during low wind speed conditions with flow coming from the Arctic Ocean. Two high-sensitivity ozone chemiluminescence instruments were used to accurately define the remaining sub-ppbv ozone levels during ODEs. These measurements showed variable residual ODE ozone levels ranging between 0.010 and 0.100 ppbv. During the most extended ODE, when ozone remained below 1.0 ppbv for over 78 h, these measurements showed a modest ozone recovery or production in the early afternoon hours, resulting in increases in the ozone mixing ratio of 0.100 to 0.800 ppbv. The comparison between high-sensitivity ozone measurements and BrO measured by longpath differential absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) during ODEs indicated that at low ozone levels formation of BrO is controlled by the amount of available ozone. Measurements of ozone in air drawn from below the snow surface showed depleted ozone in the snowpack, with levels consistently remaining <6 ppbv independent of above-surface ambient air concentrations. The snowpack was always a sink of ozone. Ozone deposition velocities determined from ozone surface flux measurements by eddy covariance were on the order of 0.01 cm s−1, which is of similar magnitude as ozone uptake rates found over snow at other polar sites that are not subjected to ODEs. The results from these multiple platform measurements unequivocally show that snow-atmosphere chemical exchanges of ozone at the measurement site do not exhibit a major contribution to ozone removal from the boundary layer and the formation of ODE.