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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Validation of hydrogen chloride measurements made by the Halogen Occultation Experiment from the UARS platform


  • James M. Russell III,

  • Lance E. Deaver,

  • Mingzhao Luo,

  • Jae H. Park,

  • Larry L. Gordley,

  • Adrian F. Tuck,

  • Geoffrey C. Toon,

  • Michael R. Gunson,

  • Wesley A. Traub,

  • David G. Johnson,

  • Kenneth W. Jucks,

  • David G. Murcray,

  • Rudolphe Zander,

  • Ira G. Nolt,

  • Christopher R. Webster


The Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE) on UARS uses the method of solar occultation limb sounding to measure the composition and structure of the stratosphere and mesosphere. One of the HALOE channels is spectrally centered at 3.4 μm to measure the vertical profile and global distribution of hydrogen chloride. The mean difference between HALOE and 14 balloon correlative underflight measurements ranges from 8% to 19% throughout most of the stratosphere. This difference is within the limits of error bar overlap for the two data sets. The mean differences between HALOE and HCl data from ATMOS flights on the space shuttle is of the order of 15 to 20% for the 1992 flight and 10% for the 1993 flight. Generally, HALOE results tend to be low in these comparisons. Also, comparisons with two-dimensional model calculations and HALOE data are in good qualitative agreement regarding vertical profile shapes and features in a pressure versus latitude cross section. HCl values increase from ∼0.3 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) to 1 ppbv in the lower stratosphere to 2.6 ppbv to 3.3 ppbv just above the stratopause which is the upper limit of HALOE single-profile measurements. There is a dependence of HCl results on the angle between the orbit plane and the Earth-Sun vector with HCl varying by ±9% in the upper stratosphere. This variation appears to be altitude dependent and it is not discernible in the data below about 10 mbar.

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