Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Ozone measurements in Amazonia: Dry season versus wet season


  • V. W. J. H. Kirchhoff,

  • I. M. O. da Silva,

  • E. V. Browell


The concentration of atmospheric ozone was measured in the Amazonian rain forest. Observations were made almost continuously at the surface, and in addition, 20 ozone profiles were obtained in the troposphere and stratosphere. These ozone measurements were part of a field expedition to the Brazilian Amazon region, the ABLE 2B mission, a joint American-Brazilian effort to measure local concentrations of several species relevant to atmospheric chemistry. The time period of this expedition was April–May 1987, during the local wet season. For the surface ozone data the measurement technique used was UV absorption. Ozone profiles were obtained with electrochemical concentration cell sondes, launched on balloons. The major site of operation was set up near Manaus (3°S, 60°W). The results are presented and compared with a previous dry season experiment. Surface ozone mixing ratios show diurnal variations that have maxima in the daytime and minima at night. The diurnal maximum at noontime, considered very low (12 ppbv) in the dry season was even lower in this wet season period (6 ppbv). A significant difference can be seen between clearing and forest data, and between different height levels above the surface, showing the existence of a large positive gradient of ozone with height. The ozone profiles in the troposphere show that there is less ozone not only at the surface but in the whole troposphere, with the wet season average showing between 6 and 12 ppbv less ozone. This difference is much smaller in the stratosphere, where there is slightly more ozone in the region of the peak, during the wet season. An isolated shower or thunderstorm in the dry season could produce transient ozone variations (mixing ratio increases or decreases) that were not observed in the wet season.