Investigation of the short-time variability of tropical tropospheric ozone

T. Randriambelo, J. L. Baray, S. Baldy, A. M. Thompson, S. Oltmans, P. Keckhut

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9 Scopus citations


Since 1998, a ground-based tropospheric ozone lidar has been running at Reunion Island and has been involved with a daily measurement campaign that was performed in the latter part of the biomass burning season, during November-December 1999. The averaged ozone profile obtained during November-December 1999 agrees well with the averaged ozone profile obtained from the ozonesondes launch at Reunion during November-December (1992-2001). Comparing weekly sonde launches (part of the Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes: SHADOZ program) with the daily ground-based lidar observations shows that some striking features of the day-to-day variability profiles are not observed in the sonde measurements. Ozone profiles respond to the nature of disturbances which vary from one day to the next. The vertical ozone distribution at Reunion is examined as a function of prevailing atmospheric circulation. Back trajectories show that most of the enhanced ozone crossed over biomass burning and convectively active regions in Madagascar and the southern African continent. The analyses of the meteorological data show that ozone stratification profiles are in agreement with the movement of the synoptic situations in November-December 1999. Three different sequences of transport are explained using wind fields. The first sequence from 23 to 25 November is characterized by northerly transport; during the second sequence from 26 to 30 November, the air masses are influenced by meridional transport. The third sequence from 2 to 6 December is characterized by westerly transport associated with the subtropical jet stream. The large, standard deviations of lidar profiles in the middle and upper troposphere are in agreement with the upper wind variabilities which evidence passing ridge and trough disturbances. During the transition period between the dry season and the wet season, multiple ozone sources including stratosphere-troposphere exchanges, convection and biomass burning contribute to tropospheric ozone at Reunion Island through sporadic events characterized by a large spatial and temporal variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2095-2106
Number of pages12
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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