Lusaka, Zambia, during SAFARI-2000: Convergence of local and imported ozone pollution

Anne M. Thompson, Jacquelyn C. Witte, M. Tal Freiman, N. Agnes Phahlane, Gert J.R. Coetzee

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14 Scopus citations


In August and September, throughout south central Africa, seasonal clearing of dry vegetation and other fire-related activities lead to intense smoke haze and ozone formation. The first ozone soundings in the heart of the southern African burning region were taken at Lusaka, Zambia (15.5S, 28E) in early September 2000. Maximum surface ozone was over 90 ppbv and column tropospheric ozone exceeded 50 DU. These values are higher than concurrent measurements over Nairobi (1S, 38E) and Irene (25S, 28E, near Pretoria). At least 30% of Lusaka surface ozone appears to be from local sources. A layer at 800-500 hPa has ozone >120 ppbv and originates from trans-boundary recirculation. Starting out over Zambia, Angola, and Namibia, ozone-rich air travels east to the Indian Ocean, before heading back toward Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Thus, Lusaka collects local and imported pollution, consistent with its location within the southern African gyre.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1976
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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