NOx production by lightning in Hector: First airborne measurements during SCOUT-O3/ACTIVE

H. Huntrieser, H. Schlager, M. Lichtenstern, A. Roiger, P. Stock, A. Minikin, H. Höller, K. Schmidt, H. D. Betz, G. Allen, S. Viciani, A. Ulanovsky, F. Ravegnani, D. Brunner

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    During the SCOUT-O3/ACTIVE field phase in Novemberĝ€" December 2005, airborne in situ measurements were performed inside and in the vicinity of thunderstorms over northern Australia with several research aircraft (German Falcon, Russian M55 Geophysica, and British Dornier-228. Here a case study from 19 November is presented in detail on the basis of airborne trace gas measurements (NO, NOy, CO, O3) and stroke measurements from the German LIghtning Location NETwork (LINET), set up in the vicinity of Darwin during the field campaign. The anvil outflow from three different types of thunderstorms was probed by the Falcon aircraft: (1) a continental thunderstorm developing in a tropical airmass near Darwin, (2) a mesoscale convective system (MCS), known as Hector, developing within the tropical maritime continent (Tiwi Islands), and (3) a continental thunderstorm developing in a subtropical airmass ∼200 km south of Darwin. For the first time detailed measurements of NO were performed in the Hector outflow. The highest NO mixing ratios were observed in Hector with peaks up to 7 nmol mol−1 in the main anvil outflow at ∼11.5ĝ€"12.5 km altitude. The mean NOx (Combining double low lineNO+NO2) mixing ratios during these penetrations (∼100 km width) varied between 2.2 and 2.5 nmol mol−1. The NOx contribution from the boundary layer (BL), transported upward with the convection, to total anvil-NOx was found to be minor (
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8377-8412
    Number of pages35
    JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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