Turbulent Mixing within Tropopause Folds as a Mechanism for the Exchange of Chemical Constituents between the Stratosphere and Troposphere

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
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Abstract

Evidence is presented which illustrates the role of jet stream-frontal zone clear air turbulence (CAT) as a mechanism for the exchange of air and chemical trace constituents between the stratosphere and the troposphere. Three-dimensional air motion sensing instrumentation and fast-response ozone and condensation nuclei analysers on board research aircraft permit the quantitative evaluation of the turbulent flux of chemical constituents across the tropopause. The observations reveal that tropopause folds are mixing regions whose chemical characteristics lie somewhere in between those of the troposphere and the stratosphere. The temporal changes of ozone and condensation nuclei brought about through the vertical flux divergence of these quantities suggest that turbulent mixing processes are of first-order importance as a mechanism for stratospheric-tropospheric exchange in the vicinity of jet stream-frontal zone-associated topopause folds.

Abstract

Evidence is presented which illustrates the role of jet stream-frontal zone clear air turbulence (CAT) as a mechanism for the exchange of air and chemical trace constituents between the stratosphere and the troposphere. Three-dimensional air motion sensing instrumentation and fast-response ozone and condensation nuclei analysers on board research aircraft permit the quantitative evaluation of the turbulent flux of chemical constituents across the tropopause. The observations reveal that tropopause folds are mixing regions whose chemical characteristics lie somewhere in between those of the troposphere and the stratosphere. The temporal changes of ozone and condensation nuclei brought about through the vertical flux divergence of these quantities suggest that turbulent mixing processes are of first-order importance as a mechanism for stratospheric-tropospheric exchange in the vicinity of jet stream-frontal zone-associated topopause folds.

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