06 Oct 2023
 | 06 Oct 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Intercomparison of Fast airborne Ozone Instruments to measure Eddy Covariance Fluxes: Spatial variability in deposition at the ocean surface and evidence for cloud processing

Randall Chiu, Florian Obersteiner, Alessandro Franchin, Teresa Campos, Adriana Bailey, Christopher Webster, Andreas Zahn, and Rainer Volkamer

Abstract. The air-sea exchange of ozone is controlled by chemistry involving halogens, dissolved organic carbon and sulfur in the sea surface microlayer. Calculations also indicate faster ozone photolysis at aqueous surfaces, but the role of clouds as ozone sink is currently not well established. Fast response ozone sensors offer opportunities to measure eddy covariance (EC) ozone fluxes in the marine boundary layer. However, intercomparisons of fast airborne O3 sensors, and EC O3 fluxes measured on aircraft have not been conducted before. In April 2022, the TI3GER (Technical Innovation Into Iodine and GV aircraft Environmental Research) field campaign deployed three fast ozone sensors (gas chemiluminescence and a combination of UV absorption with coumarin chemiluminescence detection, CID) together with a fast water vapor sensor and anemometer to study iodine chemistry in the troposphere and stratosphere over Colorado and over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and Alaska. Here, we present an instrument comparison between the NCAR Fast O3 instrument (FO3, gas-phase CID) and two KIT Fast AIRborne Ozone instruments (FAIRO, UV absorption and coumarin CID). The sensors have comparable precision <0.4 % Hz-0.5 (0.15 ppbv Hz-0.5), and ozone volume mixing ratios (vmr) generally agreed within 2 % over a wide range of environmental conditions: 10 < O3 < 1000 ppbv; below detection < NOx < 7 ppbv; and 2 ppmv < H2O < 4 % VMR. Both instrument designs are demonstrated to be suitable for EC flux measurements and were able to detect O3 fluxes with exchange velocities (defined as positive for upward) as slow as -0.010 ± 0.004 cm s-1, which is in the lower range of previously reported measurements. Additionally, we present two case studies: one in which the direction of ozone and water vapor fluxes were reversed (vO3 = +0.134 ± 0.005 cm s-1), suggesting that overhead evaporating clouds could be a strong ozone sink; and another in which ozone fluxes vO3 are negative (varying by a factor of 6–10 from -0.036 ± 0.006 to -0.003 ± 0.004 cm s-1), while the water vapor fluxes are consistently positive due to evaporation from the ocean surface and spatially homogeneous. Future work is needed to better understand the role of clouds as a possibly widespread sink of ozone in the remote marine boundary layer, and to elucidate possible drivers (physical, chemical, or biological) of the variability in ozone exchange velocities on fine spatial scales (~20 km) over remote oceans.

Randall Chiu et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-198', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Nov 2023 reply

Randall Chiu et al.

Randall Chiu et al.


Total article views: 221 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
168 48 5 221 12 1 1
  • HTML: 168
  • PDF: 48
  • XML: 5
  • Total: 221
  • Supplement: 12
  • BibTeX: 1
  • EndNote: 1
Views and downloads (calculated since 06 Oct 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 06 Oct 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 244 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 244 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 06 Dec 2023
Short summary
The ozone sink into oceans and marine clouds is understudied and highly uncertain. Calculations suggest O3 destruction at aqueous surfaces (ocean, droplets) may be strongly accelerated, but field evidence is missing. Here we compare three fast airborne O3 instruments to measure Eddy Covariance fluxes of O3 over the remote ocean, in clear and cloudy air. We find O3 fluxes below clouds are consistently directed into clouds, while O3 fluxes into oceans are much smaller, and spatially variable.