Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 4127-4181, 2013
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites (BORTAS) experiment: design, execution and science overview
P. I. Palmer1, M. Parrington1, J. D. Lee2, A. C. Lewis2, A. R. Rickard3,*, P. F. Bernath2,**, T. J. Duck4, D. L. Waugh5, D. W. Tarasick6, S. Andrews7, E. Aruffo8,9, L. J. Bailey4, E. Barrett1, S. J.-B. Bauguitte10, K. R. Curry4, P. Di Carlo8,9, L. Chisholm5, L. Dan11, G. Forster12, J. E. Franklin4, M. D. Gibson13, D. Griffin11, D. Helmig14, J. R. Hopkins2, J. T. Hopper4, M. E. Jenkin15, D. Kindred16, J. Kliever11, M. Le Breton17, S. Matthiesen1, M. Maurice11, S. Moller2, D. P. Moore18, D. E. Oram12, S. J. O'Shea17, R. Christopher Owen19, C. M. L. S. Pagniello4, S. Pawson18, C. J. Percival17, J. R. Pierce4, S. Punjabi7, R. M. Purvis2, J. J. Remedios18, K. M. Rotermund4, K. M. Sakamoto4, A. M. da Silva20, K. B. Strawbridge6, K. Strong11, J. Taylor17, R. Trigwell1, K. A. Tereszchuk7, K. A. Walker11, D. Weaver11, C. Whaley11, and J. C. Young3
1School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
2National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, UK
3National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
4Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
5Meteorological Service of Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
6Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, UK
8Center of Excellence CETEMPS, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
9Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
10Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, Bedford, UK
11Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
12National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
13Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
14Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA
15Atmospheric Chemistry Services, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1FB, UK
16UK Meteorological Office, Exeter, UK
17School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
18Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
19Department of Geological and Mining Engineering Sciences, Michigan Technological University, MI, USA
20Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, USA
*now at: National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, UK
**now at: Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA

Abstract. We describe the design and execution of the BORTAS (Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants using Aircraft and Satellites) experiment, which has the overarching objective of understanding the chemical aging of airmasses that contain the emission products from seasonal boreal wildfires and how these airmasses subsequently impact downwind atmospheric composition. The central focus of the experiment was a two-week deployment of the UK BAe-146-301 Atmospheric Research Aircraft (ARA) over eastern Canada. The planned July 2010 deployment of the ARA was postponed by 12 months because of activities related to the dispersal of material emitted by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. However, most other planned model and measurement activities, including ground-based measurements at the Dalhousie University Ground Station (DGS), enhanced ozonesonde launches, and measurements at the Pico Atmospheric Observatory in the Azores, went ahead and constituted phase A of the experiment. Phase B of BORTAS in July 2011 included the same measurements, but included the ARA, special satellite observations and a more comprehensive measurement suite at the DGS. The high-frequency aircraft data provided a comprehensive snapshot of the pyrogenic plumes from wildfires. The coordinated ground-based and sonde data provided detailed but spatially-limited information that put the aircraft data into context of the longer burning season. We coordinated aircraft vertical profiles and overpasses of the NASA Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer and the Canadian Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment. These space-borne data, while less precise than other data, helped to relate the two-week measurement campaign to larger geographical and longer temporal scales. We interpret these data using a range of chemistry models: from a near-explicit gas-phase chemical mechanism, which tests out understanding of the underlying chemical mechanism, to regional and global 3-D models of atmospheric transport and lumped chemistry, which helps to assess the performance of the simplified chemical mechanism and effectively act as intermediaries between different measurement types. We also present an overview of some of the new science that has originated from this project from the mission planning and execution to the analysis of the ground-based, aircraft, and space-borne data.

Citation: Palmer, P. I., Parrington, M., Lee, J. D., Lewis, A. C., Rickard, A. R., Bernath, P. F., Duck, T. J., Waugh, D. L., Tarasick, D. W., Andrews, S., Aruffo, E., Bailey, L. J., Barrett, E., Bauguitte, S. J.-B., Curry, K. R., Di Carlo, P., Chisholm, L., Dan, L., Forster, G., Franklin, J. E., Gibson, M. D., Griffin, D., Helmig, D., Hopkins, J. R., Hopper, J. T., Jenkin, M. E., Kindred, D., Kliever, J., Le Breton, M., Matthiesen, S., Maurice, M., Moller, S., Moore, D. P., Oram, D. E., O'Shea, S. J., Christopher Owen, R., Pagniello, C. M. L. S., Pawson, S., Percival, C. J., Pierce, J. R., Punjabi, S., Purvis, R. M., Remedios, J. J., Rotermund, K. M., Sakamoto, K. M., da Silva, A. M., Strawbridge, K. B., Strong, K., Taylor, J., Trigwell, R., Tereszchuk, K. A., Walker, K. A., Weaver, D., Whaley, C., and Young, J. C.: Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites (BORTAS) experiment: design, execution and science overview, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 4127-4181, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-4127-2013, 2013.
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