Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 14331-14349, 2007
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/7/14331/2007/
doi:10.5194/acpd-7-14331-2007
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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.
Impacts of the solar eclipse of 29 March 2006 on the surface ozone and nitrogen dioxide concentrations at Athens, Greece
C. Tzanis1, C. Varotsos1, and L. Viras2
1University of Athens, Department of Applied Physics, Panepistimiopolis Build. Phys. 5, 15784, Athens, Greece
2Ministry of Environment, Directorate of Air and Noise Pollution Control, 147, Patision Str., 11251 Athens, Greece

Abstract. The behavior of surface ozone and nitrogen dioxide concentration as well as the variations in various meteorological parameters before, during and after the total solar eclipse of 29 March 2006 has been examined. This analysis is based on measurements performed at four stations located in the greater Athens basin in Greece. The experimental data demonstrated that the solar eclipse phenomenon affects the surface ozone and nitrogen dioxide concentrations as well as the temperature, the relative humidity and the wind speed near the ground. The reduction of the solar ultraviolet radiation at 312 and 365 nm reached 97% and 93% respectively, while the air temperature dropped, the relative humidity increased and the wind speed decreased. The percentage change (decrease) of surface ozone concentration was maximized one hour after the maximum phase of the eclipse due to the decreased efficiency of the photochemical ozone formation. The surface nitrogen dioxide concentration increased and the time lag of the nitrogen dioxide response to the solar eclipse was found to be different for each station. A plausible cause for the increase in NO2 concentration may be the conversion of NO to NO2 through reaction with pre-existing O3 along with the low photolysis rates of NO2 as a consequence of the decreased solar radiation during the solar eclipse event.In general, the time response to the eclipse phenomenon was different for each of the aforementioned parameters.

Citation: Tzanis, C., Varotsos, C., and Viras, L.: Impacts of the solar eclipse of 29 March 2006 on the surface ozone and nitrogen dioxide concentrations at Athens, Greece, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 14331-14349, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-14331-2007, 2007.
 
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