Satellite observations of long range transport of a large BrO cloud in the Arctic
1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
2Institute of Oceanography, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
3Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
4Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford (Oxfordshire), UK
Abstract. Ozone Depletion Events (ODE) during polar springtime are a well known phenomenon in the Arctic and Antarctic boundary layer. They are caused by the catalytic destruction of ozone by halogens producing reactive halogen oxides like bromine monoxide (BrO). The key halogen bromine can be rapidly transferred into the gas phase in an autocatalytic process – the so called "Bromine Explosion". However, the exact mechanism, which leads to an initial bromine release as well as the influence of transport and chemical processes on BrO, is still not clearly understood. In this study, BrO measurements from the satellite instrument GOME-2 are used together with model calculations with the dispersion model FLEXPART and Potential Frost Flowers (PFF) maps to study a special arctic BrO event in March/April 2007, which could be tracked over many days and large areas. Full BrO activation was observed within one day east of Siberia with subsequent transport to the Hudson Bay. The event was linked to a cyclone with very high surface wind speeds which could have been involved in the production and the sustaining of aerosols providing the surface for BrO recycling within the plume. The evolution of the BrO plume could be well reproduced by FLEXPART calculations for a passive tracer indicating that the activated air mass was transported all the way from Siberia to the Hudson Bay without further activation at the surface. No direct link could be made to frost flower occurrence and BrO activation but enhanced PFF were observed a few days before the event in the source regions.