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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Oct 2018

Research article | 04 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Detection and Classification of Laminae in Balloon-borne Ozonesonde Profiles: Application to the Long Term Record from Boulder, Colorado

Kenneth Minschwaner1, Anthony T. Giljum2, Gloria L. Manney3,1, Irina Petropavlovskikh4,5, Bryan J. Johnson5, and Allen F. Jordan4,5 Kenneth Minschwaner et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Socorro, New Mexico, USA
  • 2Departments of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA
  • 3NorthWest Research Associates, Socorro, New Mexico, USA
  • 4CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5Global Monitoring Division, NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. We quantify ozone variability in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) by investigating lamination features in balloon measurements of ozone mixing ratio and potential temperature. Laminae are defined as stratified variations in ozone that meet or exceed a 10% threshold for deviations from a basic state vertical profile of ozone. The basic state profiles are derived for each sounding using smoothing methods applied within a vertical coordinate system relative to the WMO tropopause. We present results of this analysis for the 25-year record of ozonesonde measurements from Boulder, Colorado. The mean number of ozone laminae identified per sounding is about 9±2 (1σ). The root-mean-square relative amplitude is 20%, and laminae with much larger amplitudes (>40%) are seen in ~2% of the profiles. The vertical scale of detected ozone laminae typically ranges between 0.5 and 1.2km. The lamina occurrence frequency varies significantly with altitude and is largest within ~2km of the tropopause. Overall, ozone laminae identified in our analysis account for more than one third of the total intraseasonal variability in ozone. A correlation technique between ozone and potential temperature is used to classify the subset of ozone laminae that are associated with gravity wave (GW) phenomena, which accounts for 28% of all laminar ozone features. The remaining 72% of laminae arise from non-gravity wave (NGW) phenomena. There are differences in the both the vertical distribution and seasonality of GW versus NGW ozone laminae that are linked to the contrast in main generating mechanisms for each laminae type.

Kenneth Minschwaner et al.
Interactive discussion
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Kenneth Minschwaner et al.
Kenneth Minschwaner et al.
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Short summary
We analyzed balloon measurements of ozone between the surface and 25 kilometers altitude above Boulder, Colorado, and developed an algorithm to detect and classify layers of either unusually high or unusually low ozone. These layers range in vertical thickness from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. We found that these laminae are an important contributor to the overall variability in ozone, especially in the transition region between the troposphere and stratosphere.
We analyzed balloon measurements of ozone between the surface and 25 kilometers altitude above...