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Elementa Science of the Anthropocene


Boundary layer atmospheric ozone depletion events (ODEs) are commonly observed across polar sea ice regions following polar sunrise. During March-April 2005 in Alaska, the coastal site of Barrow and inland site of Atqasuk experienced ODEs (O3 < 10 nmol mol-1) concurrently for 31% of the observations, consistent with large spatial scale ozone depletion. However, 7% of the time ODEs were exclusively observed inland at Atqasuk. This phenomenon also occurred during one of nine flights during the BRomine, Ozone, and Mercury EXperiment (BROMEX), when atmospheric vertical profiles at both sites showed near-surface ozone depletion only at Atqasuk on 28 March 2012. Concurrent in-flight BrO measurements made using nadir scanning differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) showed the differences in ozone vertical profiles at these two sites could not be attributed to differences in locally occurring halogen chemistry. During both studies, backward air mass trajectories showed that the Barrow air masses observed had interacted with open sea ice leads, causing increased vertical mixing and recovery of ozone at Barrow and not Atqasuk, where the air masses only interacted with tundra and consolidated sea ice. These observations suggest that, while it is typical for coastal and inland sites to have similar ozone conditions, open leads may cause heterogeneity in the chemical composition of the springtime Arctic boundary layer over coastal and inland areas adjacent to sea ice regions.

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