Influence of local air flow regimes on the ozone content of two Pyrenean valleys

Autores: Ezcurra, A.; Benech, B.; Echelecou, A.; Santamaría Ulecia, Jesús Miguel; Herrero, I.; Zulueta, E.
ISSN: 1352-2310
Volumen: 74
Páginas: 367 - 377
Fecha de publicación: 2013
The Pyrenees Mountains, the natural border between France and Spain, have experienced a large increase in road traffic in the last decade. Due to this fact, a research program named PAP (Pollution Atmospheric in the Pyrenees) was established in 2004 by several laboratories from Spain and France to address the influence of meteorological regimes on the pollution levels of two adjacent valleys, Aspe valley (France) and Canfranc valley (Spain), situated in the center of the Pyrenean range. Pollution measurements show that mean ozone concentrations increase with height. In Sarrance, the site placed at the bottom of the valleys at 335 m above sea level (ASL), the mean ozone value was 23 ppb, whereas at the Pic Midi observatory (2877 m ASL), the top of the PAP network, the value found for mean ozone values was 52 ppb. A linear trend fits this altitudinal variation with a vertical gradient of 17 ppb km(-1). The data demonstrate that the observatories located over 1400 m ASL do not show the classical mean daily ozone cycle, and that mean ozone concentrations throughout the day are nearly constant. By contrast, below 1400 m ASL, the classical mean daily ozone cycle is clear, reaching a maximum around noon. These findings indicate that the photochemical reactions are almost inactive at the elevated observatories and, as a result, it can be concluded that ozone levels at those locations are mostly caused by advection of aged air masses. Consequently, we could find that the gradient inside the valleys follows a linear trend of 29 ppb km(-1). Finally, it has been observed that in north Foehn situations, intrusions of polluted air coming from the Free Troposphere (FT) can be detected in the upper part of the Spanish valley of Canfranc, where the mean daily ozone cycle changes significantly and becomes similar to the ones measured at the stations situated above 1400 m ASL. However, the results also pointed out that, except for the Foehn situations, the different local air flow regimes do not strongly affect the mean diurnal cycle of ozone and the mean ozone concentrations.