Volume 103, Issue D9 p. 10849-10858
Papers on Atmospheric Chemistry
Free Access

Quantitative evaluation of the post-Mount Pinatubo NO2 reduction and recovery, based on 10 years of Fourier transform infrared and UV-visible spectroscopic measurements at Jungfraujoch

First published: 01 May 1998
Citations: 19


The colocation of two technically different instruments for ground-based remote sensing of NO2 total column amounts at the primary Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change Alpine station of the Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8.0°E) has been exploited for mutual validation of the long-term NO2 time series from both instruments and for a quantitative evaluation of the impact of the Mount Pinatubo eruption on the NO2 abundance above this northern midlatitude observatory. The two techniques are high-resolution Fourier transform infrared solar absorption spectrometry and zenith-sky differential optical absorption spectroscopy in the UV visible. The diurnal variation of NO2 has been simulated by a simple photochemical model that allows a comparison between the data from the two techniques. This model is shown to reproduce the observed morning to evening ratios to 2.3%, on average, which is fully adequate for the needs of this study. From the 1985–1996 combined time series of NO2 morning and evening abundances, it has been concluded that the enhanced aerosol load injected into the stratosphere by Mount Pinatubo caused a maximum NO2 reduction above the Jungfraujoch by 45% in early January 1992 that died out quasi-exponentially to zero by the beginning of 1995.