Ozone (O3) and aerosol scattering ratio profiles were obtained from airborne lidar measurements on thirty-eight flights over seven deployments covering the latitudes of 40°–85°N between 4 February and 23 May 2000 as part of the Tropospheric Ozone Production about the Spring Equinox (TOPSE) field experiment. Each deployment started from Broomfield, Colorado, with bases in Churchill, Canada, and on most deployments, Thule Air Base, Greenland. Nadir and zenith lidar O3 measurements were combined with in situ O3measurements to produce vertically continuous O3 profiles from near the surface to above the tropopause. Potential vorticity (PV) distributions along the flight track were obtained from several different meteorological analyses. Ozone, aerosol, and PV distributions were used together to identify the presence of pollution plumes and stratospheric intrusions. Ozone was found to increase in the middle free troposphere (4–6 km) at high latitudes (60°–85°N) by an average of 4.6 ppbv/mo (parts per billion by volume per month) from about 54 ppbv in early February to over 72 ppbv in mid-May. The average aerosol scattering ratios at 1064 nm in the same region increased rapidly at an average rate of 0.36/mo from about 0.38 to over 1.7. Ozone and aerosol scattering were highly correlated over the entire field experiment, and PV and beryllium (7Be) showed no significant positive trend over the same period. The primary cause of the observed O3 increase in the mid troposphere at high latitudes was determined to be the photochemical production of O3 in pollution plumes with less than 20% of the increase from stratospherically-derived O3.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Geophysical Research



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type



Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.