We use 7Be, with HNO3 and O3, to identify air masses sampled from the NCAR C-130 during TOPSE that retained clear evidence of stratospheric influence. A total of 43 such air masses, spread fairly evenly across the February to May sampling period, and 40°N–86°N latitude range, were encountered. South of 55°N, nearly all clear stratospheric influence was restricted to altitudes above 6 km. At higher latitudes stratospherically influenced air masses were encountered as low as 2 km. Approximately 12% of all TOPSE sampling time at altitudes above 2 km was spent in stratospherically impacted air, above 6 km this increased to more than half of the time. Because it is not certain how much of this stratospherically influenced air irreversibly injected mass (and chemical compounds) into the troposphere, we estimate the stratospheric fraction of O3 in high latitude TOPSE samples based on a linear relationship to7Be and compare it to in situ O3. This analysis indicates that the stratospheric source can account for a dominant fraction (>85%) of in situ O3 throughout TOPSE, but that the stratospheric contribution was nearly constant through the 4 month campaign. In February and March the 7Be based estimates of stratospheric O3 account for 10–15% more O3 than was measured, but by April and May there is up to about 10% more O3 than expected from the stratospheric source. This trend suggests that a seasonal transition from O3 depletion to photochemical production in the high latitude North American troposphere is the major cause of the springtime increase in O3.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Geophysical Research



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type



Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.