Concentrations of 7Be and 210Pb in 2 years of weekly high-volume aerosol samples collected at Alert, Northwest Territories, Canada, showed pronounced seasonal variations. We observed a broad winter peak in 210Pb concentration and a spring peak in 7Be. These peaks were similar in magnitude and duration to previously reported results for a number of stations in the Arctic Basin. Beryllium 10 concentrations (determined only during the first year of this study) were well correlated with those of 7Be; the atom ratio 10Be/7Be was nearly constant at 2.2 throughout the year. This relatively high value of 10Be/7Be indicates that the stratosphere must constitute an important source of both Be isotopes in the Arctic troposphere throughout the year. A simple mixing model based on the small seasonal variations of 10Be/7Be indicates an approximately twofold increase of stratospheric influence in the free troposphere in late summer. The spring maxima in concentrations of both Be isotopes at the surface apparently reflect vertical mixing in rather than stratospheric injections into the troposphere. We have merged the results of the Be-based mixing model with weekly O3 soundings to assess Arctic stratospheric impact on the surface O3 budget at Alert. The resulting estimates indicate that stratospheric inputs can account for a maximum of 10-15% of the 03 at the surface in spring and for less during the rest of the year. These estimates are most uncertain during the winter. The combination of Be isotopic measurements and O3 vertical profiles could allow quantification of the contributions of O3 from the Arctic stratosphere and lower latitude regions to the O3 budget in the Arctic troposphere. Although at present the lack of a quantitative understanding of the temporal variation of O3 lifetime in the Arctic troposphere precludes making definitive calculations, qualitative examples of the power of this approach are given.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Journal of Geophysical Research



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Copyright 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.