, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 273-302
Date: 16 Nov 2012

Lower/middle tropospheric ozone variability in Senegal during pre-monsoon and monsoon periods of summer 2008: observations and model results

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During the summer (8 June through 3 September) of 2008, 9 ozone profiles are examined from Dakar, Senegal (14.75°N, 17.49°W) to investigate ozone (O3) variability in the lower/middle troposphere during the pre-monsoon and monsoon periods. Results during June 2008 (pre-monsoon period) show a reduction in O3 concentrations, especially in the 850–700 hPa layer with Saharan Air Layer (SAL) events. However, O3 concentrations are increased in the 950–900 hPa layer where the peak of the inversion is found and presumably the highest dust concentrations. We also use the WRF-CHEM model to gain greater insights for observations of reduced O3 concentrations during the monsoon periods. In the transition period between 26 June and 2 July in the lower troposphere (925–600 hPa), a significant increase in O3 concentrations (10–20 ppb) occur which we suggest is caused by enhanced biogenic NOX emissions from Sahelian soils following rain events on 28 June and 1 July. The results suggest that during the pre-monsoon period ozone concentrations in the lower troposphere are controlled by the SAL, reducing ozone concentrations through heterogeneous chemical processes. At the base of the SAL we also find elevated levels of ozone, which we attribute to biogenic sources of NOX from Saharan dust that are released in the presence of moist conditions. Once the monsoon period commences, lower ozone concentrations are observed and modeled which we attribute to the dry deposition of ozone and episodes of ozone poor air that is horizontally transported into the Sahel from low latitudes by African Easterly Waves (AEWs).