Article

Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 441-463

Air Pollution Transport in an Alpine Valley: Results From Airborne and Ground-Based Observations

  • A. GohmAffiliated withInstitute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck Email author 
  • , F. HarnischAffiliated withInstitut für Physik der Atmosphäre, DLR
  • , J. VergeinerAffiliated withInstitute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck
  • , F. ObleitnerAffiliated withInstitute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck
  • , R. SchnitzhoferAffiliated withInstitute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck
  • , A. HanselAffiliated withInstitute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck
  • , A. FixAffiliated withInstitut für Physik der Atmosphäre, DLR
  • , B. NeiningerAffiliated withMetAir AG
  • , S. EmeisAffiliated withIMK-IFU, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe
    • , K. SchäferAffiliated withIMK-IFU, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe

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Abstract

An observational dataset from a wintertime field campaign in the Inn Valley, Austria, is analysed in order to study mechanisms of air pollution transport in an Alpine valley. The results illustrate three types of mechanisms: transport by a density current, back-and-forth transport by valley winds, and transport by slope winds. The first type is associated with an air mass difference along the valley. Cooler air located in the lower part of the valley behaves like a density current and produces the advection of pollutants by upvalley winds. In the second type, strong horizontal gradients in pollution concentrations exist close to ground. Multiple wind reversals result in a back-and-forth transport of pollutants by weak valley winds. In the third type, upslope winds during daytime decrease low-level pollution concentrations and cause the formation of elevated pollution layers.

Keywords

Aerosols ALPNAP Foehn Lidar Local winds NO x Particulate matter