, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 441-463
Date: 20 Mar 2009

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

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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.