In situ mountain-wave polar stratospheric cloud measurements: Implications for nitric acid trihydrate formation

Christiane Voigt, Niels Larsen, Terry Deshler, Chris Kröger, Jochen Schreiner, Konrad Mauersberger, Beiping Luo, Alberto Adriani, Francesco Cairo, Guido Di Donfrancesco, Joelle Ovarlez, Henri Ovarlez, Andreas Dörnbrack, Bjørn Knudsen, Jim Rosen

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Particle size distribution, composition, and optical properties of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) have been measured above northern Scandinavia during a nocturnal balloon flight within the polar vortex on 19 January 2000. The mountain-wave PSC mainly consisted of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles with number densities between 0.01 and 0.2 cm-3, median radii of 1 to 2 μm and volumes up to 1 μm3 cm-3. A comparison between optical PSC data and optical simulations based on the measured particle size distribution indicates that the NAT particles were aspherical with an aspect ratio of 0.5. The NAT particle properties have been compared to another PSC observation on 25 January 2000, where NAT particle number densities were about an order of magnitude higher. In both cases, microphysical modeling indicates that the NAT particles have formed on ice particles in the mountain-wave events. Differences in the NAT particle number density can be explained by the meteorological conditions. We suggest that the higher NAT number density on 25 January can be caused by stronger wave activity observed on that day, larger cooling rates and therefore higher NAT supersaturation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Voigt, C., Larsen, N., Deshler, T., Kröger, C., Schreiner, J., Mauersberger, K., ... Rosen, J. (2003). In situ mountain-wave polar stratospheric cloud measurements: Implications for nitric acid trihydrate formation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(5), -.