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Observations and Analysis of Atmospheric HydroxylGround-based measurements of sunlight absorption at the OH P(sub 1)(l) resonance line at 308 nm have been made on a continuous basis at Fritz Peak, Colorado. The derived OH vertical column abundances show the persistence of a new seasonal regime which began in 1991. The fall minimum has been consistently depressed about 10-15% below the 1980-1990 average fall values. While the initial onset of depressed fall abundances occurred a few months after the Pinatubo eruption, there has been no fall OH recovery correlating with decreased amounts of volcanic aerosol found since spring 1993. The Colorado data also continues to exhibit an AM-PM asymmetry which varies seasonally, approximately in phase with local total ozone. These observations were presented at the Front Range AGU meeting in February 1996 and were published in Geophysical Research Letters in July 1996 (preprint enclosed). An update through the fall of 1996, when morning abundances were found to be extremely low, was presented at the Fall 1996 AGU meeting (abstract attached). A PEPSIOS instrument of identical design is currently operational and has been used since April 1996 for OH column measurements at New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM. Title for both instruments was transferred from Florida Atlantic University to New Mexico Tech in February of 1996. Comparative measurements from the two instruments for April-July 1996 indicate small differences in OH column abundances, with New Mexico (34 deg N) abundances about 10% above Colorado (40 deg N) values for comparable solar zenith angles. A more detailed comparison will require at least one full year of data from both locations. New Mexico measurements were obtained on June 10, 1996, concurrently with a balloon launch of the NASA STRAT mission from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. We hope to make use of STRAT measurements H2O, CH4, and O3 which are particularly relevant to OH photochemistry. Additional work at New Mexico Tech involves a comparison of P(sub 1)(1) and Q(sub 1)(3) absorption by the method of Doppler shift of solar limb spectra. These are being used to infer path weighted temperatures and for validations studies on the standard method of analysis using the single P(sub 1)(1) line. Results were presented at the Fall 1996 AGU meeting (abstract attached). A graduate student in the Physics Department at New Mexico Tech has been supported since August 1996. The student is investigating column OH behavior using the NCAR 2-D model of the middle atmosphere. Graduate student support was not available until the start of the second year (Nov. 15, 1996), therefore funds have been transferred from the allocation for the research associate, who resigned from the project July 1, 1996.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Minschwaner, Ken R. (New Mexico Tech Socorro, NM United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1996
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:206693
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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