Kaiser, August and Scheifinger, Helfried and Spangl, Wolfgang and Weiss, Andrea and Gilge, Stefan and Fricke, Wolfgang and Ries, Ludwig and Cemas, Danijel and Jesenovec, Brigita
The Alpine stations Zugspitze, Hohenpeissenberg, Sonnblick, Jungfraujoch and Mt. Krvavec contribute to the Global Atmosphere Watch Programme (GAW) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The aim of GAW is the surveillance of the large-scale chemical composition of the atmosphere. Thus, the detection of air pollutant transport from regional sources is of particular interest. In this paper, the origin of NO x (measured with a photo-converter), CO and O 3 at the four Alpine GAW stations is studied by trajectory residence time statistics. Although these methods originated during the early 1980s, no comprehensive study of different atmospheric trace gases measured simultaneously at several background observatories in the Alps was conducted up to present. The main NO x source regions detected by the trajectory statistics are the northwest of Europe and the region covering East Germany, Czech Republic and southeast Poland, whereas the main CO source areas are the central, north eastern and eastern parts of Europe with some gradient from low to high latitudes. Subsiding air masses from west and southwest are relatively poor in NO x and CO. The statistics for ozone show strong seasonal effects. Near ground air masses are poor in ozone in winter but rich in ozone in summer. The main source for high ozone concentration in winter is air masses that subside from higher elevations, often enhanced by foehn effects at Hohenpeissenberg. During summer, the Mediterranean constitutes an important additional source for high ozone concentrations. Especially during winter, large differences between Hohenpeissenberg and the higher elevated stations are found. Hohenpeissenberg is frequently within the inversion, whereas the higher elevated stations are above the inversion. Jungfraujoch is the only station where the statistics detect an influence of air rich in CO and NO x from the Po Basin.