Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-238
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-238

  04 Nov 2021

04 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Aircraft measurements of water vapor heavy isotope ratios in the marine boundary layer and lower troposphere during ORACLES

Dean Henze1, David Noone1,2, and Darin Toohey3 Dean Henze et al.
  • 1College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Oregon State University, OR, USA
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences University of Colorado, CO, USA

Abstract. This paper presents the water vapor heavy isotope ratio measurement system developed for aircraft in-situ measurements and used in the NASA ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) project. The resultant dataset collected, which includes measurements of specific humidity and the heavy isotope ratios D / H and 18O / 16O, is also presented. Aircraft sampling took place in the southeast Atlantic marine boundary layer and lower troposphere (equator to 22° S) over the months of Sept. 2016, Aug. 2017, and Oct. 2018. Isotope measurements were made using cavity ring-down spectroscopic analyzers integrated into the Water Isotope System for Precipitation and Entrainment Research (WISPER). The water concentration and isotopic data accompanied a suite of other variables including standard meteorological quantities (wind, temperature, moisture), trace gas and aerosol concentrations, radar, and lidar remote sensing. From an isotope perspective, the 300+ hours of 1 Hz in-situ data at levels in the atmosphere ranging from 70 m to 6 km represents a remarkably large and vertically resolved dataset. This paper provides a brief overview of the ORACLES mission and describes how water vapor heavy isotope ratios fit within the experimental design. Overviews of the sampling region and WISPER system setup are presented, along with calibration details, measurement uncertainties, and suggested data usage. Characteristics in the spatial variability of the study region over the three sampling periods are highlighted with latitude-altitude curtains. A number of individual tropospheric profiles are presented to illustrate the fidelity with which a series of different hydrologic processes are captured by the observations. The curtains and profiles demonstrate the dataset’s potential to provide a comprehensive perspective on moisture transport and isotopic content in this region. Readers interested in a quick reference to data usage and uncertainty estimation can consult the beginning of section 5. Data for the Sept. 2016, Aug. 2017, and Oct. 2018 sampling periods can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2016_V2, https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2017_V2, and https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2018_V2, respectively (see references for ORACLES Science Team, 2020 – 2016 P3 data, 2017 P3 data, and 2018 P3 data).
 

Dean Henze et al.

Status: open (until 30 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-238', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Nov 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Dean Henze, 28 Nov 2021 reply
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Dec 2021 reply
        • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Dean Henze, 02 Dec 2021 reply

Dean Henze et al.

Data sets

Suite of Aerosol, Cloud, and Related Data Acquired Aboard P3 During ORACLES 2018, Version 2 ORACLES Science Team (2020), Moffett Field, CA, NASA Ames Earth Science Project Office (ESPO) https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2018_V2

Suite of Aerosol, Cloud, and Related Data Acquired Aboard P3 During ORACLES 2017, Version 2 ORACLES Science Team (2020), Moffett Field, CA, NASA Ames Earth Science Project Office (ESPO) https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2017_V2

Suite of Aerosol, Cloud, and Related Data Acquired Aboard P3 During ORACLES 2016, Version 2 ORACLES Science Team (2020), Moffett Field, CA, NASA Ames Earth Science Project Office (ESPO) https://doi.org/10.5067/Suborbital/ORACLES/P3/2016_V2

Dean Henze et al.

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Short summary
The heavy isotope ratios of water vapor can provide information on the movement of water in the atmosphere, such as water vapor's origin of evaporation (e.g. land vs. sea), or detection of prior precipitation in an airmass. This paper presents the water vapor isotope measurement system developed for aircraft and used in the NASA ORACLES project. The data are presented to demonstrate their potential for providing a comprehensive perspective on moisture transport in this region.