Air mass trajectories to Summit, Greenland: A 44-year climatology and some episodic events

Jonathan D.W. Kahl, Dewayne A. Martinez, Hampden Kuhns, Clifford I. Davidson, Jean Luc Jaffrezo, Joyce M. Harris

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120 Scopus citations


The seasonal variation in atmospheric transport patterns to Summit, Greenland, is examined using a 44-year record of daily, 10-day, isobaric back trajectories at the 500-hPa level. Over 24,000 modeled trajectories are aggregated into distinct patterns using cluster analysis. Ten-day trajectories reaching Summit are longest during winter, with 67% extending upwind (westward) as far back as Asia or Europe. Trajectories are shortest during summer, with 46% having 10-day origins over North America. During all seasons a small percentage (3-7%) of trajectories originate in west Asia/Europe and follow a meridional path over the Arctic Ocean before approaching Summit from the northwest. Trajectories at the 700-hPa level tend to be shorter than at 500 hPa, with many of the 700-hPa trajectories from North America tracking over the North Atlantic and approaching Summit from the south. The long-range transport climatology for Summit is similar to a year-round climatology prepared for Dye 3, located 900 km to the south [Davidson et al., 1993b]. An analysis of several aerosol species measured at Summit during summer 1994 reveals examples of the usefulness and also the limitations of using long-range air trajectories to interpret chemical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26861-26875
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC12
StatePublished - Nov 30 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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