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

J. D W Kahl, D. A. Martinez, H. Kuhns, Cliff Ian Davidson, J. L. Jaffrezo, J. M. Harris

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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 D: Atmospheres
Issue numberC12
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Kahl, J. D. W., Martinez, D. A., Kuhns, H., Davidson, C. I., Jaffrezo, J. L., & Harris, J. M. (1997). Air mass trajectories to Summit, Greenland: a 44-year climatology and some episodic events. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 102(C12), 26861-26875.