• A Search For Thermospheric Composition Perturbations Due To Vertical Winds

      Krynicki, Matthew P.; Conde, Mark (2006)
      The thermosphere is generally in hydrostatic equilibrium, with winds blowing horizontally along stratified constant-pressure surfaces, driven by the dayside-to-nightside pressure gradient. A marked change in this paradigm resulted after Spencer et al. [1976] reported vertical wind measurements of 80 m·s-1 from analyses of AE-C satellite data. It is now established that the thermosphere routinely supports large-magnitude (~30-150 m·s-1) vertical winds at auroral latitudes. These vertical winds represent significant departure from hydrostatic and diffusive equilibrium, altering locally---and potentially globally---the thermosphere's and ionosphere's composition, chemistry, thermodynamics and energy budget. Because of their localized nature, large-magnitude vertical wind effects are not entirely known. This thesis presents ground-based Fabry-Perot Spectrometer OI(630.0)-nm observations of upper-thermospheric vertical winds obtained at Inuvik, NT, Canada and Poker Flat, AK. The wind measurements are compared with vertical displacement estimates at ~104 km2 horizontal spatial scales determined from a new modification to the electron transport code of Lummerzheim and Lilensten [1994] as applied to FUV-wavelength observations by POLAR spacecraft's Ultraviolet Imager [Torr et al. , 1995]. The modification, referred to as the column shift, simulates vertical wind effects such as neutral transport and disruption of diffusive equilibrium by vertically displacing the Hedin [1991] MSIS-90 [O2]/[N2] and [O]/([N2]+[O2]) mixing ratios and subsequently redistributing the O, O2, and N 2 densities used in the transport code. Column shift estimates are inferred from comparisons of UVI OI(135.6)-nm auroral observations to their corresponding modeled emission. The modeled OI(135.6)-nm brightness is determined from the modeled thermospheric response to electron precipitation and estimations of the energy flux and characteristic energy of the precipitation, which are inferred from UVI-observed Lyman-Birge-Hopfield N2 emissions in two wavelength ranges. Two-dimensional column shift maps identify the spatial morphology of thermospheric composition perturbations associated with auroral forms relative to the model thermosphere. Case-study examples and statistical analyses of the column shift data sets indicate that column shifts can be attributed to vertical winds. Unanticipated limitations associated with modeling of the OI(135.6)-nm auroral emission make absolute column shift estimates indeterminate. Insufficient knowledge of thermospheric air-parcel time histories hinders interpretations of point-to-point time series comparisons between column shifts and vertical winds.
    • An Analysis Of Using Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices To Assess Persistent Organic Pollutants In Ambient Air Of Alaska

      Wu, Ted Hsin-Yeh; Cahill, Catherine (2006)
      A region of concern for persistent organic pollutants (POPS) contamination is the Arctic, because of POPs' ability to migrate long distances through the atmosphere toward cold regions, condense out of the atmosphere in those region, deposit in sensitive arctic ecosystems and bioaccumulate in Arctic species. Thus, monitoring of POP concentrations in the Arctic is necessary. However, traditional active air monitoring techniques for POPs may not be feasible in the Arctic, because of logistics and cost. While these issues may be overcome using passive air sampling devices, questions arise about the interpretation of the contaminant concentrations detected using the passive air samplers. In this dissertation semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) containing triolein were characterized and evaluated for use in sampling the ambient air of Alaska for three classes of POPS (organochlorines [OCs], polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and polyaromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]). In addition, a SPMD-based sampling campaign for POPS was conducted simultaneously at five sites in Alaska during a one-year period. The POP concentrations obtained from the SPMDs were examined to determine the spatial and seasonal variability at the locations. POP concentrations detected in SPMDs were influenced by exposure to sunlight, concentrations of particulate-bound contaminants and changes in temperature. PAH concentrations in a SPMD mounted in a sunlight-blocking deployment unit were higher than in a SPMD exposed to sunlight (P = 0.007). PCB concentrations in SPMD exposed to filtered and non-filtered air were significantly different (P < 0.0001). Derived PAH air concentrations measured using SPMD were within a factor of approximately 7 of those obtained from an air sampler in Barrow, Alaska. The field study showed three distinct groups of samples. Barrow was separated from the sub-Arctic samples and a Homer sample (September-December) was distinct from the sub-Arctic samples. The separations suggest different air masses are being sampled by SPMDs. Lower concentrations of total POPs were measured at the coastal sites than the Interior sites.