The North Atlantic Marine Boundary Layer Experiment (NAMBLEX). Overview of the campaign held at Mace Head, Ireland, in summer 2002

D E Heard, K A Read, J Methven, S Al-Haider, W J Bloss, G P Johnson, M J Pilling, P W Seakins, S C Smith, R Sommariva, J C Stanton, T J Still, T Ingham, B Brooks, G De Leeuw, A V Jackson, J B McQuaid, R Morgan, M H Smith, L J CarpenterN Carslaw, J Hamilton, J R Hopkins, J D Lee, A C Lewis, R M Purvis, D J Wevill, N Brough, T Green, G Mills, S A Penkett, J M C Plane, A Saiz-Lopez, D Worton, P S Monks, Z Fleming, A R Rickard, M R Alfarra, J D Allan, K Bower, H Coe, M Cubison, M Flynn, G McFiggans, M Gallagher, E G Norton, C D O'Dowd, J Shillito, D Topping, G Vaughan, P Williams, M Bitter, S M Ball, R L Jones, I M Povey, S O'Doherty, P G Simmonds, A Allen, R P Kinnersley, D C S Beddows, M Dall'Osto, R M Harrison, R J Donovan, M R Heal, S G Jennings, C Noone, G Spain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The North Atlantic Marine Boundary Layer Experiment ( NAMBLEX), involving over 50 scientists from 12 institutions, took place at Mace Head, Ireland (53.32 degrees N, 9.90 degrees W), between 23 July and 4 September 2002. A wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation enabled detailed measurements of the boundary layer structure and atmospheric composition in the gas and aerosol phase to be made, providing one of the most comprehensive in situ studies of the marine boundary layer to date. This overview paper describes the aims of the NAMBLEX project in the context of previous field campaigns in the Marine Boundary Layer ( MBL), the overall layout of the site, a summary of the instrumentation deployed, the temporal coverage of the measurement data, and the numerical models used to interpret the field data. Measurements of some trace species were made for the first time during the campaign, which was characterised by predominantly clean air of marine origin, but more polluted air with higher levels of NOx originating from continental regions was also experienced. This paper provides a summary of the meteorological measurements and Planetary Boundary Layer ( PBL) structure measurements, presents time series of some of the longer-lived trace species ( O-3, CO, H-2, DMS, CH4 , NMHC, NOx, NOy, PAN) and summarises measurements of other species that are described in more detail in other papers within this special issue, namely oxygenated VOCs, HCHO, peroxides, organo-halogenated species, a range of shorter lived halogen species ( I-2, OIO, IO, BrO), NO3 radicals, photolysis frequencies, the free radicals OH, HO2 and ( HO2 + Sigma RO2), as well as a summary of the aerosol measurements. NAMBLEX was supported by measurements made in the vicinity of Mace Head using the NERC Dornier-228 aircraft. Using ECMWF windfields, calculations were made of the air-mass trajectories arriving at Mace Head during NAMBLEX, and were analysed together with both meteorological and trace-gas measurements. In this paper a chemical climatology for the duration of the campaign is presented to interpret the distribution of air-mass origins and emission sources, and to provide a convenient framework of air-mass classification that is used by other papers in this issue for the interpretation of observed variability in levels of trace gases and aerosols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2241-2272
Number of pages32
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2006



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