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OH column abundance over Table Mountain Facility, California: AM-PM diurnal asymmetry

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Abstract

Observations of the OH column abundance have been made by the Fourier Transform Ultraviolet Spectrometer at the JPL Table Mountain Facility (TMF) near Los Angeles since July 1997. In the January 1998–December 2003 data set we used five OH lines to derive the OH column abundance in the atmosphere. This data set was used to quantify the OH morning/afternoon asymmetry (AMPMDA). An analysis of summer and winter data showed that the daily OH maximum occurred 26–36 minutes after solar transit. This phase lag appears to be the primary reason why OH in the afternoon is larger than at corresponding solar zenith angles in the morning throughout the year. A simple heuristic model suggests that the asymmetry is a direct consequence of the finite lifetime of OH. Comparison of the TMF data with earlier results from Fritz Peak Observatory, Colorado, by Burnett et al. reveals significant differences in the behavior of the AMPMDA between the two sites.

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