Polar stratospheric clouds at the South Pole in 1990: lidar observations and analysis

R. L. Collins, K. P. Bowman, C. S. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In December 1989 a Rayleigh/sodium lidar (589 nm) was installed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station, and was used to measure stratospheric aerosol, temperature, and mesospheric sodium profiles through October 1990. Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) were first observed in late May at about 20 km. As the lower stratosphere cooled further, PSCs were observed throughout the 12-27 km altitude region, and remained there from mid-June until late August. Observations in early September detected no PSCs above 21 km. Observations made at two wavelengths in July show that the clouds are predominately composed of nitric acid trihydrate with associated Angstrom coefficients between 0.2 and 3.7. Comparison of the lidar data and balloon borne frost point measurements in late August indicate that the nitric acid mixing ratio was less than 1.5 ppbv. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1010
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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