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Chemistry of the Antarctic Boundary Layer and the Interface with Snow (CHABLIS)


CASLab with the FAGE container in the foreground, summer campaign 2004/05

CHABLIS was a major initiative to explore the atmospheric chemistry of the coastal Antarctic boundary layer in far greater detail and for a longer period of time than had been achieved hitherto. Conducted at the Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab) British Antarctic Research Station, Halley, a year-round study of chemical climatology, starting in January 2004, culminated in an intensive summer campaign in January-February 2005 where a comprehensive suite of radicals and other trace species was measured. Major foci for CHABLIS included detailed studies of seasonal oxidant chemistry, annual variation in the boundary layer NOy budget, and elucidating air/snow transfer processes. CHABLIS was funded by a grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI).

Key CHABLIS Goals:

  1. to explore the chemistry of the Antarctic Boundary Layer through a year-round study of chemical climatology culminating in an intensive summer campaign to measure a comprehensive suite of radicals and other trace species;
  2. to test numerical models of the pristine atmosphere under extreme conditions;
  3. to extend significantly our ability to interpret ice core data by improving understanding of both the present-day atmosphere and transfer functions.

Molecules Measured:

Target molecule(s) / measurement Technique Detection limit Data frequency Duration Key Goal
HCHO Fluorescence 20 pptv 5 min Year-round 1,3
NMHCs/CH4/DMS GC 1/5/100pptv hourly Year-round 1
Halocarbons/RONO2 Whole air samples << 1 pptv weekly Year-round 1,2,3
“ ( firn profiles) monthly Year-round 3
Halocarbons/RONO2 GC/MS < 1 pptv hourly Summer 1,2
NO/NO2 Chemiluminescence 1 pptv 1 min Year-round 1,2,3
PAN GC/ECD < 1 pptv 30 min Year-round 1,2,3
NO3 BL – DOAS 0.4 pptv 10 min Year-round 1,2
BrO/IO/OIO BL – DOAS 1/0.2/0.5 pptv 10 min Year-round 1
OH/HO2 FAGE (LIF technique) 1x105/1x106 molec.cm-3 2.5 min Summer 1
HO2/RO2 PERCA 1 pptv 1 min Summer 1
H2O2/CH3OOH HPLC 50 pptv continuous Summer 1,3
HONO Colorimetry 1-2 pptv continuous Year-round 1,2,3
H2O Frost point hygrometer   N/A 10 sec Year-round 1
HNO3 Denuder sampling < 1 pptv Day/weekly Year-round 1,2,3
O3 uv absorption 1 ppbv 10 sec Year-round 1
CO RGA 3 ppbv 10 sec Year-round 1,3
CN Particle counting 0.02 mm < 5 sec Summer 1
Photolysis rates Filter radiometers - < 5 sec Year-round 1,2,3
Snow NO3-, NO2- IC < 1 ppb daily Year-round 3
Particulate NO3-, NO2-, Br- Filter sampling and IC analysis < 1 pptv daily/weekly Year-round 1,2,3


Data are publicly accessible through the British Atmospheric Data Centre

CHABLIS publications

Publications resulting from data collected during the CHABLIS campaign.

CHABLIS participants

The CHABLIS participants, their affiliation at the time, and their role in the project.