Cross-Appalachian Tracer Experiment (CAPTEX  '83) Final Report


G.J. Ferber, J.L. Heffter, R.R. Draxler, R.J. Lagomarsino, F.L. Thomas, R.N. Dietz, C.M. Benkovitz


NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL ARL-142, January 1986


Abstract - The Cross-Appalachian Tracer Experiment (CAPTEX '83) was a major field study using a perfluorocarbon tracer to simulate the long-range transport and diffusion of pollutants in the atmosphere.  The experiment consisted of 7 tracer releases, 5 form Dayton, Ohio, and 2 from Sudbury, Ontario, during mid-September through October 1983. Automatic, sequential ground-level samplers were operated at 80 sites in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada at distances of 300 to 1100 km from the release site. About 3000 3- and 6- hour-long samples were collected in the sampling network during CAPTEX.  To determine the vertical distribution of tracer, seven aircraft collected over 1600 samples at various plume transects from 200 to 900 km from the releases.  The regular rawinsonde observations in the CAPTEX sampling area were increased to 4 times daily following each release, and 10 additional rawinsonde stations were established to fill spatial gaps in the regular network while operating on a similar time schedule. In addition, constant-level balloons were released at the sources and tracked for distances up to 1000 km.  Tracer from each of the seven releases was successfully sampled at the ground and in the aircraft.  Ground concentrations over 300 times background were also measured by the sampling aircraft.  This report describes CAPTEX and includes all ground-level measured concentrations in tabular form, and a discussion and concentration map for each release along with data quality assurance and sampling performance results.  The report also includes aircraft-measured concentrations in tabular form, and maps of the flight paths over which the data were collected.



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