IMP Institute of Meteorology and Physics 
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria

VOTALP Vertical Ozone Transports in the Alps
Participating Institutions & Staff    VOTALP I    VOTALP II     Publications

VOTALP is a joint project between the University of Agricultural Sciences in Vienna, Austria, the University of Cologne and the Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, the Paul Scherrer Institute, the University of Bern and the Metair AG, Switzerland, the National Research Council, Italy, and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is funded by the European Commission under Framework Programme IV, Environment and Climate, (VOTALP: Contract  ENV4-CT95-0025 and IC20-CT96-0015; VOTALP II: Contract  ENV4-CT97-0413 and IC20-CT97-0039), and by the Government of Switzerland.

Summary VOTALP I:
The EU research project VOTALP investigated transport and formation of ozone in the Alps, focusing on processes which can cause increased ozone concentrations, namely stratospheric intrusions, horizontal advection of polluted air, and in-situ production of ozone due to emissions in Alpine valleys. It was found that the average ozone concentrations in the Alpine area seem to be mainly determined by emissions in the surroundings and horizontal advection in the lower troposphere. Peak values are mostly ascribed to horizontal transport of polluted air, for instance during foehn, or stratospheric intrusions. Due to the enhanced deposition of pollutants the Alps probably act as a net sink for photo-oxidants. This implies a high impact of pollutants on the sensitive Alpine ecosystems, since deposition mainly means interception by plants.

Summary VOTALP II:
The EU research project VOTALP II investigated the enhanced vertical exchange above the Alps as well as other processes which might be relevant for increased ozone concentrations. The role of stratospheric intrusions for mountain peaks and of horizontal advection of polluted air for the foothill area causing a high ozone abundance has been quantified for selected locations. Above the Alpine foothills a so called “injection layer” above the boundary layer was detected, into which pollutants from below are transported. The Alps also play a crucial role for transport of boundary layer air up to the mid troposphere. The upper troposphere and the tropopause region, however, seem to be less affected.

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