Aspects of Middle Atmosphere Dynamics and Ozone

My current research focuses on satellite observations and dynamics of ozone and the middle atmosphere. I recently retired and am not taking new students. My research involves collaboration with Professor William Gallus in Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at ISU and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Interested students may wish to correspond with Prof. Gallus about possible graduate studies ( wgallus at ).


  • Recent Ph. D. student Mark Olsen (presently National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate at Goddard Space Flight Center) studied small-scale variations in ozone observations from space. The data are Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (EP TOMS) along-track ozone retrievals, in conjunction with ancillary meteorological fields and modeling studies, for high resolution investigations of upper troposphere and lower stratosphere dynamics. Specifically, high-resolution (25-50 km) along-track EP TOMS data allow investigations of the beautiful fine-scale structure in constituent and meteorological fields prominent in the evolution of highly non-linear baroclinic storm systems. Comparisons were made with high resolution models of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

    The analyses also provide internal consistency checks and validation of the EP TOMS data which are vital for monitoring ozone depletion in both polar and midlatitude regions.

    The analyses of EP TOMS along-track ozone data reveal excellent agreement with very fine scale features (100 km and under) in upper tropospheric/lower stratospheric dynamical fields predicted by the NOAA/FSL Rapid Update Cycle model developed by colleagues at NOAA/FSL in Boulder, Colorado. We also are collaborating in these fine-scale, near-tropopause dynamical studies with Professor William Gallus in the ISU Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences.

    The results reveal good correspondence between fine-scale details in TOMS total ozone and mesoscale model output. The three-dimensional mesoscale model output aids in interpretation of the TOMS data in terms of tropopause structure and evolution induced by baroclinic dynamics in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The results are discussed in Olsen, et al. (2000): Fine-scale comparison of TOMS total ozone data and model analysis of an intense Midwestern cyclone , Goering, et al. (2001):The Role of Stratospheric Air in a Severe Weather Event: Analysis of PV and Total Ozone, and Olsen and Stanford (2001):Evidence of stratosphere-to-troposphere transport within a mesoscale model and Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer total ozone.

    Further results are given in articles in [Publications]

    Other research interests involve collaborations with Dr. William Randel and Dr. Steve Massie at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

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