Abstract. In situ measurements of ozone, photochemically active bromine compounds, and other trace gases over the Arctic Ocean in April 2008 are used to examine the chemistry and geographical extent of ozone depletion in the arctic marine boundary layer (MBL). Data were obtained from the NOAA WP-3D aircraft during the Aerosol, Radiation, and Cloud Processes affecting Arctic Climate (ARCPAC) study and the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) study. Fast (1 s) and sensitive (detection limits at the low pptv level) measurements of BrCl and BrO were obtained from three different chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) instruments, and soluble bromide was measured with a mist chamber. The CIMS instruments also detected Br2. Subsequent laboratory studies showed that HOBr rapidly converts to Br2 on the Teflon instrument inlets. This detected Br2 is identified as active bromine and represents a lower limit of the sum HOBr + Br2. The measured active bromine is shown to likely be HOBr during daytime flights in the arctic. In the MBL over the Arctic Ocean, soluble bromide and active bromine were consistently elevated and ozone was depleted. Ozone depletion and active bromine enhancement were confined to the MBL that was capped by a temperature inversion at 200–500 m altitude. In ozone-depleted air, BrO rarely exceeded 10 pptv and was always substantially lower than soluble bromide that was as high as 40 pptv. BrCl was rarely enhanced above the 2 pptv detection limit, either in the MBL, over Alaska, or in the arctic free troposphere.