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Volume 1 (2001), Pages 483-497
Research Article

Spatial Distribution of Tropospheric Ozone in National Parks of California: Interpretation of Passive-Sampler Data

National Park Service, Air Resources Division, 12795 W. Alameda Parkway, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225-0287, USA

Copyright © 2001 John D. Ray.


The National Park Service (NPS) has tested and used passive ozone samplers for several years to get baseline values for parks and to determine the spatial variability within parks. Experience has shown that the Ogawa passive samplers can provide ±10% accuracy when used with a quality assurance program consisting of blanks, duplicates, collocated instrumentation, and a standard operating procedure that carefully guides site operators. Although the passive device does not meet EPA criteria as a certified method (mainly, that hourly values be measured), it does provide seasonal summed values of ozone. The seasonal ozone concentrations from the passive devices can be compared to other monitoring to determine baseline values, trends, and spatial variations. This point is illustrated with some kriged interpolation maps of ozone statistics. Passive ozone samplers were used to get elevational gradients and spatial distributions of ozone within a park. This was done in varying degrees at Mount Rainier, Olympic, Sequoia–Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Rocky Mountain, and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. The ozone has been found to vary by factors of 2 and 3 within a park when average ozone is compared between locations. Specific examples of the spatial distributions of ozone in three parks within California are given using interpolation maps. Positive aspects and limitations of the passive sampling approach are presented.