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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Characterizing high altitude surface ozone in the White Mountains of California

Photo of Snapshot : We present surface ozone data for high-elevation sites in the White Mountains. At 4342 and 3783 m, our measurements are higher in elevation than any previous North American studies. Low ozone levels at White Mountain Summit correlates with exposure to clean Pacific Ocean maritime air, while high ozone levels correlates with reduced maritime exposures.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Bytnerowicz, Andrzej 
Research Location : White Mountains of CA
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 362


First measurements of surface ozone concentrations in the White Mountains of California, including the two highest sampling elevations (4342 m and 3783 m) ever reported for a North American study are provided for summer season 2009. Measured ozone concentrations were in rough agreement with results from other high-elevation sites in Europe, Asia, and North America, and the general elevation-based trends that were observed were mostly consistent with results from other alpine locations from around the globe. High ozone concentrations at White Mountain Summit were found to correlate with slow-moving back-trajectories that have spent more time inland and less time offshore, while low ozone concentrations were associated with fast-moving back trajectories that had limited exposure to polluted inland air. This will help in understanding long-term trends in changes of ozone concentrations in North America and long-range transport of air pollution across the Pacific from the Asia.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Prof. Joel Burley, St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA

Program Areas