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Ozone in remote areas of the Southern Rocky Mountains

Posted date: May 06, 2014
Publication Year: 
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Atmospheric Environment. 82: 383-390


Ozone (O3) data are sparse for remote, non-urban mountain areas of the western U.S. Ozone was monitored 2007e2011 at high elevation sites in national forests in Colorado and northeastern Utah using a portable battery-powered O3 monitor. The data suggest that many of these remote locations already have O3 concentrations that would contribute to exceedance of the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for O3 and most could exceed a proposed more stringent secondary standard. There were significant year-to-year differences in O3 concentration. Ozone was primarily in the midconcentration range, rarely exceeding 100 ppb or dropping below 30 ppb. The small diel changes in concentration indicate mixing ratios of NOx, VOCs, and O3 that favor stable O3 concentrations. The large number of mid-level O3 concentrations contributed to high W126 O3 values, the metric proposed as a possible new secondary standard. Higher O3 concentrations in springtime and at night suggest that stratospheric intrusion may be contributing to ambient O3 at these sites. Highest nighttime O3 concentrations occurred at the highest elevations, while daytime O3 concentrations did not have a relationship with elevation. These factors favor O3 concentrations at many of our remote locations that may exceed the O3 NAAQS, and suggest that exceedances are likely to occur at other western rural locations.


Musselman, Robert C.; Korfmacher, John L. 2014. Ozone in remote areas of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Atmospheric Environment. 82: 383-390.