Few data exist on tropospheric ozone concentrations in rural and wildland areas of western Washington, U.S.A. We measured tropospheric ozone in Mount Rainier National Park and the Puget Sound region of Washington using electronic analyzers and passive samplers during the summers of 1994 and 1995. Electronic analyzers recorded hourly ozone concentrations from five locations between Seattle and Mount Rainier. Ozone concentrations generally increased with distance from Seattle, with maximum hourly concentrations recorded at Enumclaw (319 m elevation, 50 km SE of Seattle). Paradise (1650 m elevation, 100 km SE of Seattle) had the highest monthly mean concentration of all sites measured with analyzers. Diurnal patterns on high-ozone days indicate that concentrations at Paradise remain near 60 ppbv throughout the day, whereas ozone concentrations closer to Seattle had higher peaks during the afternoon but dropped to near zero at night. Passive ozone samplers were used to measure weekly average ozone exposures in four river drainages within Mount Rainier National Park, across an elevation gradient (420 a??2100 m). In most drainages, ozone levels increased with elevation, with highest average weekly ozone exposure (47 ppbv) recorded at 2100 m. Ozone concentrations are significantly higher in the western portion of the park, indicating that ozone exposure varies considerably over short distances. These data provide a reference point for air quality in western Washington and indicate that intensive sampling is necessary to quantify spatial patterns of tropospheric ozone in mountainous regions.
Additional publication details
Spatial patterns of tropospheric ozone in the Mount Rainier region of the Cascade Mountains, USA