We quantified the summertime distribution of tropospheric ozone in the topographically complex
Nisqually River drainage of Mount Rainier National Park from 1994 to 1997. Passive ozone
samplers were used along an elevational transect to measure weekly average ozone
concentrations ranging from 570 m to 2040 m elevation. Weekly average ozone concentrations
were positively correlated with elevation, with the highest concentrations consistently measured at the highest sampling site (Panorama Point). Weekly average ozone concentrations at Mount Rainier National Park are considerably higher than those in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area to the west. The anthropogenic contribution to ozone within the Nisqually drainage was evaluated by comparing measurements at this location with measurements from a 'reference' site in the western Olympic Mountains. The comparison suggests there is a significant anthropogenic source of ozone reaching the Cascade Range via atmospheric transport from urban areas to the west. In addition. temporal (week to week) variation in ozone distribution is synchronous within the Nisqually drainage, which indicates that subregional patterns are detectable with weekly averages. The Nisqually drainage is likely the 'hot spot' for air pollution in Mount Rainier National Park. By using passive ozone samplers in this drainage in conjunction with a limited number of continuous analyzers, the park will have a robust monitoring approach for measuring tropospheric ozone over time and protecting vegetative and human health.
Additional publication details
Tropospheric ozone in the Nisqually River Drainage, Mount Rainier National Park