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Publication Information

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Title: Large-scale monitoring of air pollution in remote and ecologically important areas

Author: Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Fraczek, Witold;

Date: 2013

Source: Geographia Polonica, 85(2), 25-38

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: New advances in air quality monitoring techniques, such as passive samplers for nitrogenous (N) or sulphurous (S) pollutants and ozone (O3), have allowed for an improved understanding of concentrations of these pollutants in remote areas. Mountains create special problems with regard to the feasibility of establishing and maintaining air pollution monitoring networks, due to their complex topography and difficult access. Therefore, careful design of monitoring networks, selection of monitoring equipment, and a reliable workforce are essential for successful mountain monitoring campaigns. The USDA Forest Service team, in collaboration with various partners in Europe and North America, has conducted numerous monitoring campaigns in order to determine concentrations of O3, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), nitric acid vapor (HNO3), and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in remote areas. These results, aided by geostatistical methodologies, have resulted in the creation of maps that are essential for a better understanding of the distribution of various air pollutants in the Carpathian Mountains (specifically, the Tetras, Retezat, and Bucegi ranges) in Europe; the Sierra Nevada (including Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks), the San Bernardino Mountains, the White Mountains, and Joshua Tree National Park in California; the Columbia Rivers Basin in Oregon; and the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in northern Alberta, Canada. Information on the concentrations and distribution of air pollutants which have been measured in those areas provides an understanding of their potential risks to human health, ecosystem health and sustainability, and ecosystem services.

Keywords: monitoring, air pollution, forests, remote areas, mountains, human health, ecosystems, Europe, North America

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Fraczek, Witold. 2013. Large-scale monitoring of air pollution in remote and ecologically important areas. Geographia Polonica, 85(2), 25-38


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