Mesoscale Transport and Dispersion of Airborne Pollens

TitleMesoscale Transport and Dispersion of Airborne Pollens
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsRaynor, GS, Hanes, JV, Ogden, EC
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology

Pollen transport and dispersion from generalized area sources was studied by 29 flights to distances of 100 km and heights of 3 km using an aircraft-mounted isokinetic sampler. Tree pollens and ragweed pollen served as tracers. Four types of flights were made to study various aspects of pollen transport: 1) ascents over a fixed location to investigate vertical distribution; 2) flights over a source-free area to document change of concentration with distance, 3) east-west flights along Long Island to study the influx of pollen from the mainland with westerly winds; and 4) vertical ascents and horizontal flights during sea breeze flows to determine their effect on pollen concentrations.

It was found that large quantities of pollen are transported in orderly fashion from their source regions but pollen often travels in large, discrete clouds. Pollen is transported to Long Island from the mainland in some quantity. Sea breeze flows greatly decrease low-level concentrations but pollen is carried aloft at the sea breeze front and recirculated in the return flow aloft. Vertical distribution is reasonably well related to lapse rate although secondary concentration peaks which often occur below elevated inversions cannot be explained by the data obtained.