Spatial Variability in Airborne Pollen Concentrations

TitleSpatial Variability in Airborne Pollen Concentrations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1975
AuthorsRaynor, GS, Ogden, EC, Hayes, JV
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Tests were conducted to determine the relationship between airborne pollen concentrations and distance. Simultaneous samples were taken in 171 tests with sets of eight rotoslide samplers spaced from one to 486 M. apart in straight lines. Use of all possible pairs gave 28 separation distances. Tests were conducted over a 2-year period in urban and rural locations distant from major pollen sources during both tree and ragweed pollen seasons. Samples were taken at a height of 1.5 M. during 5-to 20-minute periods. Tests were grouped by pollen type, location, year, and direction of the wind relative to the line. Data were analyzed to evaluate variability without regard to sampler spacing and variability as a function of separation distance. The mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, ratio of maximum to the mean, and ratio of minimum to the mean were calculated for each test, each group of tests, and all cases. The average coefficient of variation is 0.21, the maximum over the mean, 1.39 and the minimum over the mean, 0.69. No relationship was found with experimental conditions. Samples taken at the minimum separation distance had a mean difference of 18 per cent. Differences between pairs of samples increased with distance in 10 of 13 groups. These results suggest that airborne pollens are not always well mixed in the lower atmosphere and that a sample becomes less representative with increasing distance from the sampling location.