Background ozone level in the Sydney basin: assessment and trend analysis


H. Duc, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW PO Box 29, Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia. E-mail:


It has been recognized that the background ozone concentration in urban areas is changing over the years. This article aims to determine the background ozone level (BOL) using ambient air quality data measurements collected at some monitoring stations in the Sydney basin, Australia. A definition of background ozone in the context of the Sydney region is proposed. With this definition, it is possible to estimate the background ozone using ambient measurements of ozone and its precursors. The trend of the BOL is also estimated from the temporal ambient monitoring records as of early 1998-2005. These ozone level changes at different monitoring stations are assessed using the linear regression method. The results are shown to vary between different monitoring sites. This demonstrates that the local conditions at each site are important in determining as to whether an air quality management plan for reducing the ozone level to below the exceedance level is effective and achievable or not. Furthermore, the results obtained are compared with those obtained by the Clapp–Jenkin method, which is based on the relationship between oxidant and nitrogen oxides, assuming a stationary state of photochemical smog function.