, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 275-286
Date: 21 Nov 2006

Examining Ambrosia pollen episodes at Poznań (Poland) using back-trajectory analysis

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Abstract

The pollen grains of Ambrosia spp. are considered to be important aeroallergens in parts of southern and central Europe. Back-trajectories have been analysed with the aim of finding the likely sources of Ambrosia pollen grains that arrived at Poznań (Poland). Temporal variations in Ambrosia pollen at Poznań from 1995–2005 were examined in order to identify Ambrosia pollen episodes suitable for further investigation using back-trajectory analysis. The trajectories were calculated using the transport model within the Lagrangian air pollution model, ACDEP (Atmospheric Chemistry and Deposition). Analysis identified two separate populations in Ambrosia pollen episodes, those that peaked in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., and those that peaked in the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.. Six Ambrosia pollen episodes between 2001 and 2005 were examined using back-trajectory analysis. The results showed that Ambrosia pollen episodes that peaked in the early morning usually arrived at Poznań from a southerly direction after passing over southern Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, whereas air masses that brought Ambrosia pollen to Poznań during the afternoon arrived from a more easterly direction and predominantly stayed within the borders of Poland. Back-trajectory analysis has shown that there is a possibility that long-range transport brings Ambrosia pollen to Poznań from southern Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. There is also a likelihood that Ambrosia is present in Poland, as shown by the arrival of pollen during the afternoon that originated primarily from within the country.