Mobile Monitoring Maps
Maps will automatically change, or you can hover over the map to see navigation arrows. You can click on 2017 maps to see larger version.
There have been two mobile monitoring studies in the Comox Valley.
In February 2017, a researcher did extensive mobile monitoring in parts of the Comox Valley (see our write-up about the study).
The researcher, Matt Wagstaff, has distributed a summary of the results from his work in our area (read summary). Not surprisingly, the results clearly show that older residential neighbourhoods have the highest wood smoke pollution concerns.
It also shows that many of us live in areas that are as bad, if not worse, than the measurements of fine particulates recorded at our fixed air quality monitor near Courtenay Elementary. The summary notes:
“Substantial variation was observed across the routes; measured levels across the Courtenay and Cumberland route were up to two times higher than the levels measured at the station, while levels across the Courtenay and Comox route were up to seven times higher than those measured at the Courtenay station.”
It is important to note that you can’t compare the colours from one map to the other as they are based on different PM2.5 averages.
The darker colours in both maps represent the worst neighbourhoods within that map, but because the average level of fine particulates were much higher in the Cumberland/Courtenay route map, the darker colours represent higher readings than the same darker colours in the Comox/Courtenay map (click on maps to enlarge images).
Each map also represents an average of 7 nights of readings. So some nights may have been better or worse than what is shown here. We are hoping when Matt Wagstaff’s final research is complete in early 2018 that we will have access to data from individual nights.
Older study - Winter of 2008-09
In 2008-09, researchers from the University of Victoria did a mobile monitoring study of fine particulates (PM2.5) in the Comox Valley. It was done for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
As part of this study, a mobile monitoring unit was driven on a regular route throughout the CVRD on 5 mornings and 6 evenings, between December 2008 and March 2009. The purpose was to measure levels of PM2.5 in different areas.
A series of maps show where the greatest concentrations of PM2.5 were found. Weather conditions resulted in variations over the different days. However, the study generally found:
Areas with consistently higher PM2.5 concentrations were western portions of Comox, in and around the denser commercial/residential area of Courtenay, and the denser residential areas of Cumberland. The source of these elevated levels is most likely wood smoke from residential wood burning, but may also reflect local traffic emissions.
Maps will automatically change, or you can hover over the map to see navigation arrows.