Publication Details

Latif, M., Dominick, D., Ahamad, F., Ahamad, N., Khan, M., Juneng, L., Xiang, C., Mohd Nadzir, M., Robinson, A. D., Ismail, M., Mead, M. & Harris, N. R. P. (2016). Seasonal and long term variations of surface ozone concentrations in Malaysian Borneo. Science of the Total Environment, 573 494-504.


Malaysian Borneo has a lower population density and is an area known for its lush rainforests. However, changes in pollutant profiles are expected due to increasing urbanisation and commercial-industrial activities. This study aims to determine the variation of surface O3 concentration recorded at seven selected stations in Malaysian Borneo. Hourly surface O3 data covering the period 2002 to 2013, obtained from the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE), were analysed using statistical methods. The results show that the concentrations of O3 recorded in Malaysian Borneo during the study period were below the maximum Malaysian Air Quality Standard of 100 ppbv. The hourly average and maximum O3 concentrations of 31 and 92 ppbv reported at Bintulu (S3) respectively were the highest among the O3 concentrations recorded at the sampling stations. Further investigation on O3 precursors show that sampling sites located near to local petrochemical industrial activities, such as Bintulu (S3) and Miri (S4), have higher NO2/NO ratios (between 3.21 and 5.67) compared to other stations. The normalised O3 values recorded at all stations were higher during the weekend compared to weekdays (unlike its precursors) which suggests the influence of O3 titration by NO during weekdays. The results also show that there are distinct seasonal variations in O3 across Borneo. High surface O3 concentrations were usually observed between August and September at all stations with the exception of station S7 on the east coast. Majority of the stations (except S1 and S6) have recorded increasing averaged maximum concentrations of surface O3 over the analysed years. Increasing trends of NO2 and decreasing trends of NO influence the yearly averaged maximum of O3 especially at S3. This study also shows that variations of meteorological factors such as wind speed and direction, humidity and temperature influence the concentration of surface O3.



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