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Smog in the Central Valley

Poor VisibilitySequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are located just east of the famous San Joaquin Valley. This valley forms the southern end of California's Central Valley, a large basin almost completely ringed by mountain ranges, an ideal shape for air pollution formation. 

Air pollutants collect and are often trapped within the basin by inversions, layers of warm air above layers of cooler air. 

In summer, a sort of contaminant soup cooks in the summer sun as if in a covered pot and slowly circulates from the northwest to the southeast until it reaches the Tehachapi Mountains. 

Blocked from going any further, the polluted air forms an eddy in the vicinity of Visalia and Fresno. Rising daytime air currents carry the pollution from the valley floor into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.


Next Next - Clean Air in the Wilderness?...

Air Quality Tour

Click on a choice:

  Smog in the Central Valley

  Clean Air in the Wilderness?

  Ozone Damage

  Ozone and Giant Sequoias

  Air Quality Monitoring

  Smoke from Wildland Fire

  Sustainable Practices

  What You Can Do to Help

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