Hunter Valley Annual Air Quality
The Office of Environment and Heritage provides annual summary analysis of air quality data from the 43 station NSW air quality monitoring network and an annual report on the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network. Find out more
Upper Hunter Fine Particle Characterisation Study
The Upper Hunter Fine Particle Characterisation Study carried out in 2012 and 2013 identified and ranked the major components of PM2.5 particles in the Muswellbrook and Singleton airsheds. The study also investigated seasonal changes in PM2.5 particles in the Upper Hunter.
The project was jointly funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW Health, with co-investment from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) as the lead researcher.
The study found that likely sources and components for PM2.5 particles in Singleton included
- secondary sulfate from industry (20%)
- industry-aged sea salt (18%)
- vehicles and industry (17%)
- wood smoke (14%)
- soil (12%)
- smoke from bush fires and controlled burning (8%)
- fresh sea salt (8%)
- Secondary nitrate from industry (3%)
Likely sources and components for PM2.5 particles in Muswellbrook included
- wood smoke (30%)
- secondary sulfate from industry (17%)
- industry-aged sea salt (13%)
- smoke from bush fires and controlled burning (12%)
- soil (11%)
- vehicles and industry (8%)
- secondary nitrate from industry (6%)
- fresh sea salt (3%)
Seasonal variations in the contributions to PM2.5 concentrations at Singleton and Muswellbrook showed that wood smoke dominated at both sites during the winter, while contributions from secondary sulfate and industry-aged sea salt increased during summer months.