Smoke measurement surveys have been conducted by EPA Tasmania to provide spatial information on smoke in towns and communities. Survey work commenced in 2009 using some of the same equipment as was deployed in the (then) newly installed BLANkET stations. Over subsequent years both the survey equipment and techniques have been refined.
Sine 2011 there has been an extensive program of smoke survey measurements, typically conducted on cold, calm nights, in a number of Tasmanian towns and communities. The purpose is to collect data on particulate concentration from smoke from domestic wood heaters. These data provide a 'snapshot' of the smoke distribution in a town, and also will help in the determination of population particle–exposure.
An EPA Tasmania-designed car–based smoke–measurement instrument (Travel BLANkET) is used to map the spatial distribution of smoke. The system is based on a DRX DustTrak, calibrated as for the BLANkET units, installed in a box with a heated inlet, battery, and local router. Ambient air is sampled via a ∼1 metre teflon tube that extends outside the car. A USB GPS unit allows the measurements to be geo–located. A thermistor and ultrasonic wind sensor also are mounted on the outside of the car, giving ambient temperature and an estimate of wind speed and direction relative to the vehicle. Ambient wind speed and direction are determined by vector subtraction of the car motion. A laptop is used to read these instruments and log data. One data point is collected each 5 seconds on a survey. The data are displayed in Google Earth in real–time on the laptop. For more background and technical information about Travel BLANkET refer to the BLANkET Technical Report available here. Descriptions of specific surveys can also be found in other BLANkET Technical Reports.
1/ Smoke survey data via the LISTMap portal.
PM2.5 data from the annual winter surveys are available on the Tasmania Government LISTMap site for the years:
2017. Zoom in to the area of interest to see the full resolution of the measurements. Clicking on an individual data point shows details of the measurement.
2/ Alternative view: 'Aggregated' smoke survey data via a webmap
(This option may be easier to use if you are using a smart phone or tablet rather than a PC.)
PM2.5 data from the winter surveys are also available in a web map format for:
2017 (Launceston only), 2017 (excluding Launceston), 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 (all surveys), 2011 (Deloraine only).
Due to the large number of measurements generated in a survey, the data on the webmaps are displayed as 'aggregated' points. (i.e. A number of data points are collected, or aggregated, into the one displayed value.) As you zoom in to more detailed views the number of points aggregated into a single symbol decreases, as the aggregation is based on a spatial scaling.
Please note that larger circles represents larger numbers of (aggregated) survey points, NOT higher concentration of PM2.5. The PM2.5 concentrations are represented by colour only. In general, zoom in to see individual survey points. However, if the vehicle was stationary for some time these data are likely to still appear aggregated, even at the highest zoom levels.
Wood heater and open fireplace use in Tasmania - 2011
In 2011 EPA Tasmania commissioned a home-heating telephone survey to provide information on wood heater and open fire use in Tasmania. Raster maps of wood heater and open fireplace were produced and are available via Tasmanian goverment LISTMap portal.