Elemental abundance variation with particle-size in north florida aerosols
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Journal of geophysical research: C: oceans and atmospheres
, p. 1039-1046
University of Antwerp
A nonurban base line has been established for nine trace element constituents of aerosol particles as a function of particle size at ground level sampling stations in north Florida up to 50 km from the Gulf of Mexico. The particle size range 0.25- to >4-μm aerodynamic diameter was investigated by cascade impactor sampling and elemental analysis by proton-induced X ray emission. By using a strategy of sampling at urban, forest, and coastal locations and by choosing approximately 48-hour sample averaging intervals the potential dependence of the base line levels both on local pollution and natural sources and on local particle size specific aerosol removal processes could be evaluated. It is found that elements contained in the largest particles, especially those of >4 μm, display the greatest degree of average concentration difference between sites, a result suggesting short atmospheric residence times and the importance of local dispersion sources and atmospheric cleansing processes in regulating the particle concentrations in air. Elements contained in particles of <2-μm diameter show little average concentration difference between sites unless they are influenced by local pollution sources, a finding suggesting that their concentrations in air are regulated by large-scale sources and transport processes. Sulfur in the smallest particles shows a marked constancy of concentration, but it may be modified in the largest particle size ranges in relation to proximity to the seacoast. No evidence is found for dependence of particulate sulfur concentrations on local pollution sources. K, Ca, Ti, Fe, and Zn appear to be regulated in the main by terrestrial source processes, and Cl by marine source processes, but Br and Pb appear to be accounted for adequately by assuming automotive fuel combustion as their major source. Limited data obtained for V indicate that it may vary considerably with fluctuations in aerosol transport from oil-fired electric power plant sources in the region. Limited additional data also suggest that Mn is derived from sources of natural terrestrial composition. In view of these findings, certain criteria may be set for the design of a meaningful nonurban aerosol monitoring network.