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Original Research Papers

Assessment of potential source regions of PM2.5 components at a southwestern Mediterranean site

Authors:

Jose Nicolás ,

Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution (LCA), Miguel Herńandez University, ES
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Massimo Chiari,

Physics Department, University of Florence and INFN, IT
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Javier Crespo,

Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution (LCA), Miguel Herńandez University, ES
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Nuria Galindo,

Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution (LCA), Miguel Herńandez University, ES
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Franco Lucarelli,

Physics Department, University of Florence and INFN, IT
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Silvia Nava,

Physics Department, University of Florence and INFN, IT
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Eduardo Yubero

Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution (LCA), Miguel Herńandez University, ES
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Abstract

A set of PM2.5 samples (n = 121) collected at an urban background location in Elche (in southeastern Spain) from December 2004 to November 2005 was analysed by particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and ion chromatography in order to provide source identification and potential source locations. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was used to estimate source profiles and their mass contributions. The PMF modelling identified six sources: aged sea salt (9.2%), ammonium sulphate (40.4%), soil dust related to Saharan outbreaks (13.0%), traffic 1 (18.9%), nitrate aerosol and traffic 2 (5.5%) and local soil dust (6.0%). Potential source contribution function (PSCF) was then used to identify potential source locations. Scarce influence from Mediterranean and European regions was found with the exception of the nitrate source, whose potential source areas were northern Italy and eastern France. Primary source regions for the remaining components (ammonium sulphate, soil dust-related to Saharan outbreaks and aged sea salt) with known mass contributions due to long-range transport have a marked Atlantic and North African location, primarily between Morocco and northwestern Algeria.

How to Cite: Nicolás, J., Chiari, M., Crespo, J., Galindo, N., Lucarelli, F., Nava, S. and Yubero, E., 2011. Assessment of potential source regions of PM2.5 components at a southwestern Mediterranean site. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 63(1), pp.96–106. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2010.00510.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2011
 Accepted on 10 Sep 2010            Submitted on 26 Mar 2010

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