Size resolved mass concentration and elemental composition of atmospheric aerosols over the Eastern Mediterranean area
1Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, ASCR, Prague, Czech Republic
2Nuclear Physics Institute AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic
3Technical University of Crete, Department of Environmental Engineering, 73100 Chania, Greece
4Institute of Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection, N.C.S.R. Demokritos, 15310 Ag. Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece
5Environmental Chemical Processes Lab. (ECPL), Department of Chemistry, University of Crete 71409 Heraklion, Greece
6Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, UK
Abstract. A Berner low pressure impactor was used to collect size-segregated aerosol samples at Finokalia, located on the north-eastern coast of Crete, Greece during July 2000 and January 2001. Several samples were also collected during the summer campaign aboard the research vessel "AEGAIEO" in the Aegean Sea. Gravimetric analysis and inversion techniques yielded daily PM1 and PM10 mass concentrations. The samples were also analysed by PIXE giving the elemental size distributions of Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Sr, S, Cl, Ni, V, Cu, Cr, Zn, and Pb. The crustal elements and sea-salt had a unimodal supermicron size distribution. Sulphur was found predominantly in submicron fractions. K, V, and Ni exhibited a bimodal distribution with a submicron mode produced by forest fires and oil combustion. The anthropogenic elements had broad and not well-defined distributions. The time series for PM1 and PM10 mass and elemental concentrations showed both daily and seasonal variation. Higher mass concentrations were observed during two incursions of Saharan dust, whilst higher concentrations of S, Cu, Zn, and Pb were encountered in samples collected in air masses arriving from northern Greece or the western coast of Turkey. Elevated concentrations of chlorine were found in samples with air masses either originating above the Atlantic Ocean and arriving at Finokalia via western Europe or recirculating over the western coast of the Black Sea.