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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 17 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 13215-13230, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-13215-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Sep 2018

Research article | 13 Sep 2018

Source apportionment of atmospheric aerosol in a marine dusty environment by ionic/composition mass balance (IMB)

João Cardoso1,2, Susana M. Almeida3, Teresa Nunes1, Marina Almeida-Silva3, Mário Cerqueira1, Célia Alves1, Fernando Rocha4, Paula Chaves3, Miguel Reis3, Pedro Salvador5, Begoña Artiñano5, and Casimiro Pio1 João Cardoso et al.
  • 1CESAM & Dep. Environ, Aveiro University, Aveiro, Portugal
  • 2Department of Science and Technology, Cape Verde University, Praia, Cabo Verde
  • 3TN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon University, Bobadela, Portugal
  • 4Geobiotec & Dep. Geosciences, Aveiro University, Aveiro, Portugal
  • 5Environ Dep, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. PM10 aerosol was sampled in Santiago, the largest island of Cabo Verde, for 1 year, and analysed for elements, ions and carbonaceous material. Very high levels of dust were measured during the winter months, as a result of the direct transport of dust plumes from the African continent. Ionic and mass balances (IMBs) were applied to the analysed compounds, permitting the determination of six to seven different processes and source contributions to the aerosol loading: insoluble and soluble dust, sea salt, carbonaceous material and secondary inorganic compounds resulting from the reaction of acidic precursors with ammonia, sea salt and dust. The mass balance could be closed by the consideration and estimation of sorbed water that constituted 20%–30% of the aerosol mass. The balance methodology was compared with positive matrix factorisation (PMF), showing similar qualitative source composition. In quantitative terms, while for soil dust and secondary inorganic compound source classes, the results are similar, for other sources such as sea-salt spray there are significant differences in periods of dust episodes. The discrepancies between both approaches are interpreted based on calculated source profiles. The joint utilisation of the two methodologies, which are complementary, gives confidence in our capability for the correct source apportionment of aerosol particles.

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Atmospheric aerosol was sampled in Cabo Verde and analysed for chemical composition. Very high levels of dust were measured during the winter months, as a result of transport from Africa. Mass balances were applied to the particulate material, permitting the determination of seven different source contributions to the aerosol loading. The balance methodology compared favourably with standard source apportionment methods, showing its capability for the source apportionment of aerosol particles.
Atmospheric aerosol was sampled in Cabo Verde and analysed for chemical composition. Very high...
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