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Chemical characterization and source identification/apportionment of fine and coarse air particles in Thessaloniki, Greece

Atmospheric Environment
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1352-2310(01)00486-1
  • Air Particles
  • Trace Elements
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Receptor Models
  • Principal Component Analysis


Abstract The distribution of air particulate mass and selected particle components (trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) in the fine and the coarse size fractions was investigated at a traffic-impacted urban site in Thessaloniki, Greece. 76±6% on average of the total ambient aerosol mass was distributed in the fine size fraction. Fine-sized trace elemental fractions ranged between 51% for Fe and 95% for Zn, while those of PAHs were between 95% and 99%. A significant seasonal effect was observed for the size distribution of aerosol mass, with a shift to larger fine fractions in winter. Similar seasonal trend was exhibited by PAHs, whereas larger fine fractions in summer were shown by trace elements. The compositional signatures of fine and coarse particle fractions were compared to that of local paved-road dust. A strong correlation was found between coarse particles and road dust suggesting strong contribution of resuspended road dust to the coarse particles. A multivariate receptor model (multiple regression on absolute principal component scores) was applied on separate fine and coarse aerosol data for source identification and apportionment. Results demonstrated that the largest contribution to fine-sized aerosol is traffic (38%) followed by road dust (28%), while road dust clearly dominated the coarse size fraction (57%).

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