Size distributions of trace metals in atmospheric aerosols in the United Kingdom
Allen, A.G.; Nemitz, E.; Shi, J.P.; Harrison, R.M.; Greenwood, J.C.
Atmospheric Environment 35(27): 4581-4591
ISSN/ISBN: 0004-6981 DOI: 10.1016/s1352-2310(01)00190-x
The size distributions of Ba, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Se, Sr, Zn, and Fe in atmospheric aerosols were measured using impactors at three background sites in central England and southern Scotland. Coarse aerosols (> 10.0 mum) were found to be undercollected by a micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI) when compared to an isokinetic technique, to a degree dependent on the size distribution of individual metals. The size distributions obtained in Scotland, which were typically trimodal, differed from those in central England, where modes were more variable. Characteristic size distributions allowed identification of three main behavioural types: (i) metals whose mass resided mainly within the accumulation mode (Cd, Sn, Pb, Se), (ii) those which were distributed between fine, intermediate and coarse modes (Ni, Zn, Cu, Co, Mn, Hg), and (iii) those which were mainly found within coarse particles (Fe, Sr, Ba). The measured distributions are believed to result from a combination of processes including local anthropogenic and natural sources, long-range transport and resuspension.