Geochemical characteristics of trace elements in size-resolved coastal urban aerosols associated with distinct air masses over tropical peninsular India: Size distributions and source apportionment
Boreddy, S.K.R.; Hegde, P.; Aswini, A.R.
Science of the Total Environment 763: 142967
ISSN/ISBN: 1879-1026 PMID: 33143921 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142967
Trace elements in atmospheric particulate matter play a significant role in air quality, health and biogeochemical cycles. The present study reports on geochemical characteristics of size-resolved trace elements in PM10 aerosols collected under different air masses over a coastal urban location in peninsular India. A contrast in elemental distribution was observed for the particle size above 7.0 μm and below 1.1 μm under the influence of northeasterly air masses as characterized by Al > Fe > Zn and Fe > Al > Zn, respectively. The concentrations of the crustal elements (Al, Fe, Ti, P, Ba, Co) were high and illustrated by a unimodal size distribution with a peak in coarse mode (>2.0 μm) during northwesterly air masses. On the other hand, combustion-derived metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Sb, and Pb) were maximized under northeasterly air masses, characterized by unimodal size distribution with a peak in fine mode (<2.0 μm). The enrichment factor (EF) analysis reveals the contribution of anthropogenic emissions to Cd, Sb, Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni, As, and Sn metals, particularly to the high enrichment of trace metals in fine mode. These results suggest that crustal emissions are major sources of trace metals in coarse mode aerosols; whereas combustion derived anthropogenic emissions contribute to the fine mode aerosols. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis revealed that crustal sources (52-90%) were most abundant for particles >7.0 μm, whereas combustion related emissions such as vehicular and traffic sources are predominant for particles <1.1 μm. The present study demonstrates that trace metals in coastal urban aerosols are affected by changes in emission sources/strengths and regional transport of air masses originated from the northeasterly and northwesterly parts of the tropical Indian subcontinent.