A methodology for the quantification of the net African dust load in air quality monitoring networks

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This paper proposes and validates a methodology for the quantification of the daily African PM load during dust outbreaks in southern Europe. The daily net dust load in PM10 attributable to an African episode in a given region can be obtained by subtracting the daily regional background (RB) level from the PM10 concentration value at an RB station. As demonstrated in this paper, the daily RB level can be obtained by applying a monthly moving 30th percentile to the PM10 time series at an RB station after a prior extraction of the data of the days with African dust transport. The daily PM10 RB levels obtained can be subtracted from the daily PM10 levels recorded at the same RB site only on days when the occurrence of African dust outbreaks was demonstrated, the difference being the daily net African dust load. It is thus possible to quantify the African dust contribution during an African PM event in southern Europe without the need for PM speciation. The validation of this methodology was performed by comparing the estimated net dust load during African dust outbreaks at three RB stations and the crustal load determined by chemical speciation of PM10 filters. The correlation (r(2)>0.6) and the equivalence (correlation lines' slopes similar to 1) were significant in the three cases.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)5516-5524
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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