Ten-year study of fine aerosol at Sde Boker, Israel, using PIXE: Time trends, seasonal variation, correlations, and source areas for anthropogenic elements Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract From January 1995 through December 2004 aerosol samples were collected at Sde Boker, Israel, with a Gent stacked filter unit sampler. The collections were done according to a 2–2–3 day schedule, which resulted in about 150 samples per year. The samples were analysed for the particulate mass (PM) by weighing, for black carbon (BC) by a light reflectance technique, and for up to 46 elements by a combination of PIXE and instrumental neutron activation analysis. Here, we report on the fine (PM2) size fraction data for the PM, BC, and the following nine anthropogenic elements S, V, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Sb, and Pb, and discuss their time trends, seasonal variation, correlations, and source areas. The largest changes in the annual medians over the 10-year period were found for S, Ni, Se, Sb, and Pb, i.e., of −34%, −25%, −47%, +26%, and −40%, respectively. The seasonal variation was largest for S, with 1.6 times higher concentrations in summer than in the other three seasons. Vanadium and Ni were very highly correlated with each other ( r = 0.95), pointing to a dominant common source, which is undoubtedly oil burning. Trajectory statistics, using 10-day back trajectories with arrival at 300 m above ground, were applied to assess the source areas. Sulphur originated mostly from south-eastern Europe (i.e., Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and southern Russia) and As from the south-eastern part of European Russia, whilst the source picture for Zn was rather unclear. The other six anthropogenic elements and BC seemed to originate mainly from regional sources.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014