Contribution of locally-produced and transported air pollution to particulate matter in a small insular coastal city

The concentrations, size distributions, and elemental compositions of atmospheric aerosol particles over a small but representative (in terms of size, population, and geographical characteristics) insular coastal city in the North Aegean Sea were measured during winter and summer. Mean PM2.0 and PM1.0 concentrations at the city centre were respectively 26 and 21 μg m−3 during the cold period, and 21 and 15 μg m−3 during the warm period. Although these concentrations are considerably lower compared to corresponding values of PM2.5 and PM1.0 recorded in large cities in the region, they are still very close to the mean annual standards set by the EU for PM2.5. Higher average mass concentrations (by ca. 26–36% for Total Suspended Particles, PM2.0 and PM1.0) were observed in the cold period compared to those in the warm period due to the additional emissions from domestic heating and the weaker atmospheric dilution. The elemental composition measurements showed that crustal and anthropogenic elements (i.e., K, Ca, Ti, Mg, Fe, As, S) in the collected particle samples were also enriched when polluted air masses were transported from Northeastern Turkey. These measurements also showed that natural sources contribute sea-salt and re-suspended soil to the particulate matter load in the city's atmosphere. Non-exhaust traffic emission sources were also found to be an important contributor, as indicated by the good correlations (R2 = 0.40–0.91) between crustal and traffic-related elements (i.e., Zn, Cr, Cu, and Mn). Overall, PM measurements in the urban environment in the region are relatively high, being influenced by both local sources and long-transported air masses.


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