, Volume 14, Issue 1-4, pp 439-457

Trace elements in aerosol particles from Bermuda and Barbados: Concentrations, sources and relationships to aerosol sulfate

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Abstract

The concentrations of selected trace elements and non-sea salt sulfate were determined for aerosol particle samples collected over the open North Atlantic Ocean as part of the Atmosphere/Ocean Chemistry Experiment (AEROCE). The concentrations of atmospheric sea salt and mineral aerosol, which together dominate the mass of particulate material in the atmosphere, were higher at Barbados than at Bermuda. In contrast, the impact of pollution sources on trace element concentrations was more evident at Bermuda than at Barbados. At both sites Sb and Se were enriched significantly over the concentrations expected from mineral dust or from atmospheric sea salt. Moreover, the concentrations of Sb and Se were correlated, and the observed Sb/Se ratios often were similar to those resulting from anthropogenic emissions. At Bermuda, the concentrations of Sb and Se co-varied with non-sea salt sulfate, suggesting that a significant fraction of the non-sea salt sulfate is anthropogenic. In a broader context, the synthesis of results demonstrates that trace element data are useful for evaluating the relative contributions of anthropogenic vs. natural sources to the budgets of non-sea salt sulfate in acrosol particles.