, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 247-273

Elemental Composition of Mineral Aerosol Generated from Sudan Sahara Sand

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Eighteen soil samples from central Sudan were fractionated by dry sieving ina size fraction from <45 μm to >300 μm while aerosols generatedfrom these soils were fractionated in the particle size range from 0.25 μmto >16 μm. The elemental concentrations of soil samples were determinedby energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence, while the elemental concentrationsof generated aerosols were analysed by particle-induced X-ray emission. Theelements Al, K and Rb show a slight positive fractionation with decreasingparticle size throughout the particle size range studied. The concentrationsof Ca, Mn, Fe, Sr and Y are maximum in the small soil size fraction (<45μm) and decrease for the coarse soil size fractions, while in the mineralaerosol particle sizes (0.25– > 16 μm) the concentrations remainmore or less constant. The size distributions for Cr, Ti and Zr show a maximumin the particle size range 45–100 μm and the concentrations of theseelements decrease sharply in the aerosol fraction down to 16 μm to remainconstant in the smaller aerosol fractions.Enrichment factors for the elements were calculated relative to five referencematerials: average crustal rock, average soil, the investigated Sahara bulksoil, the finest fraction of this soil and the aerosol generated from thissoil, and using four reference elements: Al, Si, Ti and Fe. The enrichmentfactors were found to vary significantly depending on the choice of thereference material or the reference element. The enrichment factors for theSudan mineral aerosol were almost identical to those for Khartoum atmosphericaerosol but different from those for Namib mineral aerosol and Israelatmospheric aerosol following dust storms. Multivariate display methods(cluster analysis, principal component analysis and linear discriminantanalysis) were applied to the element ratios in the mineral aerosol from theSahara and Namib and this showed that these mineral aerosol can bedifferentiated into different groups. An attempt was also made to relate themineral aerosol to its parent soil through the use of these multivariatetechniques and the elemental ratios in both the mineral aerosols and the bulksoils (Namib and Sahara). It was also possible using the elemental ratios andthe multivariate display methods to associate the crustal component to themineral aerosol generated from the Sahara.