Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 127–157 | Cite as

Size-segregated characterization of PM10 at the EMEP site Melpitz (Germany) using a five-stage impactor: a six year study

  • G. Spindler
  • T. Gnauk
  • A. Grüner
  • Y. Iinuma
  • K. Müller
  • S. Scheinhardt
  • H. Herrmann


Size-segregated particle samples were collected using a Berner 5-stage impactor (stages 1–5: 0.05–0.14–0.42–1.2–3.5–10 μm aerodynamic diameter). The means for all 169 days and for different categories of days were used for a characterization. The sorting criteria were (a) the distinction between winter (Wi, November to April) and summer (Su, May to October), (b) the distinction between air mass inflow from a sector West (W, 210 °–320 °) and from a sector East (E, 35 °–140 °). For the assignment of the air mass origin 96-h backward trajectories were used and four categories (WiW, WiE, SuW and SuE) with 48, 18, 42 and 29 days were established. The lowest mean particle mass concentrations were found for SuW and the highest for WiE with relative mass concentration distributions of 5.9, 28.2, 36.5, 18.0, and 11.4 % and 3.5, 22.7, 52.6, 16.7, and 4.5 % for stages 1–5, respectively. The mass closure for water soluble ions, water, organic material (OM) and elemental carbon (EC) accounts for 81–99 % of the gravimetric mass in Wi and for 60–81 % for Su, depending on the stage. The fractions of nitrate were relatively high for WiW while sulphate fractions are high for WiE. The estimated concentrations of secondary organic carbon (SOA) on stage 3 for WiW, WiE, SuW and SuE were 0.32, 1.25, 0.27 and 0.58 μgm³, respectively. The highest amount of SOA is found for WiE, representing 59 % of organic carbon (OC). The highest difference in the percentages of SOA in OC was found between winter (WiW 55 %, WiE 59 %) and summer (SuW and SuE 74 %) indicating photochemical processes during long-range transport. The mean Carbon Preference Indices (CPI) are highest for SuE (stage 4: 7.57 and stage 5: 9.82) resulting mainly from plant wax abrasion in the surrounding forests. For WiE the mean PAH concentration on stage 3 (9.7 ngm−3) is about five times higher than for WiW, indicating long range transport following domestic heating and other combustion processes.


Size-segregated particle sampling Air mass origin Mass closure Water soluble ions Carbonaceous material 



The authors acknowledge financial support of this study by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) research foundation with contracts No.: 351 01 031 and 351 01 038, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, project REGKLAM (No.: 01LR0802) in grant project KLIMZUG and the European Union in the project EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research). For the laboratory analyses and the preparation of impactors we thank A. Dietze, E. Neumann, S. Haferkorn, A. Rödger and A. Thomas. For the support in the field we thank J. Hanß and R. Rabe.

Supplementary material

10874_2012_9233_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (71 kb)
Esm 1 (PDF 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Spindler
    • 1
  • T. Gnauk
    • 1
  • A. Grüner
    • 1
  • Y. Iinuma
    • 1
  • K. Müller
    • 1
  • S. Scheinhardt
    • 1
  • H. Herrmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung e.V. (IfT)LeipzigGermany

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