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Total Metal Concentrations in Atmospheric Precipitation from the Northern Aegean Sea


The aim of this survey was to assess metal concentrations in precipitation over the Aegean Sea and to identify possible source regions that contribute to their long-range transport to the northeastern Mediterranean. Total metal concentrations in 37 rainwater samples collected on the island of Lesvos showed a high variability depending mostly on the origin of the air masses influencing the rain events assessed by 4-day back trajectories. Concentrations of Al, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr and Ni were rather similar to those found at other coastal sites in the Mediterranean basin, but Cd was significantly lower. The calculation of crustal enrichment factors of the metals along with the statistical analysis of the results showed that Saharan dust storms supply significant amounts of natural Al, Fe, Mn, Cr and Ni to the northern Aegean atmosphere, although some amounts of Cr and Ni are also contributed from anthropogenic sources. On the other hand, anthropogenic emissions largely determine Pb, Cu, Cd and Zn loads, although not all four metals follow the same enrichment and transportation pattern.

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Koulousaris, M., Aloupi, M. & Angelidis, M.O. Total Metal Concentrations in Atmospheric Precipitation from the Northern Aegean Sea. Water Air Soil Pollut 201, 389 (2009).

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  • Metals
  • Precipitation
  • Northern Aegean
  • Enrichment factors
  • Back trajectories