Temporal and spatial variations of deposition and elemental composition of dust fall and its source identification around Tabriz, Iran

  • Mehran Eivazzadeh
  • Adeleh Yadeghari
  • Akbar GholampourEmail author
Research Article


Coarse particles are primarily deposited via sedimentation, commonly referred as dust fall (DF). This study presented the monthly and spatial variations of atmospheric DF and their elemental components (Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, Ti, V, Si, and Hg). Dust samples were collected from four urban and suburban sampling sites around Tabriz, Iran, by using the ASTM method D-1739 during April to September 2017. Moreover, the ICP-OES was used to determine metal components of the DF. The obtained results showed that the DF amount ranged between 1.8–27.6 (7.4 ± 5.6) g/m2.month. The elements of Fe (11863–13,906 mg/Kg and 85%–89%), Al (858–1205 mg/Kg and 4%–8%), and Si (274–386 mg/Kg) were the dominant elemental concentrations of the DF. The average value of enrichment factor (EF) for Hg, Pb, Cu, Sr, Co, Ni, Mn, and V was greater than 10 in all the samples, showing that anthropogenic sources emit a considerable amount of elements in DF rather than the soil or Urmia lake bed. The result of correlations between the concentration of dust fall with humidity, temperature, wind speed, and precipitation showed that there was a direct relationship between the amount of dust fall and wind speed while humidity, precipitation, and temperature were inversely proportional to the amount of dust fall. This study revealed that earth crust and anthropogenic activities such as vehicle traffic, combustion of fossil fuel, and different industrial activities were the main sources of the DF in the studied areas.


Dust fall Elemental composition Crustal enrichment factor Principal component analysis Tabriz 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Environmental protection office of East Azerbaijan Province and Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for providing us with sampling locations. The authors would also like to acknowledge the East Azerbaijan Meteorological Organization for providing metrological data. This work was funded by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences (grant number 58337) under the ethics code of IR.TBZMED.REC.1396.409.

Authors’ contributions

All the authors contributed to the design, review and revision of the study, and approved the final version of the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interest with respect to the publication and authorship of this paper.


  1. 1.
    Rai PK. Chapter one - particulate matter and its size fractionation. Biomagnetic monitoring of particulate matter: Elsevier; 2016. p. 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alahmr FOM, Othman M, Wahid NBA, Halim AA, Latif MT. Compositions of dust fall around semi-urban areas in Malaysia. Aerosol Air Qual Res. 2012;12:629–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Norouzi S, Khademi H, Ayoubi S, Cano AF, Acosta JA. Seasonal and spatial variations in dust deposition rate and concentrations of dust-borne heavy metals, a case study from Isfahan, central. Iran Atmospheric Pollution Research. 2017;8(4):686–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gholampour A, Nabizadeh R, Naseri S, Yunesian M, Taghipour H, Rastkari N, et al. Exposure and health impacts of outdoor particulate matter in two urban and industrialized area of Tabriz, Iran. J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014;12(1):27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chew MJ. Assessment of heavy metals in dust fall in Kampar: UTAR; 2015.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sami M, Waseem A, Akbar S. Quantitative estimation of dust fall and smoke particles in Quetta Valley. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2006;7(7):542–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lawrence CR, Neff JC. The contemporary physical and chemical flux of aeolian dust: a synthesis of direct measurements of dust deposition. Chem Geol. 2009;267(1–2):46–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Malakootian M, Ghiasseddin M, Akbari H, NAJ-H F. Urban dust fall concentration and its properties in Kerman City, Iran. Health Scope. 2013;1(4):192–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gao Y, Nelson E, Field M, Ding Q, Li H, Sherrell R, et al. Characterization of atmospheric trace elements on PM2.5 particulate matter over the New York–New Jersey harbor estuary. Atmos Environ. 2002;36(6):1077–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang X, Sato T, Xing B. Size distribution and anthropogenic sources apportionment of airborne trace metals in Kanazawa. Japan Chemosphere. 2006;65(11):2440–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zoller WH, Gladney E, Duce RA. Atmospheric concentrations and sources of trace metals at the south pole. Science. 1974;183(4121):198–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Escudero M, Querol X, Pey J, Alastuey A, Pérez N, Ferreira F, et al. A methodology for the quantification of the net African dust load in air quality monitoring networks. Atmos Environ. 2007;41(26):5516–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khan MS, Zaidi A, Goel R, Musarrat J. Biomanagement of metal-contaminated soils. Springer Science & Business Media; 2011.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tchounwou PB, Yedjou CG, Patlolla AK, Sutton DJ. Heavy metal toxicity and the environment. Molecular, clinical and environmental toxicology: Springer; 2012. p. 133–64.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chang J, Zhou G, Christensen ER, Heideman R, Chen J. Graphene-based sensors for detection of heavy metals in water: a review. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2014;406(16):3957–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    La Colla NS, Domini CE, Marcovecchio JE, Botté SE. Latest approaches on green chemistry preconcentration methods for trace metal determination in seawater–a review. J Environ Manag. 2015;151:44–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ho KF, Lee SC, Cao JJ, Chow JC, Watson JG, Chan CK. Seasonal variations and mass closure analysis of particulate matter in Hong Kong. Sci Total Environ. 2006;355(1–3):276–87. Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goudie AS, Middleton NJ. Desert dust in the global system. Springer; 2006.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Szczepaniak K, Biziuk M. Aspects of the biomonitoring studies using mosses and lichens as indicators of metal pollution. Environ Res. 2003;93(3):221–30. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yin L, Niu Z, Chen X, Chen J, Xu L, Zhang F. Chemical compositions of PM2.5 aerosol during haze periods in the mountainous city of Yong’an, China. J Environ Sci. 2012;24(7):1225–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Han G, Gable K, Yan L, Allen MJ, Wilson WH, Moitra P, et al. Expression of a novel marine viral single-chain serine palmitoyltransferase and construction of yeast and mammalian single-chain chimera. J Biol Chem. 2006;281(52):39935–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kozak Z, Niećko J, Kozak D. Precipitation of heavy metals in the Lȩzna-Wlodawa lake region. Sci Total Environ. 1993;133(1–2):183–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Norela S, Nurfatihah M, Maimon A, Ismail B. Wet deposition in the residential area of the Nilai Industrial Park in Negeri Sembilan. Malaysia World Appl Sci J. 2009;7:170–9.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Momani KA, JIRIES AG, Jaradat QM. Atmospheric deposition of Pb, Zn, cu, and cd in Amman, Jordan. Turk J Chem. 2000;24(3):231–8.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Biglari H, Geravandi S, Mohammadi MJ, Porazmey EJ, Chuturkova RZ, Khaniabadi YO, et al. Relationship between air particulate matter and meteorological parameters. Fresenius Environ Bull. 2017;26(6):4047–56.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Naddafi K, Nabizadeh R, Soltanianzadeh Z, Ehrampoosh M. Evaluation of Dustfall in the air of Yazd. 2007.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cipurković A, Selimbašić V, Tanjić I, Mičević S, Pelemiš D, Čeliković R. Heavy metals in sedimentary dust in the industrial city of Lukavac. Eur J Sci Res. 2011;54(3):347–62.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jaradat QM, Momani KA, Jbarah A-AQ, Massadeh A. Inorganic analysis of dust fall and office dust in an industrial area of Jordan. Environ Res. 2004;96(2):139–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rout TK, Masto RE, Padhy PK, George J, Ram LC, Maity S. Dust fall and elemental flux in a coal mining area. J Geochem Explor. 2014;144:443–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yongming H, Peixuan D, Junji C, Posmentier ES. Multivariate analysis of heavy metal contamination in urban dusts of Xi'an, Central China. Sci Total Environ. 2006;355(1–3):176–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Qiao Q, Huang B, Zhang C, Piper JD, Pan Y, Sun Y. Assessment of heavy metal contamination of dustfall in northern China from integrated chemical and magnetic investigation. Atmos Environ. 2013;74:182–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rasmussen P, Subramanian K, Jessiman B. A multi-element profile of house dust in relation to exterior dust and soils in the city of Ottawa, Canada. Sci Total Environ. 2001;267(1–3):125–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Joshi UM, Vijayaraghavan K, Balasubramanian R. Elemental composition of urban street dusts and their dissolution characteristics in various aqueous media. Chemosphere. 2009;77(4):526–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gholampour A, Nabizadeh R, Hassanvand MS, Nazmara S, Mahvi AH. Elemental composition of particulate matters around Urmia Lake, Iran. Toxicol Environ Chem. 2017;99(1):17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Celo V, Dabek-Zlotorzynska E. Concentration and source origin of trace metals in PM2. 5 collected at selected Canadian sites within the Canadian National air Pollution Surveillance Program. Urban airborne particulate matter. Springer; 2011. p. 19–38.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hasheminassab S, Daher N, Saffari A, Wang D, Ostro B, Sioutas C. Spatial and temporal variability of sources of ambient fine particular matter (PM 2.5) in California. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. 2014;14(14):20045–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    CHEN B, Kitagawa H, HU K, JIE D, YANG J, Li J. Element and Mineral characterization of dust emission from the saline land at Songnen plain, Northeastern China. J Environ Sci. 2009;21(10):1363–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lin C-W, Yeh J-F, Kao T-C. Source characterization of total suspended particulate matter near a riverbed in Central Taiwan. J Hazard Mater. 2008;157(2):418–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Han Y, Cao J, Jin Z, An Z. Elemental composition of aerosols in Daihai, a rural area in the front boundary of the summer Asian monsoon. Atmos Res. 2009;92(2):229–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Gao J, Tian H, Cheng K, Lu L, Wang Y, Wu Y, et al. Seasonal and spatial variation of trace elements in multi-size airborne particulate matters of Beijing, China: mass concentration, enrichment characteristics, source apportionment, chemical speciation and bioavailability. Atmos Environ. 2014;99:257–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health and Environment Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  3. 3.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

Personalised recommendations