pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 286–325 | Cite as

The removal of particulate matter from the atmosphere: the physical mechanisms

  • Franco Prodi
  • Francesco Tampieri


The removal of particulate matter from the atmosphere has been examined in the light of the physical mechanisms involved, with a review of the theoretical and experimental results available in the literature.

While the wet and dry removal are usually separately discussed, it has been decided to give evidence of the fundamental mechanisms which are active in both processes. A number of them, such as the inertial impaction, the phoretic and electrostatic collection, can be expressed through the equation of motion of the individual particle. Other mechanisms, such as Brownian and turbulent deposition, and incorporation by nucleation, require a description in terms of the behaviour of a population of particles.

Finally, the problem of the superposition of the different mechanisms in the actual removal processes has been faced.

The available experimental results have been consistently presented and compared when possible, in the same sequence, for each physical mechanism discussed in the presentation.

Key words

Scavenging of aerosol particles Wet removal of aerosol particles Aerosol particles scavenging of by drops and ice crystals 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franco Prodi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesco Tampieri
    • 2
  1. 1.Osservatorio Geofisico dell'UniversitàModenaItaly
  2. 2.Reparto Nubi e PrecipitazioniIstituto FISBAT-CNRBolognaItaly

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