Neutron activation analysis for identification of African mineral dust transport

  • S. M. Almeida
  • M. C. FreitasEmail author
  • C. A. Pio


A Gent stacked filter unit sampler was used to collect air particulate matter (APM) in separate coarse (PM2.5–10) and fine (PM2.5) size fractions, at a sub-urban site in Lisbon, Portugal. The sampling was done during the year 2001 and two daily samples were taken per week. The filters were analyzed for particulate mass by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). The chemical analysis of APM levels and the study of the atmospheric dynamics by back-trajectories showed that most of the PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 peaks events were associated with air masses transport from the Saharan desert. High mineral load in ambient particulate matter levels were registered during the Saharan dust outbreaks. The accuracy of INAA to measure Fe, Sc and Sm was evaluated by NIST filter standards, revealing results with an agreement of ± 10%. This method constituted an important tool to identify these events.


Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Hysplit Model African Dust Saharan Desert 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Tecnológico e NuclearSacavémPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Ambiente e OrdenamentoUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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