Dust storm contributions to airborne particulate matter in Reykjavík, Iceland

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Thorsteinsson, Throstur
Gísladóttir, Gudrún
Bullard, Joanna
McTainsh, Grant
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2011
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Abstract

Episodes of high levels of particulate matter (PM) in Reykjav�occur several times a year. The main sources of daily variation in PM are traffic or highly localized (e.g. construction) sources, however several episodes have been identified where these are not the cause. Examining PM10 (diameter < 10 mm) levels around the time when dust storms are seen on satellite images, and verifying that the weather conditions are favorable for the duration of the high levels of PM (>50e100 mg m 3; 30-min average), demonstrates that dust storms are the source of these increased levels of PM10. Since satellite coverage is sparse, visual confirmation of many such peaks in PM10 cannot be achieved. The level of pollution measured in Reykjav�during dust storms indicates that at least 200 kg s 1 of PM10 sized material is being eroded and transported away from sand plains w110 km away e this equates to an emission rate of 35 g m2 h 1. The source regions for dust storms in Iceland are the sandur areas on the southern coast of Iceland, and regions close to the glaciers. With climate warming, and fast retreating glaciers, the potential source regions in Iceland are rapidly increasing.

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Atmospheric Environment

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45

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32

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© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Statistics

Atmospheric sciences

Meteorology

Environmental engineering

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