Characterisation of TSP and PM2.5 at Izaña and Sta. Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) during a Saharan Dust Episode (July 2002)

Andrés Alastuey, Xavier Querol, Sonia Castillo, Miguel Escudero, Anna Avila, Emilio Cuevas, Carlos Torres, Pedro Miguel Romero, Francisco Exposito, Omaira García, J. Pedro Diaz, Rita Van Dingenen, Jean P. Putaud

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    A strong African dust outbreak episode affecting the Canary Islands from 28 to 31/07/02 has been characterised at the Izaña Observatory (IZO), located in the free troposphere (FT), and at Sta. Cruz de Tenerife (SCO), in the Marine Boundary Layer (MBL). The Saharan air mass intruded above the trade wind inversion layer resulting in daily mean PM levels of up to 616, 312, 98 and 26 μg m-3 of TSP, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1, respectively, at IZO. As demonstrated by the vertical sounding profiles, the MBL is compressed during the Saharan intrusion, favouring the deposition of coarse dust particles to the MBL and giving rise to daily levels of up to 85, 52 and 30 μg m-3 of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1, respectively, at SCO. A complete chemical and mineralogical characterisation has been performed for TSP and PM2.5 collected simultaneously at both sites. Levels of mineral elements increased during the Saharan episode at both sampling sites. In addition, at the MBL, the levels of the secondary inorganic aerosols registered during the Saharan episode were considerably higher than levels recorded during non-Saharan episodes. The partial formation of secondary coarse Ca and/or Na sulphates and nitrates by the reaction of gaseous pollutants (or derived oxidised phases), of a major local origin, with the natural aerosols has been deduced. These reactions may be favoured by the high concentration of coarse mineral and marine aerosols particles measured at SCO, the high relative humidity (RH) measured, as well as the strong compression of the MBL during the Saharan episode. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4715-4728
    JournalAtmospheric Environment
    Issue number26
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


    • Air quality
    • Free troposphere
    • Marine boundary layer
    • Mineral dust
    • Secondary aerosols

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