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Trace inorganic species in precipitation and their potential use in source apportionment studies


, : Trace inorganic species in precipitation and their potential use in source apportionment studies. Water Air & Soil Pollution 43(3-4): 401-412

Trace species in atmospheric particles have frequently been used to apportion pollutants in acid rain to their sources by comparing the relative concentrations of trace species at the source and receptor sites. Another approach is to use the trace species in precipitation directly in a source apportionment. This has rarely been done due to the paucity of data on trace species in precipitation and the unknown fractionation of the species during the scavenging process. A study was undertaken to analyze precipitation for a large number of trace species and to compare the concentrations with those in atmospheric particles. Precipitation was collected in Lenox, MA during the summer of 1984. Extreme measures were taken to avoid contamination during collection and analysis. Using five analytical method, including the novel method of freeze-drying the precipitation followed by neutron-activation analysis, 31 species were analyzed in the rain. The trace concentrations measured in this study were lower than those found in earlier studies, where contamination was believed to be a problem. Concentrations of trace species in the precipitation were compared with those in atmospheric particles. A few species were enriched in precipitation relative to particles, including some large-particle species (Ca, T, Fe) and sepcies with gaseous precursors (SO4, NO3, Br). Due to this enrichment, these species should be carefully considered before using them in source apportionment calculations. However, most species showed similar enrichements in precipitation and in atmospheric particles, suggesting that negligible fractionation had taken place during the scavening process. These species could be used effectively in the future to apportion the pollutants in precipitation to their various sources.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1007/bf00279205


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