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Open AccessArticle

The Spatial Variation of Dust Particulate Matter Concentrations during Two Icelandic Dust Storms in 2015

1
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Iceland, Keldnaholt, Reykjavik 112, Iceland
2
Faculties of Physical and Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
3
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague 165 21, Czech Republic
4
Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavik 108, Iceland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rebecca Sheesley
Atmosphere 2016, 7(6), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7060077
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 29 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality and Source Apportionment)
Particulate matter mass concentrations and size fractions of PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM10, and PM15 measured in transversal horizontal profile of two dust storms in southwestern Iceland are presented. Images from a camera network were used to estimate the visibility and spatial extent of measured dust events. Numerical simulations were used to calculate the total dust flux from the sources as 180,000 and 280,000 tons for each storm. The mean PM15 concentrations inside of the dust plumes varied from 10 to 1600 µg·m−3 (PM10 = 7 to 583 µg·m−3). The mean PM1 concentrations were 97–241 µg·m−3 with a maximum of 261 µg·m−3 for the first storm. The PM1/PM2.5 ratios of >0.9 and PM1/PM10 ratios of 0.34–0.63 show that suspension of volcanic materials in Iceland causes air pollution with extremely high PM1 concentrations, similar to polluted urban areas in Europe or Asia. Icelandic volcanic dust consists of a higher proportion of submicron particles compared to crustal dust. Both dust storms occurred in relatively densely inhabited areas of Iceland. First results on size partitioning of Icelandic dust presented here should challenge health authorities to enhance research in relation to dust and shows the need for public dust warning systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: fine dust; Arctic desert; close-to-ultrafine natural particles; volcanic ash fine dust; Arctic desert; close-to-ultrafine natural particles; volcanic ash
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Dagsson-Waldhauserova, P.; Magnusdottir, A.Ö.; Olafsson, H.; Arnalds, O. The Spatial Variation of Dust Particulate Matter Concentrations during Two Icelandic Dust Storms in 2015. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 77.

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