Concentrations of 33 metal elements were determined by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) analysis for 24 cloud water samples (corresponding to 10 cloud events) collected at the puy de Dôme station. Clouds present contrasted chemical composition with mainly marine and continental characteristics; for some cloud events, a further anthropogenic source can be superimposed on the background level. In this context, measurements of trace metals may help to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic and natural sources on the cloud and to better discriminate the origin of the air masses. The metal concentrations in the samples are low (between 16.4 µg L−1
and 1.46 mg L−1
). This could be explained by the remoteness of the puy de Dôme site from local sources. Trace metals are then used to confirm and refine a previous sample classification. A principal component analysis (PCA) using the pH value and the concentrations of Cl−
is performed considering 24 cloud samples. This first analysis shows that 18 samples are of marine origin and 6 samples are classified as continental. The same statistical approach is used adding trace metal concentration. Zn and Mg elements are the most abundant trace metals for all clouds. A higher concentration of Cd is mainly associated to clouds from marine origins. Cu, As, Tl and Sb elements are rather found in the continental samples than in the marine ones. Mg, V, Mn and Rb elements mainly found in soil particles are also more concentrated in the samples from continental air mass. This new PCA including trace metal confirms the classification between marine and continental air masses but also indicates that one sample presenting low pH and high concentrations of SO42−
, Fe, Pb and Cu could be rather attributed to a polluted event.
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