Mineral Dust as a component of particulate matter

05-11-2010 | Publication

Mineral dust is a constituent of atmospheric particulate matter (PM10). It originates from diverse sources, such as wind erosion, agricultural land management and resuspension by road transport. These sources are not included in emission inventories of primary PM10. Until recently, mineral dust was assumed to be one of the major missing sources that would explain the gap between modelled and observed concentrations of PM10 in the Netherlands.

This report assessed the importance of mineral dust in PM10 for the Netherlands and Europe, using chemical analyses of Dutch PM10 samples, a compilation of observational data from across Europe, and a regional atmospheric chemistry and transport model. Ambient particulate matter in Europe typically constituted of 5 to 20% mineral dust. The average concentration of mineral dust in PM10 at six locations in the Netherlands was approximately 1 to 1.5 μg/m³. This is substantially less than reported by previous studies. The increased level of mineral dust in PM10 samples in the urban environment is still not properly understood, and nor are the differences between the Netherlands and its surrounding countries. An important conclusion of this report is that the contribution of mineral dust to PM10 in the Netherlands is less important than previously thought. This study is a BOP publication produced under the auspices of ECN.

The Netherlands Research Program on Particulate Matter (BOP) is a national program on PM10 and PM2.5. It is a framework of cooperation involving the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the Environment and Safety Division of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and TNO Built Environment and Geosciences.

Only available in digital format
This study is a BOP publication produced under the auspices of ECN.