Environmental Sciences Department Seminar
"Characterization of the Origin of Fine Particulate Matter in a Medium Size Urban Area in the Eastern Mediterranean"
Presented by Michail Pikridas
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11 am
BLDG 815E Conference Room
Aerosol monitoring has been conducted at Patras, Greece, an urban area in the Eastern Mediterranean with population near 200,000, for a four year period from December, 2008 to May, 2012. The study was motivated by Greek EPA's results that showed Patras exceeding both daily and annual European Union PM10 (particulate matter with diameter smaller than 10 μm) standards, despite the city's small size and lack of heavy industry. As the Eastern Mediterranean is underrepresented in both the recent month-long aerosol characterization studies conducted over Europe (EUCAARI, MEGAPOLI) and in the European supersite networks dedicated to aerosol research (EUSAAR, ACTRIS), this monitoring also fills an important gap in coverage. Transport from continental Europe and Asia was found to be the dominant source of PM2.5 mass throughout the year accounting for approximately 70%, except during winter when the contribution decreased to 50%. This continental transport typically included almost all of the sulfates and 40-90% of the organic aerosol. During winter, sharp nighttime increases of the PM2.5 mass concentration were observed, with organic aerosol sometimes exceeding 80 μg m-3. Fossil fuel and local biomass combustion emissions for domestic heating were responsible for these levels. A comparison of Patras with different population density environments will also be discussed.