Potential source contribution function analysis of high latitude dust sources over the arctic: Preliminary results and prospects

Stefano Crocchianti, Beatrice Moroni*, Pavla Dagsson Waldhauserová, Silvia Becagli, Mirko Severi, Rita Traversi, David Cappelletti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The results of a preliminary investigation of the dust sources in the Arctic based on their geochemical properties by potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis are presented in this paper. For this purpose, we considered one year of aerosol geochemical data from Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, and a short list of chemical elements (i.e., Al, Fe, Mn, Ti, Cr, V, Ni, Cu, and Zn) variably related to the dust fraction. Based on PSCF analysis: (i) four different dust source areas (i.e., Eurasia, Greenland, Arctic-Alaska, and Iceland) were characterized by distinguishing geochemical ranges and seasonal occurrence; and (ii) a series of typical dust days from the distinct source areas were identified based on the corresponding back trajectory patterns. Icelandic dust samples revealed peculiar but very variable characteristics in relation to their geographical source regions marked by air mass back trajectories. The comparison between pure and mixed Icelandic dust samples (i.e., aerosols containing Icelandic dust along with natural and/or anthropogenic components) revealed the occurrence of different mixing situations. Comparison with Icelandic soils proved the existence of dilution effects related to the emission and the transport processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number347
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Olafur Arnalds for his valuable contribution to the discussion of dust sources. The work of P.D.W. was funded by the Icelandic Research Fund (Rannis) (grant no. 207057-051).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Other keywords

  • Aerosol samples
  • Back-trajectories
  • Emission
  • ICP-MS
  • Mixing
  • Svalbard


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