PM10 levels at urban, suburban, and background locations in the eastern Mediterranean: local versus regional sources with emphasis on African dust

  • Sofia Eirini ChatoutsidouEmail author
  • Ilias Kopanakis
  • Konstantinos Lagouvardos
  • Nikolaos Mihalopoulos
  • Kjetil Tørseth
  • Mihalis Lazaridis


PM10 levels were determined at different locations in a coastal site in the eastern Mediterranean to assess the relative contribution of local versus regional sources. Two campaigns were conducted: during the first, PM10 was monitored at three urban locations (kerbside/traffic/background) at different sampling periods, whereas during the second one, PM10 was simultaneously measured at two locations (urban/suburban). Both campaigns have shown that African dust transport was a major carrier of coarse particles. Daily PM10 concentrations of 547 μg m−3 and 234 μg m−3 were measured during the first and the second campaigns, respectively, both of them associated with severe dust storms. However, some dust episodes influenced lesser PM10 levels. The contribution from dust episodes to the measured concentration was estimated at 2–527 μg m−3 during the first campaign and 4–218 μg m−3 during the second campaign. Classification into dusty and non-dusty days has shown that local anthropogenic sources also influence ambient PM10 concentrations; however, few exceedances of the daily limit of 50 μg m−3 occurred during both campaigns. Particularly, it was found that domestic heating during cold months was a major contributor to PM10 levels followed by emissions from traffic with higher contribution of the latter during summer months (high touristic season) as well as non-traffic emissions (road dust resuspension). Hourly average PM10 concentration during the second campaign has shown that traffic-related emissions and/or road dust resuspension were associated with up to 40 μg m−3 whereas during wintertime late evening hours, PM10 concentration from heating reached up to 60 μg m−3 at the central urban location.


PM10 Urban pollution Air quality Dust episodes Local sources 


Funding information

The present work was supported by the project “PANhellenic infrastructure for Atmospheric Composition and climate change” (MIS 5021516) which is implemented under the Action “Reinforcement of the Research and Innovation Infrastructure” funded by the Operational Programme “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (NSRF 2014-2020), and co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Eirini Chatoutsidou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ilias Kopanakis
    • 1
  • Konstantinos Lagouvardos
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Mihalopoulos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kjetil Tørseth
    • 4
  • Mihalis Lazaridis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece
  2. 2.National Observatory of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  4. 4.Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)KjellerNorway

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