Particulate matter episodes

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Particulate matter episodes are longer periods with high concentrations of atmoshperic particulate pollution.


Wintertime pollution episodes

Photochemical formation of summer smog


Saharan Dust

The Ukranian dust plume

On 24 March 2007, an extraordinary dust plume was observed over Central Europe. Satellite observations revealed its origins in a dust storm in Southern Ukraine, where large amounts of soil were resuspended from dried-out farmlands. Along the pathway of the plume, maximum particulate matter (PM10) mass concentrations between 200 and 1400 μg/m3 occurred in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany.

Figure: The MODIS-Aqua composite image of Southern Ukraine on 23 March 2007, 10:50 UTC reveals the large scale emission of agricultural dust (Birmili et al., 2008).
Figure: Spatio-temporal evolution of PM10 mass concentrations along the dust plume on 24 March 2007 (Birmili et al., 2008).

  • Birmili, W., Schepanski, K., Ansmann, A., Spindler, G., Tegen, I., Wehner, B. et al.: A case of extreme particulate matter concentrations over Central Europe caused by dust emitted over the southern Ukraine, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 997-1016, 2008. Download from ACP
  • Hladil, J., Strnad, L, Šálek, M., Jankovská, V., Šimandl, P. et al.: An anomalous atmospheric dust deposition event over Central Europe, 24 March 2007, and fingerprinting of the SE Ukrainian source, Bulletin of Geosciences, 83, 175-206, 2008.
  • Bessagnet, B., Menut, L., Aymoz, G., Chepfer, H., Vautard, R.: Modeling dust emissions and transport within Europe: the Ukraine March 2007 event, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D15202, 2008.

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