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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Apr 15;550:309-320. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.109. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Airborne iron across major urban centers in South Korea between 1991 and 2012.

Author information

1
Atmospheric Environment & Air Quality Management Lab., Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Han Yang University, 222 Wangsimni-Ro, Seoul 133-791, Korea. Electronic address: kkim61@hanyang.ac.kr.
2
Atmospheric Environment & Air Quality Management Lab., Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Han Yang University, 222 Wangsimni-Ro, Seoul 133-791, Korea.
3
Dept. of Chemistry, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea.
4
ANSTO Institute for Environmental Research, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia.
5
Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, PR China.
6
Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), Sector 30 C, Chandigarh, 160030, India.

Abstract

In this study, the distribution of airborne iron (Fe), one of the most abundant heavy metals in the Earth's crust was investigated to describe the basic features of i'ts pollution in various urban locations. The spatiotemporal distribution of Fe concentrations in seven major South Korean cities exhibited unique patterns to reflect differences as to Fe sources reflected in the relative enrichment in coastal relative to inland areas. In addition, the analysis of long-term trends of different metal species indicated that Fe levels maintained a fairly constant trend, while there had been a noticeable decline in concentrations of other metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, and Ni). The relative robustness of our correlation analysis was assessed by comparing (1) the Fe concentrations among cities, and (2) Fe with other metals at a given city. Fe concentrations were also partly explainable by the frequency of Asian dust events in most cities, with the observed spatial gradients in such relationships.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Asian dust; Heavy metals; Iron; S. Korea; Spatial; Temporal

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