Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Identification of anthropogenic and natural sources of atmospheric particulate matter and trace metals in Constantine, Algeria

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  • Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to identify the different Sources of PM10 and some metallic elements (Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe, K, Ca, Na, Mg) at a traffic site at Zouaghi, in the south of Constantine, using factor analysis (FA) to categorise the different trace elements according to their origin and the enrichment factor (EF) to identify terrigenous elements and those having a marine origin. We also used backtrajectories clustering to identify potential distant sources that contribute to particulate pollution and metallic elements in our site. Sources of coarse particles are the most important due to the significant contribution of resuspended coarse particles and Saharan dust intrusions. Anthropogenic, soil resuspension, sea salt and traffic were identified as the main PM10 sources. Enrichment factors in relation to soil and seawater average concentrations indicate that Mg is of marine origin and K originates mainly from the soil while Pb, Cu and Zn are derived from anthropogenic sources. Results point at the Sahara desert as a major source of
    PM10 and Fe.

    Keywords: Traffic site, factor analysis, back-trajectories, enrichment factors.