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Quantifying Missing Annual Emission Sources of Heavy Metals in the United Kingdom with an Atmospheric Transport Model

Dore, A.J. and Hallsworth, S. and McDonald, A.G. and Werner, Malgorzata and Kryza, M. and Abbott, J. and Nemitz, E. and Dore, C.J. and Malcolm, H. and Vieno, M. and Reis, S. and Fowler, D. (2014) Quantifying Missing Annual Emission Sources of Heavy Metals in the United Kingdom with an Atmospheric Transport Model. Science of the Total Environment, 479-80. pp. 171-180. ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026

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Abstract

An atmospheric chemical transport model was adapted to simulate the concentration and deposition of heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, selenium, vanadium, and zinc) in the United Kingdom. The model showed that wet deposition was the most important process for the transfer of metals from the atmosphere to the land surface. The model achieved a good correlation with annually averaged measurements of metal concentrations in air. The correlation with measurements of wet deposition was less strong due to the complexity of the atmospheric processes involved in thewashout of particulatematterwhich were not fully captured by the model. The measured wet deposition and air concentration of heavy metals were significantly underestimated by the model for all metals (except vanadium) by factors between 2 and 10. These results suggest major missing sources of annual heavy metal emissions which are currently not included in the official inventory. Primary emissions were able to account for only 9%, 21%, 29%, 21%, 36%, 7% and 23% of the measured concentrations for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. A likely additional contribution to atmospheric heavy metal concentrations is the wind driven re-suspension of surface dust still present in the environment from the legacy of much higher historic emissions. Inclusion of two independent estimates of emissions from re-suspension in the model was found to give an improved agreement with measurements. However, an accurate estimate of the magnitude of re-suspended emissions is restricted by the lack of measurements of metal concentrations in the re-suspended surface dust layer.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Originally deposited as National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU)

Uncontrolled Keywords: heavy metals, FRAME, re-suspension, Lead, Cadmium, atmospheric transport model
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Science and the Environment
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Malgorzata Werner
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 12:07
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2016 12:43
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3491

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