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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
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Research article 05 Jun 2018

Research article | 05 Jun 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Fluxes and sources of nutrients and trace metals atmospheric deposition in the northwestern Mediterranean

Karine Desboeufs1, Elisabeth Bon Nguyen1, Servanne Chevaillier1, Sylvain Triquet1, and François Dulac2 Karine Desboeufs et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmopshériques (LISA) , IPSL, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil et Université Paris-Diderot, Créteil, France
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), UMR 8212 CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay 701, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Abstract. Total atmospheric deposition was collected on a weekly basis over 3.5-yr (March 2008–October 2011) at a remote coastal site on the west coast of Corsica Island. Deposition time series of macro and micro-nutrient (N, P, Si, Fe), and trace metals (As, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, V, Zn) are investigated in terms of variability and source apportionment (from fluxes of proxies for aerosol sources (Al, Ti, Ca, Na, Mg, S, Sr, K, Pb)). The highest fluxes are recorded for Si, P, then Fe for nutrients, and for Zn and Mn for trace metals. For the majority of elements, data show some weeks with high episodic fluxes, except for N, Cr and V which present the lowest variability. Twelve intense mineral dust deposition events are identified during the sampling period. The contribution of these events to the fluxes of Fe and Si represents 52% and 57% of their total fluxes, respectively, confirming the important role of these sporadic dust events on the inputs of these elements. For N and P, the contribution of these intense dust deposition events is lower and reaches 10 and 15%, respectively. Out of these most intense events, positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to our total deposition database in order to identify the main sources of nutrients and trace metals deposited. Results show that P deposition is mainly associated to anthropogenic biomass burning inputs. For N deposition, inputs associated to marine sources (maybe associated to the reaction of anthropogenic N on NaCl particles) and anthropogenic sources are quasi-similar. A good correlation is obtained between N and S fluxes, supporting a common origin associated to the inorganic secondary aerosol, i.e. ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate. For trace metals, their origin is very variable: with a large contribution of natural dust sources for Ni or Mn and on the contrary of anthropogenic sources for V and Zn.

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Karine Desboeufs et al.
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Short summary
Atmospheric deposition is known to be a major source of nutrients for marine biosphere in Mediterranean Sea. The study on the origin of nutrients and trace metals in Corsica, presented here showed that the dust events were the major providers of Si and Fe. On the contrary, the combustion sources predominated the inputs of N, P and trace metals. This work showed the importance to consider the background anthropogenic deposition for estimating the impact of atmospheric forcing on marine biota.
Atmospheric deposition is known to be a major source of nutrients for marine biosphere in...