Impact of dust storms on the organic composition in the ambient aerosol

Soo Hyun Kwon, Yong Pyo Kim, Ji Yi Lee

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8 Scopus citations


To better understand the impact of dust storm (DS) events on the ambient aerosol organic composition in Seoul, samples of solvent-extractable organic compounds in the atmospheric particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to a nominal 10 μm (PM10) were collected for 3 months (March-May) in 2007 and characterized. The results of the statistical analysis suggested that during the DS events the ambient PM10 concentration increased, the n-alkanes concentrations decreased, and the PAH concentrations show no trend, although they increased slightly. The distributions of n-alkanes and PAH species showed that among n-alkanes only C25 and C27 species in the non-DS samples increased compared to in the DS samples. Since C25 and C27 species are mainly emitted from plants, this suggests that the impact of biogenic emissions of n-alkanes was reduced during the DS periods. Among PAHs, only the concentration of Fluoranthene increased in a statistically significant manner during the DS period, and only the 1,3,5-Triphenylbenzene level was higher during the non-DS period. The backward trajectory analysis results showed that the air parcels over Seoul did not show much difference between DS and non-DS days. The average level of n-alkanes per unit mass of PM10 was statistically lower in the DS samples, while those of the PAHs showed no statistically significant differences between the DS and non-DS samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Air mass backward trajectory analysis
  • Dust storm event
  • N-alkanes
  • Organic aerosols
  • PAHs


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