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Variability in regional background aerosols within the Mediterranean

Querol, X.
Alastuey, A.
Pey, J.
Cusack, M.
Perez, N.
Mihalopoulos, N.
Theodosi, C.
Gerasopoulos, E.
Kubilay, N.
Koçak, Mustafa
The main objective of this study is the identification of major factors controlling levels and chemical composition of aerosols in the regional background (RB) along the Mediterranean Basin (MB). To this end, data on PM levels and speciation from Montseny (MSY, NE Spain), Finokalia (FKL, Southern Greece) and Erdemli (ERL, Southern Turkey) for the period 2001 to 2008 are evaluated. Important differences on PM levels and composition are evident when comparing the Western and Eastern MBs. The results manifest W-E and N-S PM(10) and PM(2.5) gradients along the MB, attributed to the higher frequency and intensity of African dust outbreaks in the EMB, while for PM(1) very similar levels are encountered.