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Sources and composition particulate matter next to an active mining area

Sources and composition particulate matter next to an active mining area

Finnish Meteorological Institute and Centro Mario Molina (Chile) studied the particulate matter composition next to an actively operating open pit mine.

The particles were mainly originating from mining activities and engines of working machines and vehicles operating in mining area. In addition long-range transported sulphate episodes were occasionally observed.

Detailed measurements of particulate matter (PM) were conducted in the boreal arctic environment, next to an actively-operating Kevitsa open pit mine. During the month long campaign three distinct PM sources with different chemical composition were identified: mining activities, long-range transported (LRT) PM and clean arctic air. The main sources of PM originating from the mining area were vehicular emissions for submicron particles (PM1) and mining activities (including re-suspended dust) for supermicron particles (PM1–10). PM1 originating from mining activities had a high contribution of black carbon (44%–48%), organic carbon (31%–46%) and a minor contribution from inorganic ions (< 21%) suggesting that it was mainly originating from the vehicles. Based on elemental composition it is likely that supermicron particles were mechanically generated and re-suspended PM from mining activities. In contrast, for the air mass originating from the arctic areas, PM concentrations were very low and PM had a different chemical composition. During the LRT episode, elevated sulphate concentrations in submicron particles were observed.

This research was funded by TEKES Green Mining program (HIME project) and Academy of Finland (MISU program/PARMAT project 297804).

More information:

Hilkka Timonen, Hilkka.timonen@fmi.fi

Timonen H., Teinilä K., Aurela M., Reyes F., Vásquez Y., Bloss M., Oyola P., Hillamo R., Asmi E. & Saarikoski S. 2018: Sources and composition of particulate matter in boreal arctic environment next to an active mining area. Boreal Env. Res. 23: 105–125.

http://www.borenv.net/BER/ber231-6.htm


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Contact information

Scientific Director Ari Laaksonen
tel. +358 539 5530

Meteorological and Marine Research Programme
Director Sami Niemelä
tel. +358 29 539 4172

Climate Research Programme
Director  Hannele Korhonen
tel. +358  29 539 2135

Space and Earth Observation Centre
Director Jouni Pulliainen
tel. +358 29 539 4701

FMI publications

FMI´s own publications series are:

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All publications from 2016 onwards can be found on Helda.