EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Source apportionment of atmospheric P over East Mediterranean using the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model

Kalliopi Violaki1,2, Athanasios Nenes2,4, Maria Tsagkaraki3, Marco Paglione5, Stéphanie Jacquet1, Richard Sempere1, and Christos Panagiotopoulos1
Kalliopi Violaki et al.
  • 1Aix-Marseille Univ., Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) UMR 7294, France, CNRS, MIO, France
  • 2Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts, School of Architecture, Civil & Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland
  • 3Chemistry Department, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  • 4Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, GR-26504, Patras, Greece
  • 5Italian National Research Council - Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC), Bologna, Italy

The PMF receptor model was applied to a combined dataset using specific markers such as phospholipids and sugars together with other metals (e.g. Al, Pb, V) and ions (e.g. K+, Ca2+, SO42-, NO3-) as tracers of main aerosol sources in order to characterize the sources of P in atmospheric particles. The samples were collected from East Mediterranean; an oligotrophic region, strongly P-limited, with atmospheric nutrients deposition affecting its primary productivity. The results revealed that dominant sources of P compounds are the dust (43%) and the bioaerosols (34%). The coexistence of these sources in the spring period increased the organic P up to 53% of total P with more than a half to originate from bioaerosols. Dust is the major source of inorganic P forms with almost equal contribution to the phosphate ions and to the condensed P forms (e.g pyrophosphate or phosphorous minerals).

Based on the results of source apportionment analysis and the atmospheric concentration of P species, the maximum annual deposition scaled to the East Mediterranean surface was 21.5 Gg P with almost equal deposition of org-P and phosphate ions. The soluble P content from dust aerosols is the similar magnitude of potential bioavailable organic P emitted from bioaerosols (~4 Gg P y-1), especially during the stratification period, when surface water is mostly nutrient starved. Anthropogenic pollution contributes slightly higher to organic P comparing with phosphate ions, while the latter is produced mainly secondary. Biomass burning emissions in the area are associated mainly with the more soluble P.


How to cite: Violaki, K., Nenes, A., Tsagkaraki, M., Paglione, M., Jacquet, S., Sempere, R., and Panagiotopoulos, C.: Source apportionment of atmospheric P over East Mediterranean using the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4931,, 2021.

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