Abstract

The tropospheric dust loading in Upper Silesia (Poland) shows a steady, annually averaged supply of minerals from natural and anthropogenic sources, industrial dust emitters, domestic heating, transportation, but with superimposed seasonal changes for some dust types. Samples of airborne and deposited particles were collected at monthly intervals between 1996 and 2001 in several cities of Upper Silesia. Dust samples were examined by X-ray powder diffraction, analytical transmission electron microscopy, analytical scanning electron microscopy, and electron microprobe microanalysis. The most common dust included quartz, gypsum, coke, soot, hematite, magnetite, wüstite, bassanite, graphite and various K-, Fe- and Mg-bearing aluminosilicates, in order of decreasing abundance. Minor phases included α-iron, sulphur, sphalerite, halite, sylvite, hercynite, franklinite, baryte, dolomite, ankerite, apatite, olivine and feldspars. Quartz, and specific industrial minerals, e.g. spinels, sphalerite, olivine and iron, occurred throughout the year in almost constant abundances. The amounts of all other dust components show seasonal variations; gypsum, baryte and other sulphates are particularly abundant in winter. In general, minerals related to low-emission sources are abundant in the winter time, while both natural dusts and dust from high-emission sources are predominant during the summer.

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