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  • 1 Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary, H-1145, Budapest, Columbus utca 17-23, Hungary
  • | 2 Institute of Mineralogy and Geology, University of Miskolc, H-3515, Miskolc, Egyetemváros, Hungary, askzn@uni-miskolc.hu
  • | 3 North Transdanubian Environmental, Nature Conservancy & Water Policy Inspectorate, H-9021, Győr, Árpád út 28-32, Hungary, lautner@edktvf.kvvm.hu
  • | 4 Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1112, Budapest, Budaörsi út 45, Hungary, sipos@geochem.hu
  • | 5 Central Transdanubian Environmental, Nature Conservancy & Water Policy Inspectorate, H-8201, Veszprém, Pf. 173, Hungary, tibor@szentmarjay.hu
  • | 6 Geophysics Department, Eötvös Loránd University, H-1117, Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/C, Hungary, mifimester@gmail.com
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Abstract

Ferromagnetic grains in airborne dust are important indicators of vehicle traffic, some industrial sources and combustion/heating. Settled dust consists mainly of diamagnetic material; therefore accessory ferromagnetic grains are readily indicated by magnetic measurements. In this paper settled dust samples collected on a monthly basis in the years 2008–2011 were studied. Non-destructive magnetic measurements were followed by geochemical and mineralogical analyses. In selected samples we identified airborne anthropogenic materials (e.g. silicate and magnetite spherules), minerals from the natural environment and organic material. Seasonally appearing materials (e.g. soot in winter, plant fragments and pollen in summer) increased the mass of the settled dust, but not the magnetic susceptibility. Thus, we realized that the generally interpreted mass susceptibility in environmental magnetic studies would not always appropriately characterize the magnetic pollution. In the interpretation we gave preference to total susceptibility because of its direct connection to the pollution, except in comparison with metal concentrations.

Trends in magnetic pollution were eventually analyzed for 19 sampling sites. Irrespective of the degree and source of the pollution the monthly variation curves of magnetic susceptibility exhibit a general maximum (March-April), followed by gradual decrease. A corresponding peak is observed in the amounts of dust. Both can be explained by re-suspension of dust settled in winter. The additional maxima in the mass of the dust (June and August, respectively) are probably due to contribution from vegetation and/or an artifact from algaecide. For three key sampling sites comparison was made between the concentrations of 12 metals and the respective mass susceptibilities and good linear correlation was found for Fe, Mn and Zn for all, for Cr, Cu, Pb, V, Ba, Sr and Zr for two sampling sites. Cd, which is enriched in all samples, does not correlate with the magnetic susceptibility.

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