Spatial and temporal variations of PM2.5 concentration and composition throughout an urban area with high freeway density - The Greater Cincinnati study

Dainius Martuzevicius, Sergey A. Grinshpun, Tiina Reponen, Rafał L. Górny, Rakesh Shukla, James Lockey, Shaohua Hu, Rafael McDonald, Pratim Biswas, Linas Kliucininkas, Grace LeMasters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The PM2.5 concentration and its elemental composition were measured in the Cincinnati metropolitan area, which is characterized by intense highway traffic. The spatial and temporal variations were investigated for various chemical elements that contributed to the PM2.5 fraction during a 1-year-long measurement campaign (December 2001-November 2002). The ambient aerosol monitoring was performed in 11 locations around the city during nine measurement cycles. During each cycle, four Harvard-type impactors were operating in parallel in specific locations to explore various factors affecting the PM2.5 elemental concentrations. The sampling was performed during business days, thus assuring traffic uniformity. The 24-h PM2.5 samples were collected on Teflon and quartz filters. Teflon filters were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis while quartz filters were analyzed by thermal-optical transmittance (TOT) analysis. In addition to PM2.5 measurements, particle size-selective sampling was performed in two cycles using micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor; the collected fractionated deposits were analyzed by XRF. It was found that PM2.5 concentration ranged from 6.70 to 48.3μgm-3 and had low spatial variation (median coefficient of variation, CV=11.3%). The elemental concentrations demonstrated high spatial variation, with the median CV ranged from 38.2% for Fe to 68.7% for Ni. For traffic-related trace metals, the highest concentration was detected in the city center site, which was close to a major highway. The particle size selective measurement revealed that mass concentration of the trace metals, such as Zn, Pb, Ni, as well as that of sulfur reach their peak values in the particle size range of 0.32-1.0μm. Meteorological parameters and traffic intensity were not found to have a significant influence on the PM2.5 elemental concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1105
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • Elemental composition
  • PM
  • Traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial and temporal variations of PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentration and composition throughout an urban area with high freeway density - The Greater Cincinnati study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this