Mansour A. Alghamdi 1, Mansour Almazroui2, Magdy Shamy1, Maria Ana Redal3, Abdulrahman K. Alkhalaf2, Mahmoud A. Hussein2, Mamdouh I. Khoder1,4

  • 1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • 2 Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • 3 Unidad de Medicina Molecular y GenómicadelInstituto de CienciasBásicas y Medicina Experimental, Escuela de Medicina del Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 4 Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Received: June 19, 2014
Revised: September 25, 2014
Accepted: November 24, 2014
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Cite this article:
Alghamdi, M.A., Almazroui, M., Shamy, M., Redal, M.A., Alkhalaf, A.K., Hussein, M.A. and Khoder, M.I. (2015). Characterization and Elemental Composition of Atmospheric Aerosol Loads during Springtime Dust Storm in Western Saudi Arabia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 15: 440-453.


  • Dust storms are an important contributor to PM pollution in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Diurnal variation of PM fractions was uni-modal in non-DS and bimodal in DS.
  • Dust storm carries much coarser than fine particles to Jeddah.
  • Soil originating species greatly contribute to PM when dust storm occurs.
  • Anthropogenic elements in the aerosol were mainly from local pollution.



Dust storm is a common phenomenonand, a severe environmental hazard in western Saudi Arabia. In this study, simultaneous measurement of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 and elemental compositions analysis of PM2.5 in Jeddah city during springtime (March 2012) dust storm (DS) and non-dust storm (non-DS) periods were carried out to investigate the impact of DS on the levels, characterization and elemental compositions of atmospheric particles. Results indicate that PM fractions concentrations were higher in DS environment compared to non-DS. The diurnal variation of PM fractions concentrations was uni-modal in non-DS environment and bimodal in DS. PM1.0/PM10, PM2.5/PM10 and PM2.5/PM2.5–10 ratios were relatively lower in DS, indicating that sand-dust events in spring carry much more coarse than fine particles to Jeddah. PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 in DS and PM10 and PM2.5 in non-DS might originate from similar sources. PM10, PM2.5, PM1.0 in DS and PM10 in non-DS were correlated negatively with relative humidity and positively with wind speed. PM2.5 and PM1.0 in non-DS were correlated positively with relative humidity and negatively with wind speed. The crustal elements accounted for 44.62 and 67.53% of the total concentrations of elements in non-DS and DS, respectively. The elements concentrations increased in DS, with highest DS/non-DS ratios for Ca, Si, Al and Fe. This indicates that the soil originating species contributed mainly in DS particles.The enrichment factors values and non-crustal fractions in both non-DS and DS indicate that the main sources of Na, Mg, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Rb and Sr are of a crustal type, whereas S, Cl, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Pb and Cd are anthropogenic. V and Ni in DS only are emitted from anthropogenic sources. The enrichment factors of these anthropogenic elements were lower in DS. They might originate mainly from local sources in Jeddah.

Keywords: PM10/PM2.5/PM1.0; Diurnal variation; Elemental composition; Dust storm; Jeddah

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