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Title: Application of mineral magnetic measurements as a pollution proxy for urban road deposited sediment
Author: Crosby, Christopher James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 1427
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Road Deposited Sediment (RDS) is an important pathway of pollution material in the urban environment. Traditional particulate matter (PM) monitoring methods are typically expensive and time consuming. To date, urban sediment studies have not fully explored the application of mineral magnetic technologies as an alternative to characterise RDS or, perhaps more importantly, their use as particle size proxy. Therefore, this study addresses these issues by determining the extent of any linkages between magnetic properties and the physio-chemical concentrations of RDS. Investigations have focussed on a spatial temporal study (2008-10) of RDS from the City of Wolverhampton (n = 546) and a similar ‘snap-shot’ study of eight selected town and cities across the UK (n = 306), plus a comparison investigation linked to regional monitoring of air sampling units (ASU) (n = 208). A suite of analytical approaches, namely mineral magnetism, laser diffraction, X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Loss on Ignition (LOI), were employed to characterize sample properties. Data interrogation identified mainly weak correlations exist between most mineral magnetic parameters and particle size classes (i.e. sand, silt and clay) and respiratory health-related size classes (i.e. PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0). The few strongest correlations (p <0.001) were found between mineral magnetic concentration and 0.05) correlations exist between mineral magnetic parameters and particle size. However, for some locations (most notably, London and Scunthorpe), results exhibit signatures perceived to be associated with environmental factors. Detailed multivariate Factor Analysis plots and Geographical Information System (GIS) images have been used to explore these findings further. These illustrate RDS properties of road types (arterial and residential) display significantly different characteristics, with raised mineral magnetic concentrations for arterial roads, compared to lesser concentrations for residential roads, which corresponds to traffic flow data. This is supported by SEM analyses that reveal elevated concentrations of iron oxide spheres in samples collected from arterial roads, which are indicative of inputs from anthropogenic combustion sources. Contextualising these findings within the framework of existing knowledge, a conceptual approach has been presented that explores factors (i.e. sampling area, topography, land use, sediment source and potential mixing), which influence the reliability of using mineral magnetic techniques a particle size proxy. This demonstrates that any increase in the complexity of these factors (sampling area dynamics) can be used to predict the likelihood of being able to employ mineral magnetic measurements as a proxy. To surmise the work overall, despite mineral magnetic technologies offering an inexpensive and rapid means of analysing RDS, its use as a proxy measure for particulate matter appears to be limited by a series of site-related factors but the technique seems to offer valuable insights for pollution source studies.
Supervisor: Booth, Colin A.; Fullen, Michael A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental Magnetism ; Air Quality ; Particulate Matter ; Urban Pollution