Spatio-temporal occurrences and mineralogical–geochemical characteristics of airborne dusts in Khuzestan Province (southwestern Iran)

Zarasvandi, A., Carranza, E.J.M., Moore, F., and Rastmanesh, F. (2011) Spatio-temporal occurrences and mineralogical–geochemical characteristics of airborne dusts in Khuzestan Province (southwestern Iran). Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 111 (3). pp. 138-151.

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Abstract

Dust storms in Khuzestan province (Iran) are causing problems in industries and human health. To mitigate the impact of those phenomena, it is vital to know the physical and chemical characteristics of airborne dusts. In this paper, we give an overview of the spatio-temporal occurrences and geochemical characteristics of airborne dusts in Khuzestan. Meteorological data from 10 stations in Khuzestan during 1996–2009 indicate (a) an average of 47 dust storm days per year, (b) a lowest annual average of 13 dust storm days in 1998, (c) a highest annual average of 104 dust storm days in 2008, and (d) an average increase of two dust storm days per year. Above-average number of dust storm days usually occurred in the cities of Dezful, Ahvaz, Masjed-e-Soleiman, Abadan and Bostan, whereas below-average number of dust storm days usually occurred in the cities of Mahshahr, Ramhormoz, Behbahan, Shoushtar and Izeh. XRD analyses of airborne dust samples collected in 2008 and 2009 show that the mineralogy of airborne dusts is dominated by calcite, followed by quartz and then kaolinite, with minor gypsum. SEM analyses of the samples indicate that airborne dusts have rounded irregular, prismatic and rhombic shapes. The sizes of airborne dusts vary from 2 to 52 μm, but 10 to 22 μmare the dominant sizes. The smallest and largest dust particles are clays, sulfates or carbonates. XRF and ICP analyses of the samples show that the most important oxide compositions of airborne dusts are SiO₂, Al₂O₃, Fe₂O₃, CaO and MgO. Estimates of enrichment factors (EF) for all studied elements show that Mn, Hf, U, Sc, K, V and Sr, with EF<10, are of natural origin, whereas Na, Ni, Co, Ba and Cr, with EF>10, are of anthropogenic origin. Flat REE patterns with depletion in Th, V, Nb, Zr and enrichment in Al, Rb, Sr and Mn indicate that airborne dusts in Khuzestan come from the same source, which is likely an eroded sedimentary environment outside Iran. In general, airborne dusts in Khuzestan are geochemically similar to airborne dusts elsewhere in the world.

Item ID: 27337
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0375-6742
Keywords: airborne dust; transport; enrichment factor; geological source; Khuzestan (Iran)
Date Deposited: 31 May 2013 05:33
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040299 Geochemistry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960299 Atmosphere and Weather not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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