The Source Apportionment of Airborne Particulate Matter Composition on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Atmospheric particulate matter has been shown to have acute and chronic health impacts, potential to negatively affect ecosystems, and plays an important role in climate forcing through its role in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. Particle size, morphology, and chemical composition are key in determining the extent of the impacts on populations and the planet. In this study, particulate mass concentration and number counts were measure from October 1 – December 31, 2015 and the United States Environmental Protection Agency Positive Matrix Factorization v5.0 program was used to apportion the particulate matter sources with further evidence provided by air mass back trajectories and satellite observations. It was found that sea spray contributed 43.4% of particulate matter, long range transport from the continent contributed 30.9% of particulate matter, aged biogenic marine emissions/aged marine aerosol contributed 24.3% of particulate matter, and fresh biogenic marine emissions contributed 1.4% of particulate matter.