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The present paper describes a method to determine the gold content of samples of atmospheric particulate matter. The frequency distribution of the gold concentrations can be described by a log-normal distribution with a geometric mean concentration of 23.2 pg.m{-3} and a geometric standard deviation of 2.1. The method is validated by the analysis of a certified reference material, for which a mean recovery of gold of 78% was obtained. Based on the variability of the gold concentration in atmospheric aerosol, the maximum distance to which gold as a tracer can be quantified, assuming specific meteorological conditions, is estimated by means of the Gaussian dispersion model. Using Pasquill stability classes to characterize atmospheric stability, this distance is 33 km and 104 km for stability class C and D, respectively, for a release of 65 g of gold.

Additional information

Authors: BACHMANN K, Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, Fachbereich Chemie (DE);BEISSLER H, JRC Ispra (IT);RAES F, JRC Ispra (IT);PETRUCCI G A, JRC Ispra (IT);OMENETTO N, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Atmospheric Environment (1996)
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