Geologija (Jul 2014)

SEM/EDS characterisation of dusty deposits in precipitation and assessment of their origin

  • Miloš Miler

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 57, no. 1
pp. 5 – 14


Read online

Detailed scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analysis of dusty material in rainfall residue, deposited and collected on February 19th 2014 in Ljubljana, was carried out with the intention to characterise it according to its chemical and mineral composition and to assess its origin. The material consists of poorly sorted and sharp-edged particles of mostly very fine-grained silt and clay fractions, which is consistent with long-range aerial transport. Particles are represented by illite, chlorite and kaolinite group clay minerals, quartz, feldspars, carbonates, accessory minerals and secondary Fe-oxy-hydroxide minerals. Quantities of minerals and illite/ kaolinite ratio (4.5) correspond to dusts in rainfall residues originating from Moroccan Atlas, while chlorite/kaolinite ratio (2.8) agrees better with dust from central Libya. The element ratios Al/Si, Ca/Al, K/Ca, Mg/Al, Fe/Al and (Ca+Mg)/Fe in the studied dusty deposit are in good agreement with ratios in dusts from rainfall residues originating from Morocco and northern Mauritania. This was also confirmed by the trajectories of cloud movement that caused precipitation with dusty deposit, although the back trajectory HYSPLIT simulation of air masses indicated northern Mauritania, central Niger, southern Algeria, southwestern and central Libya as the most possible source regions.