Metal Concentrations in Snow Samples in an Urban Area in the Po Valley


This study shows a chemical and morphological characterization of snow samples collected near crossroads of urban area of Ferrara and near the Technological College of University of Ferrara (Italy) during three important snowfalls. The field campaigns were carried out in the eastern part of Po Valley (Italy) in winter 2009-2010. The chemical composition of melted snow was compared with analyses of the same filtered samples of melted snow so as to give the composition of particles smaller than a few nm. The metal concentrations in the aerosol particles were analyzed with ICP-MS and IC methodologies, while the morphological features were described by SEM-EDS analyses. The results showed that snow samples were characterized by important amounts of allumo silicates with dimensions larger than 0.45 μm, from resuspension of the local soil, and IC analysis confirmed the anthropogenic pollution of the snow. Six main particles were classed and recognized: silica, carbonate, allumo silicate, sodium chloride and organic compounds, including biogenic materials and pollen (agricultural aerosols which are composed for 92% of single particles and for the remaining 8% of agglomerations of particles). We present here initial data on heavy metals in snow collected in Ferrara. They were obtained by analyzing fresh snow deposited during three snowfall events in December 2010, February and March 2011. The analyses were performed by the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), ion chromatography (IC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS).

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Telloli, C. (2014) Metal Concentrations in Snow Samples in an Urban Area in the Po Valley. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 1116-1136. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.510095.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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