Two-year magnetic monitoring in conjunction with geochemical and electron microscopic data of roadside dust in Seoul, Korea

Wonnyon Kim, Seong Jae Doh, Yong Hee Park, Seong Taek Yun

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111 Citations (Scopus)


Mineral magnetic properties of roadside dusts in Seoul, Korea, were measured and compared with the results of geochemical analyses in order to investigate the spatio-temporal patterns of urban pollution. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses were carried out to verify the magnetic materials and their potential sources. A total of 1956 dust samples were collected monthly at eight sites, from June 1998 to June 2000. Thermomagnetic data and SEM observations for magnetic extracts indicated that the major magnetic phase was magnetite-like material. In particular, the highest and the lowest magnetic concentrations were observed in industrial areas and a park area, respectively, whereas, heavy traffic areas showed low to intermediate concentration. A linear correlation between enrichment indexes of magnetic susceptibility and heavy metals suggests that magnetic susceptibility can be used as a proxy for heavy metal pollution. The magnetic concentrations and magnetic particle sizes showed systematic seasonal fluctuations (high and large in winter versus low and small in summer) due to the seasonal influx variations of anthropogenic magnetic materials. On the basis of the morphology and elemental composition, the magnetic materials were grouped into three types: magnetic spherules possibly emitted from factories and domestic heating systems, aggregates derived from vehicle emission or motor vehicle brake system, and angular magnetic particles of natural origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7627-7641
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the Environmental Geosphere Research Lab (EGRL) of Korea University. The manuscript was greatly improved by Dr. Y. Yu, Dr. S. Timmis and an anonymous referee.


  • Heavy metal pollution
  • Magnetic material
  • Magnetic monitoring
  • Roadside dust
  • Seoul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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