Original paper

The PM2.5 Fine Particle Background Network of the German Meteorological Service-First Results

Kaminski, Uwe; Fricker, Mathieu; Dietze, Volker

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 22 No. 2 (2013), p. 187 - 194

published: Apr 1, 2013

DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0380

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Since 2009, the measurement of the background concentration of the fine particle fraction has been a part of the climate-monitoring program of the German Meteorological Service (DWD). These particles are of high health relevance as a critical air pollutant affecting processes like the scattering and absorption of solar radiation and influencing cloud formation and visibility. At 12 weather stations, the coarse (2.5 to 10 l m) and the fine particle fractions (PM2.5) are measured by means of passive and active samplers. First results are presented for the mass concentrations of coarse and fine particles as well as for the black carbon (BC) content and the concentration of certain inorganic ions of fine particles. There is not only a seasonal correlation between the fraction of fine and coarse particles, but also a correlation with the location (urban background or rural background). With the help of light microscopy, coarse particles can be differentiated for a geogenic (predominantly wind blown mineral and sea salt particles of natural origin and road abrasion) and for an anthropogenic opaque component (combustion residues, e.g. fly ash and non-exhaust vehicle emissions, e.g. abrasion particles of brakes and tires). Measuring the fine fraction and the coarse fraction separately instead of PM10 allows for a better source allocation and thus is a more appropriate method for the improvement of the air quality in, e.g. low emission zones.


coarse particlesfine particlesblack carbonbackground concentrations