• Magnetic properties of urban street dust and their relationship with organic matter content in the West Midlands, UK

      Shilton, Vaughan F.; Booth, Colin A.; Smith, Jacqueline P.; Giess, Paul; Mitchell, David J.; Williams, Craig D. (Elsevier, 2005)
      This study demonstrates significant correlations between the organic matter content of urban street dust and certain mineral magnetic properties, which accords with previous work that indicates magnetic parameters offer potential as a proxy for organic content. However, site-specific data demonstrate the relationship can be different for particular roads, even within the same area. This indicates the association may be more complex than previous work proposes and a cautionary note is required. It is recommended that the nature of the relationship between magnetic and organic properties should be fully explored for particular urban environments and individual field settings, before using magnetic measurements as a proxy for organic matter content. Furthermore, whilst soil is believed to significantly contribute to urban street dust, magnetic values in this study are much higher than those previously reported for top-soils and indicate the influence of other sources, such as anthropogenic pollutants. This suggests that using magnetic measurements to discriminate sources of urban particulates has considerable potential for development.