The aim of this monitoring protocol is to measure the atmospheric deposition, dry and wet, of elements and substances of relevance for the biogeochemical flows of ecosystems. Furthermore, we seek to study the variability of the dry deposition in relation to the seasonal and annual atmospheric conditions at the synoptic scale.

Method and effort

Dry and wet deposition are measured with a passive sampler equipped with a rain sensor that automatically opens or closes the containers. The sampler collects continuously while the samples are removed periodically and taken to the laboratory for analysis. This technique, although not exempt of certain limitations, is adequate to monitor the atmospheric flow of soluble and particulate substances that reach Sierra Nevada. The measurements of the deposition are complemented with high-volume collectors that filter large volumes of air during preset time periods to retain the aerosols in the filters, permitting the calculation of the atmospheric concentrations. In addition, we have the means necessary to relate the measurements made with the movements of air masses at a scale greater than 1000 km.


The passive collection of aerosols is continuous, with sampling periodically (ideally weekly) the result of the collection. Active collection (several hours) is made according to the assumption of events affecting the presence of aerosols. The collectors are reviewed each visit.


Download PDF: Español / English


Bergametti, G., Gomes, L., Remoudaki, E., Desbois, M., Martin, D. y Buat-Me´ Nard, P. 1989. Present transport and deposition patterns of African dusts to the north-western Mediterranean. Pp. 227–252. En: Leinen, M. and Sarnthein, M. (eds.). Paleoclimatology and paleometeorology: Modern and past patterns of global atmospheric transport. NATO ASI Series no. 282. Kluwer, Dordrecht.
Morales-Baquero, R., Pulido-Villena, E. y Reche, I. 2006. Atmospheric inputs of phosphorus and nitrogen to the southwest Mediterranean region: Biogeochemical responses of high mountain lakes. Limnol. Oceanogr., 51(2): 830–837.
Okin, G. S., Mahowald, N., Chadwick, O. A. y Artaxo, P. 2004. Impact of desert dust on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems. Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles, 18: Art. No. GB2005.