The Melpitz site is a rural background site located in Germany near the city of Torgau in the glacial valley of the river Elbe (12°56’E, 51°32’N, 86 m a.s.l.). The research station Melpitz was operated by the Leibniz-Institute of Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig.


The site is integrated in EMEP (level 3, code DE44) in collaboration with the German Federal Environment Agency and a GAW regional station. The TROPOS Melpitz site is part of the European infrastructure network ACTRIS and of the German Aerosol-Network for ultrafine particles GUAN.


The measuring field is situated on a flat meadow surrounded by agricultural land (Spindler et al. 2001; 2010 and 2013). Results of aerosol characterization from this station were compared with results from other stations in Europe (EMEP 2016, Hamed et al. 2010; Aas et al. 2012; Alastuey et al. 2016, Glasius et al. 2018) and used for estimating different sources in the surroundings with influence at the background concentrations (e.g. Herrmann et al. 2006; Gnauk et al. 2011, Mutzel et al. 2015; Stieger et al. 2018 and 2019).


The dominating wind-direction sector for Melpitz is South-West and maritime air-masses reach the field after crossing a large area of the western part of middle Europe. The second main wind direction sector is East with mostly dry continental air masses influenced by long range transport from anthropogenic emissions in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic arrive Melpitz. There are only very few local sources for anthropogenic emissions in direction East in Germany in close distance to the Polish border which is only about 130 km east of Melpitz. The Melpitz site is representative for a large rural area in Saxony (East and North-East German lowlands). The TROPOS Melpitz site was integrated in different local temporal networks for investigation of long range transport (e.g. projects “Aerosol 2013-2015”and “PM-Ost”) van Pinxteren et al. 2016 and 2019.


The mean yearly mass concentration in 2017 for particles PM10 and PM2.5 were found to be 20.31 µg m-3 and 15.79 µg m-3, respectively. The mean PM2.5/PM10 ratio was 0.78. Such quite high PM2.5/PM10 ratios are typical for rural lowland sites in central Europe.


In the ACTRIS framework the Melpitz site can use for joint transnational field experiments (TNA, Access to Observation Facilities)



Melpitz site, view to East


Aas, W., Tsyro, S., Bieber, E., Bergström, R., Ceburnis, D., Ellermann, T., Fagerli, H., Fröhlich, M., Gehrig, R., Makkonen, U., Nemitz, E., Otjes, R., Perez, N., Perrino, C., Prévôt, A.S.M., Putaud, J.-P., Simpson, D., Spindler, G., Vana, M., Yttri, K.E.: Lessons learnt from the first EMEP intensive measurement periods. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12, 8073-8094 (2012)


Alastuey, A., Querol, X., Aas W., Lucarelli, F., Pérez, N., Moreno, T., Cavalli, F., Areskoug, H., Balan, V., Catrambone, M. , Ceburnis, D., Cerro, J.C., Conil, S., Gevorgyan, L., Hueglin, Ch., Imre, K.,Jaffrezo, J.-L., Leeson, S.R., Mihalopoulos, N.,Mitosinkova, M., O’Dowd, C.D., Pey, J.,  Putaud, J.-P., Riffault, V., Ripoll, A., Sciare, J., Sellegri, K., Spindler, G., Yttri, K.E.: Geochemistry of PM10 over Europe during the EMEP intensive measurement periods in summer 2012 and winter 2013. Atmos.Chem.Phys 16, 6107-6129 (2016)


EMEP: Joint Report of the Task Force on Measurements and Modelling (TFMM), Air pollution trends in the EMEP region between 1990 and 2012. Chemical Co-ordinating Centre (CCC), Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-East (MSC-E), Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-West (MSC-W) (2016)


Glasius, M., Hansen, A.M.K., Claeys, M., Henzing, J.S., Jedynska, J.s., Kasper-Giebel, A., Kistler, M., Kristensen, K., Martinsson, J., Maenhaut, W., Nøgaard, J.K., Spindler, G., Stenström, K.E., Swietlicki, E., Szidat, S., Simpson, D., Ytrri, K.E.: Composition and sources of carbonaceous aerosols in Northern Europe during winter. Atmos. Environ. 173, 127-141 (2018)


Gnauk, T, Müller, K, Brüggemann, E., Birmili, W., Weinhold, K, van Pinxteren, D., Löschau, G., Spindler, G., Herrmann, H.: A study to discriminate local, urban and regional source contributions to the particulate matter concentrations in the city of Dresden, Germany. J. Atmos.Chem. 68, 199-231 (2011)


Hamed, A., Birmili, W., Joutsensaari, J., Mikkonen, S., Asmi, A., Wehner, B., Spindler, G., Jaatinen, A., Wiedensohler, A., Korhonen, H., Lehtinen, K. E. J., Laaksonen, A.: Changes in the production rate of secondary aerosol particles in Central Europe in view of decreasing SO2 emissions between 1996 and 2006. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 10, 1071-1091 (2010)


Herrmann, H., Brüggemann, E., Franck, U., Gnauk, T, Löschau, G., Müller, K., Plewka, A., Spindler, G.: A source study of PM in Saxony by size-segregated characterisation. J. Atmos. Chem. 55, 103-130 (2006)


Mutzel, A., Poulain, L., Berndt, T., Iinuma, Y., Rodigast, M., Böge, O., Richters, S., Spindler, G., Sipilä, M., Jokinen, T., Kulmala, M., Herrmann, H.: Highly Oxidized Multifunctional Organic Compounds Observed in Tropospheric Particles: A Field and Laboratory Study. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 7754-7761 (2015)


van Pinxteren, D., Fomba, K. W., Spindler, G., Müller, K., Poulain, L., Iinuma, Y., Loschau, G., Hausmann, A., Herrmann, H.: Regional air quality in Leipzig, Germany: detailed source apportionment of size-resolved aerosol particles and comparison with the year 2000. Faraday Discuss., 189, 291-315, (2016)


van Pinxteren, D., Mothes, F., Spindler, G., Fomba, K.W., Herrmann, H.: Trans-boundary PM10: Quantifying impact and sources during winter 2016/17 in eastern Germany. Atmos. Environ. 200, 119-130 (2019)


Spindler, G., Teichmann, U., Sutton, M.A.: Ammonia dry deposition over grassland – Micrometeorological flux-gradient measurements and bi-directional flux calculations using an Inferential Modell. Q.J.R.Meteorol.Soc. 127, 795-814 (2001)


Spindler, G., Brüggemann, E., Gnauk, T., Grüner, A., Müller, K., Herrmann, H.: A four-year size-segregated characterization study of particles PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 depending on air mass origin at Melpitz. Atmos. Environ. 44, 164-173 (2010)



Spindler, G., Grüner, A., Müller, K., Schlimper, S., Herrmann, H.: Long-term size-segregated particle (PM10, PM2.5, PM1) characterization study at Melpitz – influence of air mass inflow, weather conditions and season. J. Atmos. Chem., 70, 165-195, (2013)


Stieger, B., Spindler, G., Fahlbusch, B., Müller, K., Grüner, G., Poulain, L., Thöni, L., Seitler, E., Wallasch, M., Herrmann, H.: Measurements of PM10 ions and trace gases with the online system MARGA at the research station Melpitz in Germany - A five-year study. J. Atmos. Chem. 75, 33-70 (2018)


Stieger, B., Spindler, G., van Pinxteren, D., Gruner, A., Wallasch, M., Herrmann, H.: Development of an online-coupled MARGA upgrade for the 2 h interval quantification of low-molecular-weight organic acids in the gas and particle phases. Atmos. Meas. Tech. 12, 281-298 (2019)