Investigations of chemical properties and transport mechanisms of continental aerosols are necessary for estimating their influences on global radiative budget and on the global material cycle. Intensive measurements of atmospheric aerosols and the associated species on Rishiri Island, near the northern tip of Japan, were conducted from March to May 2001, in order to understand the chemical properties, source regions, transport pathways, and transport patterns of anthropogenic and mineral aerosols over the east Asian Pacific Rim region during the spring. Mean concentrations of nss-SO-42, NO3-, NH4+, nss-Ca2+ in aerosols were 2.48, 0.64, 0.72, and 0.17 μg m-3, respectively. Elemental carbon and organic carbon in fine particles (d < 2.5 μm) yielded mean concentrations of 0.25 and 0.80 μg m-3, respectively. The concentrations of these species frequently increased to higher values because of outbreaks of continental polluted air masses, whereas under background conditions, they decreased to lower values similar to those observed over the remote ocean. Our results demonstrate that nss-SO2-4 and NH+4 coexist in fine particles, that NO-3 and nss-Ca2+ coexist in coarse particles, and that each set is transported in an alternate manner. Continentally derived NO-3 is transported as coarse particle to the east Asian Pacific Rim region. Anthropogenic pollutants and dust particles are not necessarily transported together. It was often found that anthropogenic fine particles containing abundant nss-SO42- appeared first and were then followed by large mineral particles that had absorbed NO-3. Short-term intrusion of the air masses containing abundant particulate carbonaceous compounds, probably due to the influence of biomass burning, also often occurred during the outflow events of continental air masses. Atmospheric behaviors of sulfate, nitrate, and carbonaceous species are different from one another, although they are all derived mainly from combustion processes.
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