Plumes of atmospheric aerosol have been studied using a rangeof satellite and ground-based techniques. The Sea-viewing WideField-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) has been used to observe plumesof sulphate aerosol and Saharan dust around the coast of theUnited Kingdom. Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) was retrievedfrom SeaWiFS for two events; a plume of Saharan dusttransported over the United Kingdom from Western Africa and aperiod of elevated sulphate experienced over the Easternregion of the UK. Patterns of AOT are discussed and related tothe synoptic and mesoscale weather conditions. Furtherobservation of the sulphate aerosol event was undertaken usingthe Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instrument(AVHRR). Atmospheric back trajectories and weather conditionswere studied in order to identify the meteorologicalconditions which led to this event. Co-located ground-basedmeasurements of PM10 and PM2.5 were obtained for 4sites within the UK and PM2.5/10 ratios were calculatedin order to identify any unusually high or low ratios(indicating the dominant size fraction within the plume)during either of these events. Calculated percentiles ofPM2.5/10 ratios during the 2 events examined show thatthese events were notable within the record, but were in noway unique or unusual in the context of a 3 yr monitoringrecord. Visibility measurements for both episodes have beenexamined and show that visibility degradation occurred duringboth the sulphate aerosol and Saharan dust episodes.