Production mechanisms of aerosol chemical species, in terms of primary and secondary processes, were studied using vertical concentration gradient measurements at the coastal research station in Mace Head, Ireland. Total gravimetric PM1.0 mass, sea salt and water insoluble organic carbon (WIOC) concentration profiles showed a net production at the surface (i.e. primary production), while nssSO(4) and water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) concentration profiles showed a net removal at the surface. These observations indicate that WSOC was predominantly of secondary origin and that WIOC was predominantly of primary origin. Derived PM1 mass fluxes compared reasonably well with those previously obtained from an eddy covariance (EC) technique following a power law relationship with the wind speed (F(PM1) = 0.000096*U (4.23)). For cases with clear primary organic mass fluxes in the flux footprint WIOM mass fluxes ranged between 0.16 and 1.02 ng m(-2) s(-1) and WIOM/sea salt mass ratio was 0.34-3.6, in good agreement with previous measurements at Mace Head.