The current study considers the spatial and temporal variability in aerosol trace metal concentrations (Al, Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn) in the Levantine Basin of the Eastern Mediterranean, utilising an extensive sample library (n = 621) collected between 1999 and 2001, at two coastal sites located at the northern, Erdemli (Turkey) and southeastern, Tel Shikmona (TS, Israel), region of the Basin. A critical evaluation of the datasets from the two locations was presented. Enhanced concentrations of Al (1.7 x), Fe (1.8 x), Mn (2.1 x) were detected at the more southerly sampling station, during common dust events, owing to the greater proximity of desert dust sources (NE Africa and Saudi Peninsula); leading to a gradual decline in crustal inputs northwards across the basin. An insignificant Pb gradient was noticed across the Levantine Basin, which has exhibited a decadal decrease (40%). Cr was enriched in the north by a factor of three accounted by local sources. Cu was also enriched, to a lower extent, by about a factor of two. Seasonal variations of the crustal elements (Al, Fe, Mn) at Erdemli were detected (transitional > summer > winter) owing to both, a greater frequency and intensity of dust events during the transitional period and a greater washout effect during winter. It is likely that similar variations occur at TS as both sites experienced similar dust and rainfall events. It was observed at Erdentli that all elements (except Pb and Cd) exhibit their lowest concentrations in the winter period due to a greater washout effect. The lack of seasonal difference between winter and summer for Ph and Cd may have been due to the relatively high emission intensities of regional sources rapidly regenerating aerosol concentrations and their association with fine particles which are less efficiently scavenged during rain events. During the summer, Zn derived from local transportation and agricultural activities, was more pronounced, leading to an enhancement of around 10% in its concentration. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.