Ambient particulate matter with the aerodynamics diameter less than 10 μm (PM10) was sampled in four northeastern Chinese cities (Shenyang, Anshan, Fushun and Huludao) from August 2001 to August 2005. Chemical compositions including 20 elements, SO42−, organic and total carbon were determined. In addition, chemical source profiles consisting of the same particulate components were obtained from a number of naturally occurring geological sources (soil dust from exposed lands and marine salt) and sources of atmospheric particulates resulting from human activities (construction derived dust, coal combustion fly ash, iron and steel manufacturing dust, zinc dust, vehicle exhaust, and sulfate). Chemical mass balance modeling (CMB) was applied to determine the particulate matter (PM) sources and their contributions to PM10 in these four cities. The results showed that soil dust and coal fly ash were the major sources of ambient PM10 in all four cities. The construction derived dust, iron and steel manufacturing dust also was the major source of PM10 in Huludao, Anshan, respectively. Higher contribution of iron and steel manufacturing dust (33.3 μg/m3, 20.9%) in Anshan was observed in this study, compared with previous studies. The zinc dust was a special PM source of Huludao, with a contribution of 19.1 μg/m3 (7.0%) to PM10.