Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 305–318 | Cite as

Seasonal and annual trends of carbonaceous species of PM10 over a megacity Delhi, India during 2010–2017

  • S. K. SharmaEmail author
  • T. K. Mandal
  • A. Sharma
  • Saraswati
  • Srishti Jain


PM10 samples were collected to characterize the seasonal and annual trends of carbonaceous content in PM10 at an urban site of megacity Delhi, India from January 2010 to December 2017. Organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations were quantified by thermal-optical transmission (TOT) method of PM10 samples collected at Delhi. The average concentrations of PM10, OC, EC and TCA (total carbonaceous aerosol) were 222 ± 87 (range: 48.2–583.8 μg m−3), 25.6 ± 14.0 (range: 4.2–82.5 μg m−3), 8.7 ± 5.8 (range: 0.8–35.6 μg m−3) and 54.7 ± 30.6 μg m−3 (range: 8.4–175.2 μg m−3), respectively during entire sampling period. The average secondary organic carbon (SOC) concentration ranged from 2.5–9.1 μg m−3 in PM10, accounting from 14 to 28% of total OC mass concentration of PM10. Significant seasonal variations were recorded in concentrations of PM10, OC, EC and TCA with maxima during winter and minima during monsoon seasons. In the present study, the positive linear trend between OC and EC were recorded during winter (R2 = 0.53), summer (R2 = 0.59) and monsoon (R2 = 0.78) seasons. This behaviour suggests the contribution of similar sources and common atmospheric processes in both the fractions. OC/EC weight ratio suggested that vehicular emissions, fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning could be the major sources of carbonaceous aerosols of PM10 at the megacity Delhi, India. Trajectory analysis indicates that the air mass approches to the sampling site is mainly from Indo Gangetic plain (IGP) region (Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab etc.), Thar desert, Afghanistan, Pakistan and surrounding areas.


PM10 Organic carbon Elemental carbon Carbonaceous aerosols 



The authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-NPL, New Delhi and Head, Environmental Sciences & Biomedical Metrology Division (ES&BMD), CSIR-NPL, New Delhi for their encouragement. The authors also acknowledge the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi for providing partial financial support for this study. The authors thankfully acknowledge to Ms. Jagriti Suneja, M.Sc. student of GGSIP University, New Delhi 110 078, India and Ms. Garima Kotnala, Junior Research Fellow (JRF) of CSIR-NPL, New Delhi 110 012, India for their significant contribution in backward trajectories analysis.

Supplementary material

10874_2018_9379_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2762 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. K. Mandal
    • 1
  • A. Sharma
    • 1
  • Saraswati
    • 1
  • Srishti Jain
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences and Biomedical Metrology Division, CSIR-National Physical LaboratoryNew DelhiIndia

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