Black carbon: source apportionment and its implications on CCN activity over a rural region in Western Ghats, India
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This study presents the characteristics of black carbon aerosol (BC) over a high-altitude site, Mahabaleshwar during the monsoon season. The mass concentration of BC exhibits a morning peak and a daytime build-up with a mean mass concentration of 303 ± 142 ng m−3. The simultaneous measurements of aerosol particle number concentration (PNC), cloud condensation nuclei concentration (CCN), and non-refractory particulate matter less than 1 μm size (NR-PM1) were also made by using a Wide-Range Aerosol Spectrometer (WRAS), CCN counter and Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) respectively. The source apportionment using wavelength-dependent light absorption model reveals the dominance by wood burning sources during morning hours and traffic sources during remaining hours of the day. The diurnal variation of PNC follows the variability of BC mass concentration. However, CCN concentrations were high during the morning hours coinciding with the increased fractional contribution of organics. The k-means clustering coupled with fuzzy algorithm highlights the effect of different sources on aerosol size distribution. On the basis of size distribution curve, the 3 clusters were attributed to wood burning (mean diameter range: 50–100 nm), traffic (30–50 nm), and background aerosols (65–95 nm). The combined analysis of k-means clustering, fractional contribution of organics, and kappa variation suggests that higher CCN concentration during morning is mainly attributed to probable emission of the water-soluble organic/inorganic compounds from wood burning.
KeywordsBC Aethalometer ACSM Wood burning Fossil fuel burning CCN
The data used in this study are from the data repository of HACPL, part of IITM, Pune. Authors are thankful to the Director, IITM for his support and encouragement. Vyoma Singla extends special thanks to DST, SERB for N-PDF fellowship (Fellowship number: PDF/2017/002428) and Director, IITM for providing all the facilities.
HACPL is fully funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) (MoES/MC4/PDTC/HACPL), Government of India, New Delhi.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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