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Aerosol particle behavior during Dust Storm and Diwali over an urban location in north western India

Abstract

In this study, the aerosol behavior during two contradictory events, i.e., dust storm (DS) and Diwali (DW) has been studied over Jaipur. The aerosol particle number concentration shows distinct features between DS and DW events. The total ANC was found minimum during DS while maximum during DW. The 24 h mean of total ANC was 9.15 × 104 (±7.71 × 104) and 5.38 × 105 (±3.73 × 105 particles/l) during DS and DW, respectively. The total ANC increases from 7.78 × 104 to 5.32 × 105 and 3.52 × 105 to 1.70 × 106 particles/l in 24 h during DS and DW, respectively. In DS, the ANC in coarse mode (2 < particle diameter < 20 μm) is significantly high while in DW, the ANC in fine mode (0.3 < particle diameter < 2 μm) exhibits higher concentration. During dust episode, a significant change in ANC (3.0 × 103 to 1.12 × 105 particles/l) was observed for the particle of size range in 2.0–20 μm with a slight increase in particles number concentration (7.48 × 104 to 4.20 × 105 particles/l) in 0.3–2.0 μm range is also observed. During DS, the fine and coarse mode particles increased 4.61 and 36.44 times while during DW, it increased 3.83 and 0.95 times, respectively. The relatively high particle levels during DW are attributed for two reasons: local emissions due to burning of fire crackers and meteorological conditions, i.e., low wind speeds and low mixing-layer heights lead to relatively high particle concentrations.

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Acknowledgments

We greatly acknowledge and thank SERB, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India for financial support under research project SR/S4/AS:39/2009. The first author acknowledges support from DST in the form of research fellowship for PhD research. We are thankful to Dr K. R. Khicher for the support during data collection. The authors also thankfully acknowledge the Executive Director Prof Purnendu Ghosh, BISR for resources to carry out the study.

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Correspondence to Swagata Payra.

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Prakash, D., Payra, S., Verma, S. et al. Aerosol particle behavior during Dust Storm and Diwali over an urban location in north western India. Nat Hazards 69, 1767–1779 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0780-1

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Keywords

  • Aerosol number concentration
  • Dust storm
  • Diwali
  • Emissions, percentage change