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\(\hbox {PM}_{2.5}\), \(\hbox {PM}_{10}\) and surface ozone over Lumbini Protected Zone, Nepal, during monsoon season of 2012

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Physical characterisation of \(\hbox {PM}_{2.5}\), \(\hbox {PM}_{10}\) and surface ozone measured during the period from 17 July to 21 August 2012 at four strategic locations in and around the Lumbini Protected Zone, Nepal, is done to assess air quality of the region and understand qualitatively source mechanisms of these pollutants. The measurement locations are Panditarama Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Centre, Parsahawa, Bhairahawa and Tilaurakot, representing monastic, industrial, urban and control areas, respectively. The overall average concentration of \(\hbox {PM}_{2.5}\) at these locations is \({\sim }19\pm 12\), \(35\pm 13\), \(35\pm 11\) and \(25\pm 6~ \upmu \hbox {g/m}^{3}\) and of \(\hbox {PM}_{10}\) is \({\sim }25\pm 11\), \(103\pm 41\), \(58\pm 15\) and \(32\pm 7~ \upmu \hbox {g/m}^{3}\), respectively. \(\hbox {PM}_{2.5}\) never crosses the safe limit of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of Nepal (NNAAQS) in the monastic and control areas but either crosses the NNAAQS occasionally or remains in its vicinity at the other two locations. The \(\hbox {PM}_{10}\) concentration frequently exceeds the safe limit in the industrial area but not in the other remaining areas. The analysis indicates the dominance of the impact of local sources and boundary layer thickness on the atmospheric loadings of the particulate matter. The daily average mixing ratio of surface ozone remains normally low at all the four observational sites although the mixing ratio of ozone at Panditarama Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Centre is much lower than the NNAAQS but higher than that observed at Tilaurakot.

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The authors are grateful to the Director, IITM, Pune, for his kind support and guidance for carrying out this work. The authors are also grateful to Mr Terrence Thompson, Sr Advisor, Environmental Health, WHO, Nepal, for funding; Dr Sudan Panthi, WHO, Nepal, for his suggestion and guidance during the measurements of air quality parameters in the LPZ; and Mr Rajesh Kohar, technical support person appointed for this campaign by WHO, Nepal. The meteorological data obtained from ECMWF-ERA Interim are also acknowledged. Special thanks go to Guruji Bhikkhu Vivekananda and Guruma Sayalay Bhaddamanika of the PMC and authorities of the Lumbini Development Trust, Nepal, who provided all possible support to this programme.

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Correspondence to Kaushar Ali.

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Corresponding editor: Suresh Babu

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Ali, K., Trivedi, D.K., Chate, D.M. et al. \(\hbox {PM}_{2.5}\), \(\hbox {PM}_{10}\) and surface ozone over Lumbini Protected Zone, Nepal, during monsoon season of 2012. J Earth Syst Sci 128, 88 (2019).

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