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Characteristics and Variability of Carbonaceous Aerosols over a Semi Urban Location in Garhwal Himalayas

Abstract

Extraction of organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were carried out over Srinagar, India, an ecologically sensitive semi-urban site in Garhwal Himalays. The PM2.5 sampling was carried out during January to December, 2017 over the site. The OC and EC were extracted from PM2.5 samples using a thermo optical OC/EC analyzer. Highest OC and EC concncentrations were found during postmonsoon (17.67 ± 1.1 μg/m3 OC and 6.34 ± 0.75 EC) and Winter (17.31 ± 3.045 μg/m3 OC and 6.32 ± 0.585 μg/m3 EC) seasons are attributed to boundary layer dynamics and anthropogenic activities. The lower concentration of OC/EC was observed during monsoon season (11.64 ± 1.75 μgm−3 OC and 3.46 ± 0.19μgm−3 EC) owing to wet scavenging of aerosols and minimum count of forest fire/biomass buring incidences. Both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season concentrations are also influenced by biomass burning in the IGP (Indo-Gangetic Plain) region and forest fires in the adjecent areas. The OC/EC ratio sounds that vehicular exhaust and biomass burning are the major source of OC/EC over the site. Generation of secondary organic carbon (SOC) at the region causes variability in OC/EC ratio in different seasons. It is found that 24–32% of PM2.5 is contributed by carbonaceous aerosols (OC and EC) over Srinagar. The pivotal role of meteorology in modulating OC/EC concentrations has been illustared in detail.

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Acknowledgements

Authors acknowledge Director IITM and Vice chancellor HNBGU for their support and encouragement during the research work. IITM is funded by MoES, Government of India. One of the Author ASG thanks to SERB-DST Project for financial support (No. SB/EMEQ-043/2014 dated March 08, 2016). Authors ASP and ASG acknowledge for the junior associateship program of ICTP, Italy.

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Sandeep, K., Negi, R.S., Panicker, A.S. et al. Characteristics and Variability of Carbonaceous Aerosols over a Semi Urban Location in Garhwal Himalayas. Asia-Pacific J Atmos Sci 56, 455–465 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13143-019-00158-1

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Keywords

  • Himalayan valley
  • Elemental carbon
  • Organic carbon
  • Seasonal variation
  • Biomass burning
  • Influence on meteorology