OPEN ACCESS

Articles online

Long Range Transport and Wet Deposition Fluxes of Major Chemical Species in Snow at Gulmarg in North Western Himalayas (India)

Category: Interaction between Air and Precipitation Chemistry

Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 606-617
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.01.0056
PDF | RIS | BibTeX

Bablu Kumar1, Sudha Singh1, Gyan Prakash Gupta1, Farooq Ahmad Lone2, Umesh Chandra Kulshrestha 1

  • 1 School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
  • 2 Centre for Climate Change and Mountain Agriculture, SKUAST Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar, 190025 (J&K), India

Highlights

Average pH of snowmelt was recorded as 5.90 ranging from 5.16 to 7.68.
Out of total events, 12% samples showed acidic pH.
Combined depositions of nssSO42–, NO3 and NH4+ are 104% higher than 1986–87.
Higher depositions are due to LRT as well as increased local activities.


Abstract

The study reports snow chemistry and long range transport of pollutants at Gulmarg in north-western Himalayan region of India during winters of 2012–2013. The pH of snowmelt varied between 5.16 and 7.68 with an average of 5.90. The frequency distribution of pH of snowmelt showed that the maximum number of samples (31%) had pH between 6.81 and 7.20. However, 12% samples were observed to be acidic (below 5.6). Scavenging ratios (SR) values suggested that crustal components (Ca2+, Mg2+) are efficiently removed by snow. The study site has significant influence of non-marine sources. Wet deposition contributed 34, 27, 45, 71, 8 and 13 meq m–2 fluxes of nssSO42–, NO3, NH4+, nssCa2+, nssMg2+ and nssK+ respectively. Both local emissions as well as long range transport (LRT) of pollutants were found to be the sources of these ionic species. Backward airmass trajectory calculations showed that this site received airmasses from six major sectors i.e., i) North Atlantic Ocean origin (NAO), ii) African origin (Af), iii) Middle East origin (ME), iv) European origin (Eu), v) Western India origin (InW), vi) Pakistan origin (Pk). The highest average pH (7.58) of the snowfall was noticed during InW airmasses which had the lowest ratios of nssSO42–/nssCa2+ and NO3/nssCa2+. Very high pH has been observed in precipitation samples at Indian sites due to buffering of acidic components by atmospheric dust rich in CaCO3. The lowest pH (4.94) was noticed for ME airmasses which had the highest nssSO42–/nssCa2+ and NO3/nssCa2+ ratios. Data of present study was compared with a study reported almost three decades ago. We noticed a drastic increase in the concentrations of anthropogenic components such as nssSO42– (114%), NO3 (109%) and NH4+ (90%). This is probably due to increase in LRT of pollutants as well as local activities during past three decades.

Keywords

Snow chemistry Himalayan region Acidic depositions Wet fluxes Airmass trajectories


Related Article

Impact of Long-Range Transported African Dust on Cloud Water Chemistry at a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Northeastern Puerto Rico

Carlos J. Valle-Díaz, Elvis Torres-Delgado, Stephanie M. Colón-Santos, Taehyoung Lee, Jeffrey L. Collett Jr., William H. McDowell, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero
Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 653-664
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0320
PDF

History of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Derived from Observations in Mountaintop Clouds in Puerto Rico

Graciela B. Raga, Darrel Baumgardner , Olga L. Mayol-Bracero
Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 674-688
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0359
PDF

The Diversity and Role of Bacterial Ice Nuclei in Rainwater from Mountain Sites in China

Zedong Lu, Pengrui Du, Rui Du , Zongmin Liang, Saisai Qin, Ziming Li, Yaling Wang
Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 640-652
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0315
PDF

Water-Soluble Organic Nitrogen in High Mountain Snow Samples from Central Japan

Tomoki Mochizuki, Kimitaka Kawamura , Kazuma Aoki
Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 632-639
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.04.0256
PDF
;