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Aerosol Optical Properties over Gurushikhar, Mt. Abu: A High Altitude Mountain Site in India

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.05.0177
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T.A. Rajesh 1,2, S. Ramachandran1

  • 1 Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380009, India
  • 2 Department of Physics, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand 388120, India

Highlights

  • Aerosol characteristics over Gurushikgar exhibit peculiar diurnal variability.
  • Aerosol characteristics are governed more by transport process.
  • Influence of anthropogenic sources are minimal.
  • Considered as background representative of the nearby source regions.

Abstract

Continuous and simultaneous measurements of aerosol optical properties (scattering and absorption coefficients) were carried out, for the first time, from a mountain site, Gurushikhar, Mt. Abu in the Aravalli range in western India during the period January 2015 to December 2016. Aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients are higher in the afternoon when compared to forenoon and night because of atmospheric boundary layer dynamics which when accompanied with strong thermal convection aid an upward movement of pollutants to the observational site from the surrounding foothills. Aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients exhibit a strong seasonal variability. The average scattering coefficient during winter, premonsoon, monsoon and postmonsoon was found to be 78.5 ± 22.9, 61.8 ± 12.2, 49.9 ± 25.1 and 121.8 ± 47.4 Mm-1 respectively. The corresponding absorption coefficients were 14.9 ± 3.1, 9.1 ± 2.9, 5.1 ± 3.2 and 20.2 ± 10.2 Mm-1. Single scattering albedo exhibits a significant seasonal variation. Single scattering albedo is maximum during monsoon (0.91) and minimum in winter (0.83). Annual mean βsca, βabs, and SSA at 550 nm are found to be 74 ± 34 Mm-1, 12 ± 7 Mm-1 and 0.87 ± 0.04. Results indicate that Gurushikhar, a high altitude remote site, is influenced by the local and long-range transported aerosols through convection and advection processes. The observed aerosol characteristics over Gurushikhar are governed more by transport and less by anthropogenic sources, and exhibit less significant inter-annual variability. Thus, Gurushikhar can be considered as a background representative of the nearby source regions as a function of meteorology in western India.

Keywords

Aerosol scattering coefficient Aerosol absorption coefficient Single scattering albedo Mountain site Inter-annual variability


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