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Driving factors of aerosol properties over the foothills of central Himalayas based on 8.5 years continuous measurements

Hooda, R. K., Kivekäs, N., O'Connor, E. J., Collaud Coen, M., Pietikäinen, J.-P., Vakkari, V., Backman, J., Henriksson, S. V., Asmi, E., Komppula, M., Korhonen, H., Hyvärinen, A.-P. and Lihavainen, H. (2018) Driving factors of aerosol properties over the foothills of central Himalayas based on 8.5 years continuous measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123 (23). pp. 13421-13442. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2018jd029744


This study presents analysis of in situ measurements conducted over the period 2005–2014 in the Indian Himalayas to give a thorough overview of the factors and causes that drive aerosol properties. Aerosol extensive properties (namely, particle number concentration, scattering coefficient, equivalent black carbon, PM2.5, and PM10) have 1.5–2 times higher values in the early to late afternoon than during the night, and a strong seasonality. The interannual variability is ±20% for both PM2.5 and total particle number concentration. Analysis of the data shows statistically significant decreasing trends of −2.3 μg m−3 year−1 and −2.7 μg m−3 year−1 for PM2.5 and PM10, respectively, over the study period. The mountainous terrain site (Mukteshwar, MUK) is primarily under the influence of air from the plains. This is due to convective transport processes that are enhanced by local and mesoscale topography, leading to pronounced valley/mountain winds and consequently to atmospheric boundary layer air lifting from the plains below. The transport from plains is evident in seasonal‐diurnal patterns observed at MUK. The timing of the patterns corresponds with changes in turbulence and water vapor (q). According to our analysis, using these as proxies is a viable method for examining boundary layer influence in the absence of direct atmospheric boundary layer height measurements. Comparing the measurements with climate models shows that even regional climate models have problems capturing the orographic influence accurately at MUK, highlighting the importance of long‐term direct measurements at multiple points to understand aerosol behavior in mountainous areas.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:81444
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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