Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 371-383, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-371-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Jan 2017
Size-selected black carbon mass distributions and mixing state in polluted and clean environments of northern India
Tomi Raatikainen1, David Brus1, Rakesh K. Hooda1,2, Antti-Pekka Hyvärinen1, Eija Asmi1, Ved P. Sharma2, Antti Arola3, and Heikki Lihavainen1 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
2The Energy and Resources Institute, Delhi, India
3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio, Finland
Abstract. We have measured black carbon properties by using a size-selected single-particle soot photometer (SP2). The measurements were conducted in northern India at two sites: Gual Pahari is located at the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) and Mukteshwar at the Himalayan foothills. Northern India is known as one of the absorbing aerosol hot spots, but detailed information about absorbing aerosol mixing state is still largely missing. Previous equivalent black carbon (eBC) mass concentration measurements are available for this region, and these are consistent with our observations showing that refractory black carbon (rBC) concentrations are about 10 times higher in Gual Pahari than those at Mukteshwar. Also, the number fraction of rBC-containing particles is higher in Gual Pahari, but individual rBC-containing particles and their size distributions are fairly similar. These findings indicate that particles at both sites have similar local and regional emission sources, but aerosols are also transported from the main source regions (IGP) to the less polluted regions (Himalayan foothills). Detailed examination of the rBC-containing particle properties revealed that they are most likely irregular particles such as fractal aggregates, but the exact structure remains unknown.

Citation: Raatikainen, T., Brus, D., Hooda, R. K., Hyvärinen, A.-P., Asmi, E., Sharma, V. P., Arola, A., and Lihavainen, H.: Size-selected black carbon mass distributions and mixing state in polluted and clean environments of northern India, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 371-383, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-371-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
We have measured black carbon aerosol properties in northern India at two sites: the first site is located at the polluted Indo-Gangetic Plain, while the second site is at the Himalayan foothills in a significantly cleaner environment. The observations show a clear difference in black carbon concentrations, but individual aerosol particles seem to be similar in both sites. Indirect evidence suggests that the particles are highly irregular resembling freshly emitted soot.
We have measured black carbon aerosol properties in northern India at two sites: the first site...
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