• A K Kamra

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Physical properties of aerosols at Maitri, Antarctica

      C G Deshpande A K Kamra

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      Measurements of the submicron aerosol size distribution made at the Indian Antarctic station, Maitri (70‡45′S, 11‡44′E) from January 10th to February 24th, 1997, are reported. Total aerosol concentrations normally range from 800 to 1200 particles cm−3 which are typical values for the coastal stations at Antarctica in summer. Aerosol size distributions are generally trimodal and open-ended with a peak between 75 and 133 nm and two minima at 42 and 420 nm. Size distributions remain almost similar for several hours or even days in absence of any meteorological disturbance. Total aerosol concentration increases by approximately an order of magnitude whenever a low pressure system passes over the station. Based on the evolution of aerosol size-distributions during such aerosol enhancement periods, three types of cases have been identified. The nucleation mode in all three cases has been suggested to result from the photochemical conversion of the DMS emissions transported either by the marine air or by the air from the ice-melt regions around Maitri. Subsidence of midtropospheric air during the weakening of radiative inversion is suggested as a possible source of the nucleation mode particles in the third case. Growth of the nucleation mode particles by condensation, coagulation and/or by cloud processes has been suggested to be responsible for other modes in size distributions.

    • The evaporation of the charged and uncharged water drops suspended in a wind tunnel

      Rohini V Bhalwankar A B Sathe A K Kamra

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      A laboratory experiment has been performed to study the effect of ventilation on the rate of evaporation of the millimeter sized charged and uncharged water drops suspended in a vertical wind tunnel. The linear relationship,fu = 0.907 + 0.282X, observed between the mean ventilation coefficient, fu, and a non-dimensional parameterX, (X =NSc,v1/3NRe1/2whereNSc,uis Schmidt number andNReis Reynold’s number) is in agreement with the results of earlier investigations for uncharged water drops. However, in case of charged drops carrying 10-10C of charge, this relationship gets modified tofu = 0.4877 + 0.149X. Thus, the rate of evaporation of charged drops is slower than that of uncharged drops of the same size. Oscillations of the drop and the change in airflow around drops are suggested to contribute to lowering of the ventilation coefficients for charged drops. Applicability of the results to a small fraction of highly charged raindrops falling through the sub-cloud layer below thunderstorm is discussed. The relaxation time required for a ventilated drop to reach its equilibrium temperature increases with the drop size and is higher for the charged than for the uncharged drops. It is concluded that in a given distance, charged drops will evaporate less than that of uncharged drops.

    • Airborne measurements of submicron aerosols across the coastline at Bhubaneswar during ICARB

      P Murugavel V Gopalakrishnan Vimlesh Pant A K Kamra

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      Airborne measurements of the number concentration and size distribution of aerosols from 13 to 700 nm diameter have been made at four vertical levels across a coastline at Bhubaneswar (20° 25′N, 85° 83′E) during the Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget (ICARB) programme conducted in March–April 2006. The measurements made during the constant-level flights at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 km altitude levels extend ∼100 km over land and ∼150km over ocean. Aerosol number concentrations vary from 2200 to 4500 cm-3 at 0.5 km level but are almost constant at ∼6000 cm-3 and ∼800 cm-3 at 2 and 3 km levels, respectively. At 1km level, aerosol number concentration shows a peak of 18,070 cm-3 around the coastline. Most of the aerosol size distribution curves at 0.5 km and 1 km levels are monomodal with a maxima at 110nm diameter which shifts to 70 nm diameter at 2 and 3 km levels. However, at the peak at 1 km level, number concentration has a bimodal distribution with an additional maximum appearing in nucleation mode. It is proposed that this maxima in nucleation mode at 1 km level may be due to the formation and transport of new particles from coastal regions.

    • An atmospheric electrical method to determine the eddy diffusion coefficient

      M N Kulkarni A K Kamra

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      The ion–aerosol balance equations are solved to get the profiles of atmospheric electric parameters over the ground surface in an aerosol-rich environment under the conditions of surface radioactivity. Combining the earlier results for low aerosol concentrations and the present results for high aerosol concentrations, a relation is obtained between the average value of atmospheric electric space charge in the lowest ∼2m, the surface electric field and eddy diffusivity/aerosol concentration. The values of eddy diffusivity estimated from this method using some earlier measurements of space charge and surface electric field are in reasonably good agreement with those calculated from other standard methods using meteorological or electrical variables.

    • Changes in concentration and size distribution of aerosols during fog over the south Indian Ocean

      Vimlesh Pant C G Deshpande A K Kamra

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      Measurements of the concentration and size distribution of aerosol particles in the size-ranges of 0.5–20 𝜇 m and 16–700 nm diameters were made during six fog episodes over the south Indian Ocean. Observations show that concentrations of particles of all sizes start decreasing 1–2 hours before the occurrence of fog. This decrease is more prominent for coarse particles of < 1 𝜇 m diameter and continues until 10–20 minutes before the onset of fog when particle concentrations in all size ranges rapidly increase by one/two orders of magnitude in ∼20 minutes. Thereafter, concentrations of particles of all sizes gradually decrease until the dissipation of fog. After the fog dissipation, concentrations of coarse mode particles rapidly increase and restore to their pre-fog levels but concentrations of the Aitken mode particles decrease slowly and reach their pre-fog levels only after 1–2 hours. The net effect of fog is to change the bimodal size distributions of aerosols with a coarse mode at 1.0 𝜇 m and an accumulation mode at 40–60 nm to a power law size distribution. It is proposed that the preferential growth and sedimentation of the coarse mode hygroscopic particles in the initial phase cause a large decrease in the aerosol surface area. As a result, the low vapour pressure gases which were initially being used for the growth of coarse mode particles, now accelerate the growth rates of the accumulation and Aitken mode particles.

    • The ion–aerosol interactions from the ion mobility and aerosol particle size distribution measurements on January 17 and February 18, 2005 at Maitri, Antarctica – A case study

      Devendraa Siingh Vimlesh Pant A K Kamra

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      A case study for the ion–aerosol interactions is presented from the simultaneous measurements of mobility spectra of atmospheric ions in the mobility range of 2.29 to 2.98 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 (diameter range 0.41–109 nm) and of size distribution of atmospheric aerosol particles in the size ranges of 4.4–700 nm and 500–20,000 nm diameters made at Maitri (70° 45′ 52′′S, 11° 44′ 2.7′′E; 130 m above mean sea level), Antarctica, on two days January 17 and February 18, 2005, with contrasting meteorological conditions. In contrast to January 17, on February 18, winds were stronger from the morning to noon and lower from the noon to evening, atmospheric pressure was lower, cloudiness was more, the land surface remained snow-covered after a blizzard on February 16 and 17 and the airmass over Maitri, descended from an altitude of ∼3 km after an excursion over ocean. On these days mobility spectra showed two modes, corresponding to intermediate ions and light large ions and an indication of additional one/two maxima for small/cluster ions and heavy large ions. The small ions generated by cosmic rays, and the nucleation mode particles generated probably by photochemical reactions grew in size by condensation of volatile trace gases on them and produced the cluster and intermediate ion modes and the Aitken particle mode in ion/particle spectra. Particles in the size range of 9–26 nm have been estimated to grow at the rate of 1.9 nm h−1 on February 18, 2005. Both, ions and aerosol particles show bimodal size distributions in the 16–107 nm size range, and comparison of the two size distributions suggests the formation of multiple charged ions. Attachment of small ions to particles in this bimodal distribution of Aitken particles together with the formation of multiple charged ions are proposed to result in the light and heavy large ion modes. Growth of the nucleation mode particles on February 18, 2005 is associated with the passage of the airmass over ocean. In contrast, though the ion size distributions were not much different, the aerosol size distributions did not show a dominant peak for the formation and growth of nucleation mode particles on January 17. More measurements are needed before the conclusion of this case study is generalized.

    • Recovery curves of the lightning discharges occurring in the dissipation stage of thunderstorms

      S D Pawar A K Kamra

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      Measurements of atmospheric electric field made below two thunderstorms show that all lightning discharges occurring in the dissipating stage of a thunderstorm occur at almost the same value of the predischarge electric field at the ground surface. The observation is explained on the basis of the shielding of the electric fields generated by the positive charge in the downdrafts by the negative charge in the screening layers formed around them in the subcloud layer. Our observations suggest that in the dissipating stage of the thunderstorm, the charge generating mechanisms in cloud have ceased to operate and the charge being transported from the upper to lower regions of cloud by downdrafts is the only in-cloud process affecting the surface electric field and/or enhancing the electric field stress in and below the cloud base to cause yet another lightning discharge.

    • Physical properties of the arctic summer aerosol particles in relation to sources at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard

      C G Deshpande A K Kamra

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      Measurements of the number concentration and size distribution of aerosol particles in the size range of 0.5–20 𝜇m diameter were made with an aerodynamic particle sizer at an Arctic site at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard in August–September 2007 during the International Polar Year 2007–2008. Data are analyzed to study the aerosol number concentration–wind speed relationships. The sea-salt particles of marine origin generated within the Arctic circle are identified as the main source of the Arctic summer aerosols. Total number concentration of aerosol particles increases with increase in wind speed, the increase being more when winds from open leads over the oceanic sector are reaching the station as compared to when winds from pack ice in other directions are reaching the station. The larger increase with winds from the oceanic sector is attributed to the enhanced bubble-breaking activity and increased entrainment of dimethyl sulphide particles at the sea surface. Although, the increase in total aerosol number concentration associated with the winds from the oceanic sector is spread over the whole range of particle sizes, the increase in coarse mode particles is more prominent than that in the accumulation mode particles. The age of airmass over pack ice is also an important factor to determine the aerosol concentration over the Arctic region. The process of rainout/washout of the aerosol particles due to drizzle/snowfall is an effective sink mechanism in the Arctic environment. The aerosol particle concentration starts decreasing within a few minutes from the start of these events but requires a few hours to restore to the normal background aerosol level after the end of event.

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