• Harinder K Thakur

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Aerosol optical depths at Mohal-Kullu in the northwestern Indian Himalayan high altitude station during ICARB

      Jagdish C Kuniyal Alpana Thakur Harinder K Thakur Sanjeev Sharma P Pant Pan S Rawat K Krishna Moorthy

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      First time observations of spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) at Mohal (31.9°N, 77.11°E; altitude 1154m amsl) in the Kullu valley, located in the northwestern Indian Himalayan region, have been carried out during Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget (ICARB), as a part of the Indian Space Research Organisation–Geosphere Biosphere Program (ISRO–GBP). AODs at six wavelengths are obtained using Microtops-II Sunphotometer and Ozonometer. The monthly mean values of AOD at 500 nm are found to be 0.27 ± 0.04 and 0.24 ± 0.02 during March and April, 2006 respectively. However, their monthly mean values are 0.33 ± 0.04 at 380 nm and 0.20 ± 0.03 nm at 870 nm during March 2006 and 0.31 ± 0.3 at 380 nm and 0.17 ± 0.2 at 870 nm during April 2006, showing a gradual decrease in AOD with wavelength. The ˚Angstrom wavelength exponent '𝛼' had a mean value of 0.72 ± 0.05, implying reduced dominance of fine particles. Further, the afternoon AOD values are higher as compared to forenoon values by ∼33.0% during March and by ∼9.0% during April 2006 and are attributed to the pollutant lifted up from the valley by the evolving boundary layer. Besides the long-range transportation of aerosol particles by airmass from the Great Sahara and the Thar Desert regions to the observing site, the high values of AODs have also been influenced by biomass burning and frequent incidents of forest fire at local levels.

    • Atmospheric aerosol characteristics retrieved using ground based solar extinction studies at Mohal in the Kullu valley of northwestern Himalayan region, India

      Nand L Sharma Jagdish C Kuniyal Mahavir Singh Pitamber P Dhyani Raj P Guleria Harinder K Thakur Pan S Rawat

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      Aerosol parameters are measured using a ground-based Multi-wavelength Radiometer (MWR) at Mohal (31.90°N, 77.11°E, 1154 m amsl) in the Kullu valley during clear sky days of a seasonal year. The study shows that the values of spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) at 500 nm and the Ångstrom turbidity coefficient ‘𝛽’ (a measure of columnar loading in atmosphere) are high (0.41 ± 0.03, 0.27 ± 0.01) in summer, moderate (0.30 ± 0.03, 0.15 ± 0.03) in monsoon, low (0.19 ± 0.02, 0.08 ± 0.01) in winter and lowest (0.18 ± 0.01, 0.07 ± 0.01) in autumn, respectively. The Ångstrom wavelength exponent ‘𝛼’ (indicator of the fraction of accumulation-mode particles to coarse-mode particles) has an opposite trend having lowest value (0.64 ± 0.06) in summer, low (0.99 ± 0.10) in monsoon, moderate (1.20 ± 0.15) in winter and highest value (1.52 ± 0.03) in autumn. The annual mean value of AOD at 500 nm, ‘𝛼’ and ‘𝛽’ are 0.24 ± 0.01, 1.06 ± 0.09 and 0.14 ± 0.01, respectively. The fractional asymmetry factor is more negative in summer due to enhanced tourists’ arrival and also in autumn months due to the monthlong International Kullu Dussehra fair. The AOD values given by MWR and satellite-based moderate resolution imaging spectro-radiometer have good correlation of 0.76, 0.92 and 0.97 on diurnal, monthly and seasonal basis, respectively. The AODs at 500 nm as well as ‘𝛽’ are found to be highly correlated, while ‘𝛼’ is found to be strongly anti-correlated with temperature and wind speed suggesting high AODs and turbidity but low concentration of fine particles during hot and windy days. With wind direction, the AOD and ‘𝛽’ are found to be strongly anti-correlated, while ‘𝛼’ is strongly correlated.

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