• P Pant

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Characteristics of spectral aerosol optical depths over India during ICARB

      S Naseema Beegum K Krishna Moorthy Vijayakumar S Nair S Suresh Babu S K Satheesh V Vinoj R Ramakrishna Reddy K Rama Gopal K V S Badarinath K Niranjan Santosh Kumar Pandey M Behera A Jeyaram P K Bhuyan M M Gogoi Sacchidanand Singh P Pant U C Dumka Yogesh Kant J C Kuniyal Darshan Singh

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      Spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements, carried out regularly from a network of observatories spread over the Indian mainland and adjoining islands in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, are used to examine the spatio-temporal and spectral variations during the period of ICARB (March to May 2006). The AODs and the derived ˚Angström parameters showed considerable variations across India during the above period. While at the southern peninsular stations the AODs decreased towards May after a peak in April, in the north Indian regions they increased continuously from March to May. The ˚Angström coefficients suggested enhanced coarse mode loading in the north Indian regions, compared to southern India. Nevertheless, as months progressed from March to May, the dominance of coarse mode aerosols increased in the columnar aerosol size spectrum over the entire Indian mainland, maintaining the regional distinctiveness. Compared to the above, the island stations showed considerably low AODs, so too the northeastern station Dibrugarh, indicating the prevalence of cleaner environment. Long-range transport of aerosols from the adjoining regions leads to remarkable changes in the magnitude of the AODs and their wavelength dependencies during March to May. HYSPLIT back-trajectory analysis shows that enhanced long-range transport of aerosols, particularly from the west Asia and northwest coastal India, contributed significantly to the enhancement of AOD and in the flattening of the spectra over entire regions; if it is the peninsular regions and the island Minicoy are more impacted in April, the north Indian regions including the Indo Gangetic Plain get affected the most during May, with the AODs soaring as high as 1.0 at 500 nm. Over the islands, the ˚Angström exponent (𝛼) remained significantly lower (∼1) over the Arabian Sea compared to Bay of Bengal (BoB) (∼1.4) as revealed by the data respectively from Minicoy and Port Blair. Occurrences of higher values of 𝛼, showing dominance of accumulation mode aerosols, over BoB are associated well with the advection, above the boundary layer, of fine particles from the east Asian region during March and April. The change in the airmass to marine in May results in a rapid decrease in 𝛼 over the BoB.

    • Physical and optical characteristics of atmospheric aerosols during ICARB at Manora Peak, Nainital: A sparsely inhabited, high-altitude location in the Himalayas

      U C Dumka K Krishna Moorthy P Pant P Hegde Ram Sagar K Pandey

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      Collocated measurements of the optical and physical properties of columnar and near-surface aerosols were carried out from Manora Peak, Nainital (a sparsely inhabited, high altitude location, ∼2km above mean sea level, in the Himalayas), during the Integrated Campaign for Aerosols, gases and Radiation Budget (ICARB) under the Geosphere Biosphere Programme of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO-GBP). Under this, observational data of spectral aerosol optical depths (AOD), mass concentration of aerosol black carbon (MB), mass concentration ($M_T$) and number concentration ($N_t$) of composite (total) aerosols near the surface and meteorological parameters were collected during the period February 15 to April 30, 2006. Though very low (> 0.1 at 500 nm) AODs were observed during clear days, as much as a fourfold increase was seen on hazy days. The ˚Angström exponent (𝛼), deduced from the spectral AODs, revealed high values during clear days, while on hazy days 𝛼 was low; with an overall mean value of 0.69 ± 0.06 for the campaign period. BC mass concentration varied between 0.36 and 2.87 𝜇 g m−3 and contributed in the range 0.7 to 1.8% to the total aerosol mass. Total aerosol number concentration and BC mass concentration showed diurnal variation with a midnight and early morning minimum and a late afternoon maximum; a pattern quite opposite to that seen in low altitude stations. These are attributed to the dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer.

    • Aerosol characteristics at Patiala during ICARB–2006

      Manjit Singh Darshan Singh P Pant

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      The spectral AOD measurements have been made for the first time over Patiala during multiplatform field campaign ICARB–2006 using a Multi-Wavelength Radiometer (MWR) along with the suspended particulate matter measurements with a high volume sampler. Spectral AOD has higher values in May in comparison to March and April. The monthly mean AOD values at 500 nm are 0.26 ± 0.08, 0.36 ± 0.19 and 0.58 ± 0.20 for the months of March, April and May respectively. The mean AOD is more during afternoon in comparison to forenoon at all wavelengths. The atmospheric turbidity is higher in May and is attributed to dust transported by southerly winds prevailing during this month. The ˚Angström parameter 𝛼 varies between zero and 0.68 while 𝛽 ranges from 0.1 to 0.9. The columnar water vapour content ranges from 0.12 to 2.92 cm, having a mean value of 1.06 ± 0.648 cm. The mean total suspended particulate matter is 334.41 ± 97.56 𝜇 gm/m3, an indication of high aerosol loading over Patiala during the campaign period.

    • 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.

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