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Article

Chemical Composition and Source Apportionment of Total Suspended Particulate in the Central Himalayan Region

1
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Nainital 263001, India
2
Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Palaia Penteli, 15236 Athens, Greece
3
Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 71003 Crete, Greece
4
Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India
5
Aerosol and Air Quality Research Laboratory, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
6
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin Aukio 1, FI-00560 Helsinki, Finland
7
Department of Physics, D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur 273009, India
8
Climate and Atmosphere Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Angeliki Karanasiou
Atmosphere 2021, 12(9), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091228
Received: 13 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 19 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Observations at High Altitude Stations)
The present study analyzes data from total suspended particulate (TSP) samples collected during 3 years (2005–2008) at Nainital, central Himalayas, India and analyzed for carbonaceous aerosols (organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC)) and inorganic species, focusing on the assessment of primary and secondary organic carbon contributions (POC, SOC, respectively) and on source apportionment by positive matrix factorization (PMF). An average TSP concentration of 69.6 ± 51.8 µg m−3 was found, exhibiting a pre-monsoon (March–May) maximum (92.9 ± 48.5 µg m−3) due to dust transport and forest fires and a monsoon (June–August) minimum due to atmospheric washout, while carbonaceous aerosols and inorganic species expressed a similar seasonality. The mean OC/EC ratio (8.0 ± 3.3) and the good correlations between OC, EC, and nss-K+ suggested that biomass burning (BB) was one of the major contributing factors to aerosols in Nainital. Using the EC tracer method, along with several approaches for the determination of the (OC/EC)pri ratio, the estimated SOC component accounted for ~25% (19.3–29.7%). Furthermore, TSP source apportionment via PMF allowed for a better understanding of the aerosol sources in the Central Himalayan region. The key aerosol sources over Nainital were BB (27%), secondary sulfate (20%), secondary nitrate (9%), mineral dust (34%), and long-range transported mixed marine aerosol (10%). The potential source contribution function (PSCF) and concentration weighted trajectory (CWT) analyses were also used to identify the probable regional source areas of resolved aerosol sources. The main source regions for aerosols in Nainital were the plains in northwest India and Pakistan, polluted cities like Delhi, the Thar Desert, and the Arabian Sea area. The outcomes of the present study are expected to elucidate the atmospheric chemistry, emission source origins, and transport pathways of aerosols over the central Himalayan region. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical composition; TSP; secondary organic carbon; PMF; source apportionment; central Himalayas chemical composition; TSP; secondary organic carbon; PMF; source apportionment; central Himalayas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sheoran, R.; Dumka, U.C.; Kaskaoutis, D.G.; Grivas, G.; Ram, K.; Prakash, J.; Hooda, R.K.; Tiwari, R.K.; Mihalopoulos, N. Chemical Composition and Source Apportionment of Total Suspended Particulate in the Central Himalayan Region. Atmosphere 2021, 12, 1228. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091228

AMA Style

Sheoran R, Dumka UC, Kaskaoutis DG, Grivas G, Ram K, Prakash J, Hooda RK, Tiwari RK, Mihalopoulos N. Chemical Composition and Source Apportionment of Total Suspended Particulate in the Central Himalayan Region. Atmosphere. 2021; 12(9):1228. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091228

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sheoran, Rahul, Umesh C. Dumka, Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis, Georgios Grivas, Kirpa Ram, Jai Prakash, Rakesh K. Hooda, Rakesh K. Tiwari, and Nikos Mihalopoulos. 2021. "Chemical Composition and Source Apportionment of Total Suspended Particulate in the Central Himalayan Region" Atmosphere 12, no. 9: 1228. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12091228

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