Dual carbon isotope characterization of total organic carbon in wintertime carbonaceous aerosols from northern India
Number of Authors: 9
2016 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, ISSN 2169-897X, E-ISSN 2169-8996, Vol. 121, no 9, 4797-4809 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Large-scale emissions of carbonaceous aerosols (CA) from South Asia impact both regional climate and air quality, yet their sources are not well constrained. Here we use source-diagnostic stable and radiocarbon isotopes (delta C-13 and Delta C-14) to characterize CA sources at a semiurban site (Hisar: 29.2 degrees N, 75.2 degrees E) in the NW Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) and a remote high-altitude location in the Himalayan foothills (Manora Peak: 29.4 degrees N, 79.5 degrees E, 1950 m above sea level) in northern India during winter. The Delta C-14 of total aerosol organic carbon (TOC) varied from -178% to -63% at Hisar and from -198% to -1% at Manora Peak. The absence of significant differences in the C-14-based fraction biomass of TOC between Hisar (0.81 +/- 0.03) and Manora Peak (0.82 +/- 0.07) reveals that biomass burning/biogenic emissions (BBEs) are the dominant sources of CA at both sites. Combining this information with d13C, other chemical tracers (K+/OC and SO42-/EC) and air mass back trajectory analyses indicate similar source regions in the IGP (e.g., Punjab and Haryana). These results highlight that CA from BBEs in the IGP are not only confined to the atmospheric boundary layer but also extend to higher elevations of the troposphere, where the synoptic-scale circulations could substantially influence their abundances both to the Himalayas and over the downwind oceanic regions such as the Indian Ocean. Given the vast emissions of CA from postharvest crop residue combustion practices in the IGP during early Northeast Monsoon, this information is important for both improved process and model understanding of climate and health effects, as well as in guiding policy decision aiming at reducing emissions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 121, no 9, 4797-4809 p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132507DOI: 10.1002/2016JD024880ISI: 000379715800024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132507DiVA: diva2:952948