Spatial and temporal variability in concentration and characteristics of aerosols at Visakhapatnam (east) and Goa (west) coasts of India

  • K. Yadav
  • V. V. S. S. SarmaEmail author
  • M. Dileep Kumar
Research Article


Knowledge on the variability in quantity and compositions of various size groups of aerosols is important to understand their sources and their role in biogeochemical and climate processes. Here, we studied total suspended particles (TSP), PM10 and PM2.5 for their quantitative and water soluble compositional (F, Cl, SO42−, NO3, NH4+, Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+) distributions, and to understand their nature and potential sources at Goa and Visakhapatnam on the west and east coasts, respectively, of India. While the mean concentrations of TSP were found to be 117 ± 44 and 85 ± 51 μg/m3 its maximal levels occurred in spring intermonsoon (SIM; 141 ± 52) and winter monsoon (WM; 155 ± 145 μg/m3) seasons at Goa and Visakhapatnam, respectively. PM10 and PM2.5 exhibited higher ranges at Visakhapatnam than Goa. The increase in PM2.5 abundance from WM to SIM at Visakhapatnam seems to occur in coincidence with decrease in TSP favored by topography and ambient meteorological conditions. Locally released and seasonally transported (from land and sea) constituents contributed to the observed variability in aerosol compositions. Sulphate dominated the aerosol composition at both Goa (57–64%) and Visakhapatnam (43–55%) followed by NO3 (5–16% and 6–18%, respectively) where the former component was higher in PM10 and PM2.5. The NO3 was more in TSP. Relations between SO42− and NH4+ suggested possible presence of NH4HSO4. Examination of ionic ratios and balance suggested near neutrality in PM10 and PM2.5 while TSP was acidic at the both locations. Notable relations between Ca2+ and NO3, particularly in PM10 at Goa, indicated their release from mining related activities.


Aerosols TSP PM10 PM2.5 Water soluble ionic species Goa Visakhapatnam India 



We thank the Director and the Scientist-In-Charge in Visakhapatnam for providing facilities for this research. KY acknowledges support through UGC-SRF fellowship. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism that greatly helped in the improvement of the manuscript. This is NIO Contribution No. 6460

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6784_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1156 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Yadav
    • 1
  • V. V. S. S. Sarma
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Dileep Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR National Institute of Oceanography, Regional CentreVisakhapatnamIndia

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