Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 9, pp 7327–7342 | Cite as

Dust events and their influence on aerosol optical properties over Jaipur in Northwestern India

  • Sunita Verma
  • Swagata Payra
  • Ritesh Gautam
  • Divya Prakash
  • Manish Soni
  • Brent Holben
  • Shaun Bell


In this study, we systematically document the link between dust episodes and local scale regional aerosol optical properties over Jaipur located in the vicinity of Thar Desert in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The seasonal variation of AOT500 nm (aerosol optical thickness) shows high values (0.51 ± 0.18) during pre-monsoon (dust dominant) season while low values (0.36 ± 0.14) are exhibited during winter. The Ångström wavelength exponent has been found to exhibit low value (<0.25) indicating relative dominance of coarse-mode particles during pre-monsoon season. The AOT increased from 0.36 (Aprilmean) to 0.575 (May–Junemean). Consequently, volume concentration range increases from April through May–June followed by a sharp decline in July during the first active phase of the monsoon. Significantly high dust storms were observed over Jaipur as indicated by high values of single scattering albedo (SSA440 nm = 0.89, SSA675 nm = 0.95, SSA870 nm = 0.97, SSA1,020 nm = 0.976) than the previously reported values over IGP region sites. The larger SSA values (more scattering aerosol), especially at longer wavelengths, is due to the abundant dust loading, and is attributed to the measurement site’s proximity to the Thar Desert. The mean and standard deviation in SSA and asymmetry parameter during pre-monsoon season over Jaipur is 0.938 ± 0.023 and 0.712 ± 0.017 at 675 nm wavelength, respectively. Back-trajectory air mass simulations suggest Thar Desert in northwestern India as the primary source of high aerosols dust loading over Jaipur region as well as contribution by long-range transport from the Arabian Peninsula and Middle East gulf regions, during pre-monsoon season.


Dust Aerosols Optical properties Transport Climate 



Aerosols optical thickness


Ångström wavelength exponent


Asymmetery parameter


Indo Gangetic plains


Single scattering albedo



We gratefully acknowledge and thank the AERONET group for making all the data available in the form of Level 2.0 quality assured product after necessary screening and post calibrations. The authors thank the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) for the provision of the HYSPLIT transport and dispersion model and website used in this publication. This research was also supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India as a research grant under project SR/S4/AS:39/2009. We also acknowledge and the India Meteorological Department for providing the data. The first authors also acknowledge the Vice Chancellor, BIT Prof Ajay Chakrabarty and Executive Director Prof Purnendu Ghosh for providing the resources that enabled us to carry out this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunita Verma
    • 1
  • Swagata Payra
    • 1
  • Ritesh Gautam
    • 2
  • Divya Prakash
    • 1
  • Manish Soni
    • 3
  • Brent Holben
    • 2
  • Shaun Bell
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence in ClimatologyBirla Institute of Technology Mesra, Extension Centre JaipurJaipurIndia
  2. 2.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  3. 3.Remote Sensing DivisionBirla Institute of Technology Mesra, Extension Centre JaipurJaipurIndia
  4. 4.Science Systems and Applications, Inc.LanhamUSA

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