In-situ Measurements of Aerosols from the High-Altitude Location in the Central Himalayas

  • Hema JoshiEmail author
  • Manish Naja
  • Tarun Gupta
Part of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainability book series (ENENSU)


Aerosols, both natural and anthropogenic, affect the Earth’s climate directly due to the absorption and scattering of solar radiation and indirectly by modifying the cloud microphysics. Due to the short lifetime of these aerosols, their distribution is non-uniform and large uncertainties exist in their estimates at global and regional scale. The characteristics of atmospheric aerosols vary largely from one region to another due to spatial and temporal variations in the emission sources, transport, atmospheric transformation and removal of aerosol particles. The aerosol measurements over the Himalayan region are of crucial importance in order to provide a far-field picture quite away from potential sources. The ground-based measurements of aerosols are utilized along with satellite data to explain various aerosol characteristics over the Himalayan region. The roles of different processes such as boundary layer dynamics, meteorology, regional and long-range transport are assessed. In addition, the aerosol variation over the foothills of the Himalayas in the Indo-Gangetic Plain region has also been studied and the role of the boundary layer dynamics and updraft/downdraft of aerosols is elaborated. The high-altitude location of Himalayas is characterized by the low aerosol loading specially in winter, while significant aerosol abundance is observed in the spring. However, the significant aerosol abundance is observed over the foothills location throughout the year. The strong confinement of aerosols in the foothill region is evident, which leads to the significant enhancement in the surface concentration of aerosols. Interestingly, in the spring season, significant aerosol abundance is seen over the Himalayan region as well. The investigation of the mixing layer depth and the vertical distribution of aerosols over this region in spring reveals the transport and buildup of aerosols from the foothills region to the Himalayan region. The role of absorbing aerosols in the radiation budget over the central Himalaya region is also discussed.


Aerosol optical depth Black carbon Mixing layer depth Vertical distribution Himalayas Indo-Gangetic Plain 



The present work was carried out under ISRO-GBP (ARFI) project. The authors highly acknowledge the ISRO-GBP (ARFI) and ISRO-GBP (ATCTM) projects. The author HJ wants to acknowledge Dr. Rajesh Kumar for providing the WRF model simulations. The CO data was obtained from Piyush Bhardwaj. The help and support received from Prof. K. P. Singh during measurement at Pantnagar site is highly acknowledged. Special thanks to the PI of AERONET site at Pantnagar for providing quality assured data. The satellite datasets of aerosols were obtained from MODIS via Giovanni site, and CALIPSO from NASA Langley Research Center Atmospheric Science Data Center. The HYSPLIT model made available from NOAA Air Resources Laboratory was also used and is acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of TechnologyKanpurIndia
  2. 2.Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational SciencesNainitalIndia

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