Aerosol measurements at the Gual Pahari EUCAARI station: preliminary results from in-situ measurements
Abstract. The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), together with The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERI), contributed to the European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions, EUCAARI, by conducting aerosol measurements in Gual Pahari, India, from December 2007 to January 2010. This paper describes the station setup in detail for the first time and provides results from the aerosol in-situ measurements, which include PM and BCe masses, aerosol size distribution from 4 nm to 10 μm, and the scattering and absorption coefficients. The seasonal variation of the aerosol characteristics was very distinct in Gual Pahari. The highest concentrations were observed during the winter and the lowest during the rainy season. The average PM10 concentration (at STP conditions) was 216 μgm−3 and the average PM2.5 concentration was 126 μgm−3. A high percentage (4–9%) of the PM10 mass consisted of BCe which indicates anthropogenic influence. The percentage of BCe was higher during the winter; and according to the diurnal pattern of the BCe fraction, the peak occurred during active traffic hours. Another important source of aerosol particles in the area was new particle formation. The nucleated particles grew rapidly reaching the Aitken and accumulation mode size, thus contributing considerably to the aerosol load. The rainy season decreased the average fraction of particle mass in the PM2.5 size range, i.e. of secondary origin. The other mechanism decreasing the surface concentrations was based on convective mixing and boundary layer evolution. This diluted the aerosol when sun radiation and the temperature was high, i.e. especially during the pre-monsoon day time. The lighter and smaller particles were more effectively diluted.