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Retrieval of Columnar Aerosol Size Distributions from Spectral Attenuation Measurements over Central Himalayas

Category: Articles

Volume: 9 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 344-351
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2009.01.0008

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U.C. Dumka 1,2, Ram Sagar1, P. Pant1

  • 1 Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Manora Peak, Nainital, India
  • 2 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), National Balloon Facility, Hyderabad, India


Extensive measurements of spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) were made at Manora Peak, Nainital (29.4o N, 79.5o E, ~1958 m above mean sea level) in the central Himalayas, using a ten channel multi-wavelength solar radiometer during January 2002 to December 2005. Using these spectral AOD values, the columnar size distribution [CSD; nc(r)] function of aerosols have been derived. The CSD, retrieved from spectral AODs are, in general, bimodal (combination of power law and unimodal log normal distribution) with a prominent secondary (or coarse) mode occurring at a fairly large value of radius (r > 0.5 µm), while the primary (or fine) mode either does not appear explicitly or perhaps occurs below the radius  0.1 µm. The bimodal nature of CSDs indicates the presence of fine as well as coarse mode aerosols over the observational site. The effective radius, total aerosol number content and columnar mass loading computed from deduced CSD shows minimum values during winter (November to February) and maximum during summer (March to June) months. The share of sub micron and super micron aerosols to the total aerosol number concentration (Nt) indicates the dominance of sub micron aerosols to the Nt and it accounts for > 90% during the study period.


Extinction coefficients Optical depth Size distribution

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