Afshin Ommi1, Fereshteh Emami1, Naděžda Zíková1, Philip K. Hopke 1, Bilkis A. Begum2

  • 1 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13599, USA
  • 2 Chemistry Division, Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Received: July 3, 2016
Revised: November 5, 2016
Accepted: November 16, 2016
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Cite this article:
Ommi, A., Emami, F., Zíková, N., Hopke, P.K. and Begum, B.A. (2017). Trajectory-Based Models and Remote Sensing for Biomass Burning Assessment in Bangladesh. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 465-475.


  • Apportionments were made for 4 cities in Bangladesh in the period of 2010–2012.
  • PM2.5 from biomass burning is anomalously high in Rajshahi Bangladesh.
  • Trajectory ensemble methods were applied to source apportionment results.
  • MODIS fire data and the trajectories identified Nepal and northern India as source areas.
  • Higher wind speeds and terrain channeling may explain the higher concentrations.



Biomass burning is a major global source of fine primary carbonaceous particles including strongly light absorbing compounds and marker compounds. In a prior study, particulate matter (PM) sampling was conducted during 2010–2012 period at sites in Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, and Chittagong. PM samples were collected using dichotomous samplers in the PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 size fractions. The samples were analyzed for mass, black carbon at 370 nm (UVBC) and 880 nm (BC), Delta-C (UVBC-BC), and elemental compositions with X-ray fluorescence. Source apportionment using PMF was performed to identify and quantify the PM sources. Results showed that biomass burning contributions during winters in Rajshahi were substantially higher than in Dhaka, Khulna, or Chittagong. Agricultural burning areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plain were hypnotized as the primary source region. The present study explores the relationships between the source regions using trajectory ensemble models and determines if transported biomass PM has disproportionately affected air quality in Rajshahi. The probable source locations that were identified included Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Northeastern India, and Myanmar. To assess the model results, satellite measurements of fire radiative power (FRP) were calculated based on fire data acquired by the MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) sensor in six defined areas. High fire occurrences from MODIS coincident with the source regions identified in Nepal, Northeastern India and Myanmar in winter. The instantaneous FRP values ranged between 4.4 MW and 2449 MW. The mean winter FRP values for Nepal and Northeastern India were higher than for the other regions with Nepal having the overall highest value. Fire locations with their mean power, NASA Satellite pictures and particles speed along trajectories have been analyzed. In summary, the integrated outcome of the different techniques has identified Northern India and Nepal as the main source area responsible for the increased biomass burning concentration difference at Rajshahi.

Keywords: Biomass burning; PM2.5; MODIS; Trajectory ensemble models; Fire radiative power (FRP)

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