Pramod Digambar Safai 1, Sachin Ghude1, Prakash Pithani1, Somnath Varpe1, Rachana Kulkarni1, Kiran Todekar1, Suresh Tiwari1, Dilip Motiram Chate1, Thara Prabhakaran1, Rajendra Kumar Jenamani2, Madhavan Nair Rajeevan3

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune 411008, India
India Meteorological Department, New Delhi 110003, India
Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi 110003, India

Received: December 20, 2017
Revised: April 7, 2018
Accepted: April 9, 2018
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Cite this article:
Safai, P.D., Ghude, S., Pithani, P., Varpe, S., Kulkarni, R., Todekar, K., Tiwari, S., Chate, D.M., Prabhakaran, T., Jenamani, R.K. and Rajeevan, M.N. (2019). Two-Way Relationship between Aerosols and Fog: A Case Study at IGI Airport, New Delhi. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 71-79.


  • First extensive observations on aerosols during dense fog at airport in New Delhi, India.
  • Notable enhancement in scattering and absorbing aerosols on foggy days.
  • Significant decrease in SSA during dense fog.
  • Important role of meteorological parameters in fog life cycle.
  • Significant correlation between scattering and absorbing aerosols and CCN.


The frequency and intensity of fog episodes during the winter season has been increasing during the past decade over the megacity of Delhi due to the high pollution load. The role of atmospheric aerosols is very important in the life cycle of fog in the urban areas. This paper presents the results on the variation in aerosol optical properties (scattering and absorption coefficients) and the black carbon (BC) mass concentration during the foggy period in winter (December 2015 to February 2016) at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, New Delhi. The interaction between scattering and absorbing aerosols, and fog before, during and after the foggy period has been studied as a typical case. The BC mass concentration, along with the aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients, increased before and during the initial phase of the dense foggy period. However, there was a steep decrease in them after the sustained period of dense fog, which suggests possible scavenging by fog droplets. Also, it was observed that the decrease in ambient temperature and depression temperature (DT) and the increase in relative humidity (RH) played a major role in sustaining the dense fog despite the reduction in aerosol load. The single-scattering albedo (SSA) decreased during the dense fog due to a higher reduction of the scattering aerosols than the absorbing ones. Both the scattering and the absorption coefficients showed a significant correlation with cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

Keywords: New Delhi Airport; Winter fog; Scattering and absorption coefficients; Black carbon; Visibility.


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