Special Issue on Air Pollution and its Impact in South and Southeast Asia

Nikki Choudhary1,2, Priyanka Srivastava  3, Monami Dutta4, Sauryadeep Mukherjee4, Akansha Rai1,2, Jagdish Chandra Kuniyal5, Renu Lata6, Abhijit Chatterjee4, Manish Naja3, Narayanasamy Vijayan1,2, Tuhin Kumar Mandal1,2, Sudhir Kumar Sharma  1,2

1 CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, Dr. K. S. Krishnan Road, New Delhi-110012, India
2 Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad-201002, India
3 Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital-263002, Uttrakhand, India
4 Centre for Astroparticle Physics and Space Sciences, Bose Institute, Darjeeling-734102, India
5 G. B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment, Kosi-Katarmal-263643, Almora, India
6 G. B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment, Himachal Regional Centre, Mohal-Kullu-175126, India

Received: February 28, 2022
Revised: April 29, 2022
Accepted: May 1, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220092  

Cite this article:

Choudhary, N., Srivastava, P., Dutta, M., Mukherjee, S., Rai, A., Kuniyal, J.C., Lata, R., Chatterjee, A., Naja, M., Vijayan, N., Mandal, T.K., Sharma, S.K. (2022). Seasonal Characteristics, Sources and Pollution Pathways of PM10 at High Altitudes Himalayas of India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220092


  • PM10 samples were chemically characterized seasonally over Himalayan region.
  • PCA/APCS identified 4 sources: crustal dust, biomass burning, vehicle and industrial.
  • Significant effect of biomass burning aerosols were observed over the study sites.
  • Trajectory analysis (PSCF and CWT) showed the long- and short-range transport of PM.


The present study represents the annual and seasonal concentration of PM10 over different sites (Darjeeling, Nainital, Mohal-Kullu) across the Himalayan region of India from July 2018 to December 2019. The collected PM10 samples were analyzed for carbonaceous aerosols [organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC), primary organic carbon (POC), secondary organic carbon (SOC)] and major trace elements to inspect their possible sources. The annual average concentrations of PM10 over Mohal-Kullu, Nainital, and Darjeeling were recorded as 57 ± 32 µg m-3, 65 ± 41 µg m-3 and 54 ± 17 µg m-3, respectively. The high OC/EC ratio and significant correlation of OC with EC and WSOC with OC indicated a significant effect of biomass burning aerosols over the study sites. Principal component analysis/absolute principal component score (PCA/APCS) resolved four major sources: crustal/soil dust (26.6%), biomass burning/fossil fuel combustion (28%), vehicular emissions (28%), and industrial emissions/coal combustion (17%). Identification of source region using the potential source contribution function (PSCF) and concentration weighted trajectories (CWT) showed that PM10 were mainly transported from the northwestern part of India (Haryana, Punjab), the northeastern region of Pakistan, the Thar Desert, and Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), which contributed to dust-related aerosols over the Himalayan region of India.

Keywords: Aerosol, Principal component analysis, Carbonaceous aerosols, Primary organic carbon, Himalayas

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