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Water-soluble organic carbon aerosols during a full New Delhi winter: Isotope-based source apportionment and optical properties

Kirillova, EN and Andersson, A and Tiwari, S and Srivastava, AK and Bisht, DS and Gustafsson, O (2014) Water-soluble organic carbon aerosols during a full New Delhi winter: Isotope-based source apportionment and optical properties. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119. pp. 3476-3485.

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Water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) is a major constituent (~ 20–80%) of the total organic carbon aerosol over the Indian subcontinent during the dry winter season. Due to its multiple primary and secondary formation pathways, the sources of WSOC are poorly characterized. In this study, we present radiocarbon constraints on the biomass versus fossil sources of WSOC in PM2.5 for the 2010/2011 winter period for the megacity Delhi, situated in the northern part of the heavily polluted Indo-Gangetic Plain. The fossil fuel contribution to Delhi WSOC (21 ± 4%) is similar to that recently found at two South Asian background sites. In contrast, the stable carbon isotopic composition of Delhi WSOC is less enriched in 13C relative to that at the two receptor sites. Although potentially influenced also by source variability, this indicates that near-source WSOC is less affected by atmospheric aging. In addition, the light absorptive properties of Delhi WSOC were studied. The mass absorption cross section at 365 nm (MAC365) was 1.1–2.7 m2/g with an Absorption Ångström Exponent ranging between 3.1 and 9.3. Using a simplistic model the relative absorptive forcing of the WSOC compared to elemental carbon in 2010/2011 wintertime Delhi was estimated to range between 3 and 11%. Taken together, this near-source study shows that WSOC in urban Delhi comes mainly (79%) from biomass burning/biogenic sources. Furthermore, it is less influenced by photochemical aging compared to WSOC at South Asian regional receptor sites and contributes with a relatively small direct absorptive forcing effect.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union
Uncontrolled Keywords: Water-soluble organic carbon aerosols; Isotope; optical properties; Fossil Fuel
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2015 05:14
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015 05:14

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