Headline: Light absorption properties of elemental carbon (EC) and water-soluble brown carbon (WS–BrC) in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal : a 5-year study

This study presents a comprehensive analysis of organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), and particularly the light absorption characteristics of EC and water-soluble brown carbon (WS–BrC) in total suspended particles in the Kathmandu Valley from April 2013 to January 2018. The mean OC, EC, and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) concentrations were 34.8 ± 27.1, 9.9 ± 5.8, and 17.4 ± 12.5 μg m−3, respectively. A clear seasonal variation was observed for all carbonaceous components with higher concentrations occurring during colder months and lower concentrations in the monsoon season. The relatively low OC/EC ratio (3.6 ± 2.0) indicates fossil fuel combustion as the primary source of carbonaceous components. The optical attenuation (ATN) at 632 nm was significantly connected with EC loading (ECS) below 15 μg cm−2 but ceased as ECS increased, reflecting the increased influence of the shadowing effect. The derived average mass absorption cross-section of EC (MACEC) (7.0 ± 4.2 m2 g−1) is comparable to that of freshly emitted EC particles, further attesting that EC was mainly produced from local sources with minimal atmospheric aging processes. Relatively intensive coating with organic aerosols and/or salts (e.g., sulfate, nitrate) was probably the reason for the slightly higher MACEC during the monsoon season, whereas increased biomass burning was a major factor leading to lower MACEC in other seasons. The average MACWS-BrC at 365 nm was 1.4 ± 0.3 m2 g−1 with minimal seasonal variations. In contrast to MACEC, biomass burning was the main reason for a higher MACWS-BrC in the non-monsoon season. The relative light absorption contribution of WS-BrC to EC was 9.9% over the 300–700 nm wavelength range, with a slightly higher ratio (13.6%) in the pre-monsoon season. Therefore, both EC and WS-BrC should be considered in the study of optical properties and radiative forcing of carbonaceous aerosols in this region.

Wissenschaftliche Aufsätze

Chen, P., Kang, S., Tripathee, L., Ram, K., Rupakheti, M., Panday, A. K., Zhang, Q., Guo, J., Wang, X., Pu, T., & Li, C. (2020). Light absorption properties of elemental carbon (EC) and water-soluble brown carbon (WS–BrC) in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: a 5-year study. Environmental Pollution, 261: 114239. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114239.

Beteiligte Mitarbeiter
Beteiligte Projekte
Eine nachhaltige Atmosphäre für das Kathmandu-Tal (SusKat)