Articles | Volume 22, issue 6
14 Jun 2004
 | 14 Jun 2004

Aerosol spectral optical depths and size characteristics at a coastal industriallocation in India - effect of synoptic and mesoscale weather

K. Niranjan, B. Malleswara Rao, A. Saha, and K. S. R. Murty

Abstract. The aerosol spectral optical depths at ten discrete channels in the visible and near IR bands, obtained from a ground-based passive multi-wavelength solar radiometer at a coastal industrial location, Visakhapatnam, on the east coast of India, are used to study the response of the aerosol optical properties and size distributions to the changes in atmospheric humidity, wind speed and direction. It is observed that during high humidity conditions, the spectral optical depths show about 30% higher growth factors, and the size distributions show the generation of a typical new mode around 0.4 microns. The surface wind speed and direction also indicate the formation of new particles when the humid marine air mass interacts with the industrial air mass. This is interpreted in terms of new particle formation and subsequent particle growth by condensation and self-coagulation. The results obtained on the surface-size segregated aerosol mass distribution from a co-located Quartz Crystal Microbalance during different humidity conditions also show a large mass increase in the sub-micron size range with an increase in atmospheric humidity, indicating new particle formation at the sub-micron size range.