Observation of Individual Particle Morphology, Mineralogy in tandem with Columnar Spectral Aerosol Optics: A Summertime Study over North western India
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Limitation over region specific data on dust morphology (particle shape, size) and mineralogy gives rise to uncertainty in estimation of optical and radiative properties of mineral dust (Mishra and Tripathi, 2008; Mishra et al., 2008). To address this issue over Indian arid zone (local source of mineral dust), a short field campaign was organized in Jodhpur, located in Rajasthan, a north western state of India, over seven sites (four in city and three far from city) with varying altitudes in June 2013. Jodhpur lies in vicinity of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Particles were collected on pure Tin substrates for individual particle morphological and elemental composition analysis using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS). The morphological parameters (e.g. Aspect ratio; AR, Circulatory parameter; CIR.) were retrieved following Okada et al. (2001) using Image J software. Columnar spectral aerosol optical thickness has been measured by Microtops-II sun photometer for a set of five wavelengths (380 to 1020 nm) over all the sites in tandem with regional aerosol collection. SEM analysis reveals that the particles close to spherical shape (AR range 1.0-1.2) were found to be ~ 18% whereas particles with AR range 1.2-1.4 were found to be abundant (25%) followed with that of AR range 1.4-1.6 and 1.6-1.8 (each ~ 17%) and 1.8-2.0 (~ 14%) while the particles with AR >2 (highly non-spherical) were found to be ~ 8%. Here, it is noteworthy to mention that AR=1 for spherical particle while increasing AR (>1) exhibit increasing non-sphericity of particles. The EDS analysis reveals that 43% particles were observed with low hematite (H ≤ 1%; volume percentage), 24% (H 1-2 %), 14% (H 2-3%), 5% (H 3-4%) and 14% (H >4%). The aforementioned proportions will be extremely useful for simulating the optical and radiative properties of regional aerosols. From the Microtops-II observations, Ångström exponent for spectral interval of 380 to 1020 nm over Masuria Hill Garden was found to be the least (~0.55) amongst all the sites indicating the presence of coarse mode particles over this site. The SEM micrographs also reveal the dominance of coarse mode particles over this site. The correlation amongst all the observed parameters together with meteorological parameters will be discussed in detail.