Effect of Asian Dust Storms on the Ambient SO2 Concentration over North-East India: A Case Study

DOI: 10.4236/jep.2011.26090   PDF   HTML     6,542 Downloads   10,604 Views   Citations


Ambient SO2 concentration at a high rain fall site, Shillong (25.67oN, 91.91oE, 1064 m ASL), located in North-East India, was measured during March 2009 and January 2010 with the aim to understand the effect of long range transport of pollutants from North-East Asia on the ambient SO2 levels at this relatively clean site. The concentrations recorded during the former sampling period were very high (Max: 262.3 ppb)—which decayed down gradually towards the end the sampling period—whereas those during the latter sampling period were well within the acceptable limits (Max: 29.7 ppb). This elevated SO2 concentrations during March 2009 is proposed to have association with a major cold air outbreak and an associated cyclone preceding one of the dust storm events reported in China, and a resultant sudden change in wind trajectory leading to the long range transport of pollutants to the sampling site. The argument is formulated on the basis of the back trajectory analysis performed using HYSPLIT for the month of March 2009—the plots clearly showed a drastic change in wind trajectories between 8th and 15th of March 2009 wherein the winds traveled over some of the highly polluted regions such as the Perm region of Russia—and on the results from model runs performed using the global 3-D model of tropospheric chemistry, GEOS-Chem (v8-03-01)—it clearly showed the tropospheric SO2 over Perm region in Russia peaking during Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb and Mar every year, possibly due to central heating. The observation of long range transport of SO2 from the highly industrialized areas of Perm in Russia to North-East India during dust storm events has important implications to the present understanding on its relative contribution to the Asian pollutant outflow to the Pacific during spring as the GEOS-Chem model runs also showed regions in and around Russia with relatively high concentrations of atmospheric NOx, Peroxyacetyl Nitrate, Lumped Peroxypropionyl Nitrate, HNO3, HNO4,C3H8, C2H6, SO4, NH4, Inorganic Sulphur Nitrates and Lumped Alkyl Nitrate.

Share and Cite:

T. Francis, "Effect of Asian Dust Storms on the Ambient SO2 Concentration over North-East India: A Case Study," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 6, 2011, pp. 778-795. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.26090.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] S. K. Guttikunda, G. R. Carmichael, G. Calori, et al., “The Contribution of Megacities to Regional Sulfur Pollution in Asia,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2003, pp. 11-22. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(02)00821-X
[2] O. Boucher and M. Pham, “History of Sulfate Aerosol Radiative Forcings,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29, No. 9, 2002, p. 1308. doi:10.1029/2001GL014048
[3] M. Pham, O. Boucher and D. Hauglustaine, “Changes in Atmospheric Sulfur Burdens and Concentrations and Resulting Radiative Forcings under IPCC SRES Emission Scenarios for 1990–2100,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 110, No. D6, 2005, p. D06112. doi:10.1029/2004JD005125
[4] S. J. Smith, E. Conception, R. Andres, et al., “Historical Sulphur Dioxide Emissions 1850-2000: Methods and Results,” Research Report, No. PNNL-14537, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, 2004.
[5] Y. Igarashi, Y. Sawa, K. Yoshioka, et al., “Monitoring the SO2 Concentration at the Summit of Mt. Fuji and a Comparison with Other Trace Gases during Winter,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 109, No. D17, 2004, pp. 1-21. doi:10.1029/2003JD004428
[6] W. T. Luke, “Evaluation of a Commercial Pulsed Fluorescence Detector for the Measurement of Low-Level SO2 Concentrations during the Gas-Phase Sulfur Intercomparison Experiment,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 102, No. D13, 1997, pp. 16255-16265. doi:10.1029/96JD03347
[7] M. Luria, J. F. Boatman, J. Harris, et al., “Atmospheric Sulfur Dioxide at Mauna Loa, Hawaii,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 97, No. D5, 1992, pp. 6011- 6022.
[8] R. R. Draxler and G. D. Rolph, “HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) Model,” NOAA, Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, 2011. http://www.arl.noaa.gov/ready/hysplit4.html
[9] G. D. Rolph, “Real-Time Environmental Applications and Display System (READY),” NOAA Air Resource Lab, Silver Spring, Md, 2003. http://www.arl.noaa.gov/ready/hysplit4.html
[10] I. Bey, D. J. Jacob, R. M. Yantosca, et al., “Global Modeling of Tropospheric Chemistry with Assimilated Meteorology: Model Description and Evaluation,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 106, No. D19, 2001, pp. 23073-23095. doi:10.1029/2001JD000807
[11] R. J. Park, D. J. Jacob, B. D. Field, et al., “Natural and Transboundary Pollution Influences on Sulfate-Nitrate- Ammonium Aerosols in the United States: Implications for Policy,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 109, No. D15, 2004, CiteID: D15204.
[12] J. Wang, D. J. Jacob and S. T. Martin, “Sensitivity of Sulfate Direct Climate Forcing to the Hysteresis of Particle Phase Transitions,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, No. D11, 2008, pp. D11207.1-D11207.15.
[13] T. D. Fairlie, D. J. Jacob and R. J. Park, “The Impact of Transpacific Transport of Mineral Dust in the United States,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2007, pp. 1251-1266. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.09.048
[14] D. Chen, Y. Wang, M. B. McElroy, et al., “Regional CO Pollution and Export in China Simulated by the High-Resolution Nested-Grid GEOS-Chem Model,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 9, No. 11, 2009, pp. 3825-3839.
[15] V. Vestreng and H. Klein, “Emission Data Reported to UNECE/EMEP. Quality Assurance and Trend Analysis and Presentation of WebDab,” MSC-W Status Report 2002, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, 2002.
[16] H. Kuhns, M. Green and V. Etyemezian, “Big Bend Regional Aerosol and Visibility Observational (BRAVO) study emissions inventory,” Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, 2003.
[17] J. G. J. Olivier and J. J. M. Berdowski, “Global Emissions Sources and Sinks, in the Climate Systemp,” Balkema Publishers/Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, Lisse, 2001, pp. 33-78.
[18] D. G. Streets, Q. Zhang, L. Wang, et al., “Revisiting China’s CO Emissions after the Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) Mission: Synthesis of Inventories, Atmospheric Modeling, and Observations,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, No. D14, 2006, Cite ID: D14306.
[19] A. Guenther, T. Karl, P. Harley, et al., “Estimates of Global Terrestrial Isoprene Emissions Using MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature),” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 6, No. 11, 2006, pp. 3181-3210. doi:10.5194/acp-6-3181-2006
[20] X. Li, and W. Song, “Dust Storm Detection Based on Modis Data,” International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Liaoning Technology University, Shengyang, pp. 169- 172.
[21] A. R. Sharma, S. K. Kharol and K. V. S. Badarinath, “An Unusual Dust Event over North-Eastern India and Its Association with Extreme Climatic Conditions—A Study Using Satellite Data,” Aerosols & Clouds: Climate Change Perspectives, ISATA Bulletin, 2000, pp. 214- 217.
[22] T. S. Liu, “Loess and the Environment,” China Ocean, Beijing, 1985, pp. 251.
[23] J. Sun, M. Zhang and T. Liu, “Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Dust Storms in China and its Surrounding Regions, 1960-1999: Relations to Source Area and Climate,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 106, No. D10, 2001, pp. 10325-10333. doi:10.1029/2000JD900665

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.