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Variability and mechanisms of vertical distribution of aerosols over the Indian region

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The present study investigates the seasonal variability in the vertical distribution of aerosol over the Indian region and its surroundings, and the possible mechanisms in the atmosphere that give rise to vertical transport of the aerosols. During boreal summer months, the aerosols reach a higher altitude of above 5 km over the Indian region. In the winter season, especially during December, January, and February, the aerosols remain at low levels of the atmosphere, extending to about 3 km. The low-level atmospheric conditions are favourable for lifting of aerosols associated with the organized convection in the atmosphere during the months from May to September. The shifting of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) towards the northern hemisphere and the monsoon activity associated with it makes the atmosphere turbulent over the region during the period. The vorticity and convergence patterns are favourable for the vertical transport of aerosols during the period from May to November. High vertical wind shear, which leads to the generation of turbulence during the monsoon season, enhances the mixing of aerosols in the atmosphere and supports the lifting motion. Over the Arabian Sea, during the summer months, the aerosols reach a higher altitude of about 6 km. The production of marine aerosols is increased by the monsoon winds over the sea, and the turbulent atmosphere lifts the particles to high altitudes. The transportation of dust aerosols from west and northwest parts is found at high altitudes towards the destination regions in north and south India. This also dominates the total aerosol content over the region.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, India

Publication date: November 17, 2014

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