Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China; Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Atmospheric dry deposition is a major pathway for removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the atmosphere. Despite its significance in the atmospheric environment, measurements of the dry deposition velocity (VDD) and deposition fluxes (FDD) of PAHs are relatively limited. In this study, a passive dry deposition (PAS-DD) collector was co-deployed with passive air sampler polyurethane foam (PAS-PUF) from November 2015 to November 2016 in two major cities (Kathmandu and Pokhara), Nepal, to investigate the VDD and FDD of PAHs. The VDD of PAHs ranged from 0.25 to 0.5 cm s-1 and the annual average was recorded as 0.37 ± 0.08 cm s-1. On the basis of measured VDD, the FDD of ∑15PAHs in Kathmandu and Pokhara were estimated as 66 and 5 kg yr-1 respectively. According to the measured VDD of Kathmandu and Pokhara in this study, and the previously published VDD data of Toronto, Canada, where the same PAS-DD collector was used, a significant multi-linear correlation (r2 = 0.79, p < 0.05) was found between VDD of higher molecular weight (HMW with MW ≥ 228.3 and ≥ 4 rings) PAHs and meteorological parameters (precipitation and wind speed) and vapor pressure of PAHs. To the best of our knowledge, this enabled the development of an empirical model that can exhibit the combined effects of meteorological conditions on the VDD of HMW PAHs. The model was used to estimate the VDD values for major cities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) region and the maximum estimated proportion of HMW PAHs deposited by dry deposition reached up to 60% of total emissions. Although PAH emissions in the IGP region pose global risks, the results of this study highlight the considerable risk for local IGP residents, due to the large dry deposition proportion of HMW PAHs.