Surface ozone in the Doon Valley of the Himalayan foothills during spring.

Affiliation

Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, India. [Email]

Abstract

Elevated ozone (O3) pollution is observed every spring over the Northern Indian region including the Himalayan foothills, with a maximum typically in the month of May. However, studies investigating influences of photochemistry and dynamics in the valleys of Central Himalaya are limited. Here, in situ surface O3 observations conducted at Dehradun (77.99° E, 30.27° N, 600 m above mean sea level) in the Doon Valley during April-July 2018 are presented. These O3 observations reveal the prevalence of an urban environment over Dehradun with enhanced levels during noontime (66.4 ppbv ± 11.0 ppbv in May) and lower levels during night (26.7 ppbv ± 11.5 ppbv). Morning time O3 enhancement rate at Dehradun (7.5 ppbv h-1) is found to be comparable to that at Bode (7.3 ppbv h-1) in another valley of Himalayan foothills (Kathmandu), indicating stronger anthropogenic emissions in the Doon Valley as well. Daily average O3 at Dehradun varied in the range of 13.7-71.3 ppbv with hourly values reaching up to 103.1 ppbv during the study period. Besides the in situ photochemical O3 production, the entrainment of O3-rich air through boundary layer dynamics also contributes in noontime O3 enhancement in the Doon Valley. Monthly average O3 at Dehradun (49.3 ppbv ± 19.9 ppbv) is observed to be significantly higher than that over urban sites in Northern India (35-41 ppbv) and Bode (38.5 ppbv) in the Kathmandu Valley during May. O3 photochemical buildup, estimated to be 30.3 ppbv and 39.7 ppbv during April and May, respectively, is significantly lower in June (21.2 ppbv). Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) model simulations successfully reproduce the observed variability in noontime O3 at Dehradun (r = 0.86); however, absolute O3 levels were typically overestimated. The positive relationship between CAMS O3 and CO (r = 0.65) together with an O3/CO slope of 0.16 is attributed to the influences of biomass burning besides anthropogenic emissions on observed O3 variations in the Doon Valley. O3 observations show an enhancement by 35-56% at Dehradun during a high-fire activity period in May 2018 as compared to a low-fire activity period over the Northern Indian region in agreement with the enhancement found in CAMS O3 fields (10-65%) over the region in the vicinity of Dehradun.

Keywords

Biomass burning,Boundary layer dynamics,Doon Valley,Entrainment,Himalayan foothills,Northern India,Photochemistry,Urban pollution,

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