DOI: 10.1029/2023jd040193 ISSN: 2169-897X

Physical Properties, Chemical Components, and Transport Mechanisms of Atmospheric Aerosols Over a Remote Area on the South Slope of the Tibetan Plateau

Zeren Yu, Pengfei Tian, Chenliang Kang, Xin Song, Jianping Huang, Yumin Guo, Jinsen Shi, Chenguang Tang, Haotian Zhang, Zhida Zhang, Xianjie Cao, Jiening Liang, Lei Zhang
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics


The physicochemical properties and origins of atmospheric aerosols in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) region are a research topic of great interest, but an in‐depth understanding of this topic is challenging, partially due to a lack of intensive in situ observations. Thus, a field campaign was conducted over Yadong, a remote area on the south slope of the TP from June 11 to 31 August 2021. The aerosol loading was low, with a black carbon mass concentration of 147.4 ± 98.4 ng·m−3. Aerosol single‐scattering albedo was low (0.73 ± 0.11 at 550 nm) and increased from 450 to 700 nm wavelength. Organic matter (OM) accounting for 69.6% of the total aerosol mass and relatively high secondary organic carbon ratios, highlighting the importance of secondary formation. An interesting phenomenon observed was that the evolution of aerosols was mainly characterized by diurnal variation, which could not be explained by large‐scale atmospheric processes such as Indian summer monsoon. Instead, it was found that regional mountain‐valley winds between the Himalayas and South Asia transported polluted air masses toward the TP, especially in the afternoon when regional valley wind are expected to be the strongest and the boundary layer in South Asia is deepest. Additionally, daytime local valley wind further elevated these aerosols to higher altitudes on the TP. This paper provides insights into the transport mechanisms of aerosols from South Asia to the TP. These findings are of great importance since aerosols exhibit significant diurnal variations in the TP region.

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