Ionic composition of wet precipitation over the southern slope of central Himalayas, Nepal

Lekhendra Tripathee, Shichang Kang, Jie Huang, Mika Sillanpää, Chhatra Mani Sharma, Zoe Lucia Lüthi, Junming Guo, Rukumesh Paudyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Severe atmospheric pollution transported to Himalayas from South Asia may affect fragile ecosystem and can be harmful for human health in the region. In order to understand the atmospheric chemistry in the southern slope of central Himalayas, where the data is limited, precipitation has been sampled at four sites: Kathmandu (1,314 m), Dhunche (2,065 m), Dimsa (3,078 m), and Gosainkunda (4,417 m) in Nepal for over a 1-year period characterized by an urban, rural, and remote sites, respectively. HCO3 - is the dominant anion, while the NH4 + is the dominant cation in precipitation at the four sites. Generally, most of ions (e.g., SO4 2-, NO3 -, NH4 +, HCO3 -, and Ca2+) have higher concentrations in urban site compared to the rural sites. Neutralization factor calculation showed that precipitation in the region is highly neutralized by NH4 + and Ca2+. Empirical orthogonal function and correlation analysis indicated that the precipitation chemistry was mostly influenced by crustal, anthropogenic, and marine sources in Nepal. Among different sites, urban area was mostly influenced by anthropogenic inputs and crustal dusts, whereas remote sites were mostly from marine and crustal sources. Seasonal variations show higher ionic concentrations during non-monsoon seasons mainly due to limited precipitation amount. On the other hand, lower ionic concentrations were observed during monsoon season when higher amount of precipitation washes out aerosols. Thus, precipitation chemistry from this work can provide a useful database to evaluate atmospheric environment and its impacts on ecosystem in the southern slope of central Himalayas, Nepal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2677-2687
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Central Himalayas
  • Major ions
  • Nepal
  • Precipitation
  • Seasonal variation
  • Spatial variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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