Influence of Coal Based Thermal Power Plants on Aerosol Optical Properties in the Indian Sub-Continent

Anup K. Prasad
R. P. Singh
Menas Kafatos, Chapman University

This article was originally published in Geophysical Research Letters, volume 33, in 2005. doi: 10.1029/2005GL023801


The Indo-Gangetic basin is characterized by dense fog, haze and smog during the winter season. Here, we show one to one correspondence during the winter season of aerosol optical properties with the location of thermal power plants which are single small spatial entities compared to the big cities. Our results indicate that power plants are the key point source of air pollutants. The detailed analysis of aerosol parameters deduced from the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) level 3 remote sensing data show the existence of absorbing and non-absorbing aerosols emitted from these plants. Analysis of higher resolution Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) level 2 aerosol optical depth over thermal power plants supports the findings.