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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014, Article ID 596041, 14 pages
Review Article

Airmass Trajectories and Long Range Transport of Pollutants: Review of Wet Deposition Scenario in South Asia

School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India

Received 24 April 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 9 June 2014; Published 12 August 2014

Academic Editor: M. Ángeles García

Copyright © 2014 Umesh Kulshrestha and Bablu Kumar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a review of airmass trajectories and their role in air pollution transport. It describes the concept, history, and basic calculation of air trajectories citing various trajectory models used worldwide. It highlights various areas of trajectory applications and errors associated with trajectory calculations. South Asian region receives airmasses from Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Indian Ocean, and so forth, depending upon the season. These airmasses are responsible for export and import of pollutants depositing in nearby states. Trajectory analysis revealed that soil is contributed by the dust storms coming from Oman through Gulf and Iran, while most of black carbon (BC) sources are located in India. A detailed review of trajectories associated with wet deposition events indicated that airmasses coming from Europe and Middle East carry high concentration of acidic pollutants which are deposited in Himalayan ranges. Similarly, trajectory analysis revealed that acidic pollutants from continental anthropogenic sources are transported to an ecosensitive site in Western Ghats in India and the outward fluxes of anthropogenic activities of Indo-Gangetic region are transported towards Bay of Bengal. Hence, transboundary and long range transport of pollutants are very important issues in South Asia which need immediate attention of scientists and policy makers.