AMF Deployment, Ganges Valley, India
Location: 29° 21' 33.84" N, 79° 27' 29.27" E
In June 2011, the Ganges Valley Aerosol Experiment (GVAX) began in the Ganges Valley region of India. The objective of this field campaign is to obtain measurements of clouds, precipitation, and complex aerosols to study their impact on cloud formation and monsoon activity in the region.
During the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) field studies, aerosols from the Ganges Valley region were shown to affect cloud formation and monsoon activity over the Indian Ocean. Growth in industries such as cement factories, steel mills, and the coal-fired plants that power them has added to existing regional sources of aerosols, such as agricultural burning. Tiny particles in the smoke act as hubs for water droplets and ice crystals to gather and form clouds. As these particles and clouds absorb and scatter sunlight, they change the way heat is distributed in the atmosphere. Some studies suggest the haze over the Ganges Valley region will increase air temperature and pressure, which might draw moisture from the ocean and intensify the monsoon. Other studies indicate that the increased heat will cause clouds to dry up.
The complex field study uses the ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) to measure radiative, cloud, convection, and aerosol characteristics over the mainland for a 10-month campaign. Most of the AMF instrumentation is operating from the ARIES Observatory in Nainital. A Beechcraft-20 aircraft, operated by collaborators from the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Space Research Organization, will be deployed from February to April 2012. The resulting data set will capture pre-monsoon to post-monsoon conditions to establish a comprehensive baseline for advancements in the study of the effects of atmospheric conditions of the Ganges Valley.
Th GVAX campaign is being conducted under an existing Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between The Government of the United States of America and The Government of the Republic of India.