A 150-year record of black carbon (soot and char) and polycyclic aromatic compounds deposition in Lake Phayao, north Thailand

Han, Yongming; Bandowe, Benjamin A. Musa; Schneider, Tobias; Pongpiachan, Siwatt; Ho, Steven Sai Hang; Wei, Chong; Wang, Qiyuan; Xing, Li; Wilcke, Wolfgang (2021). A 150-year record of black carbon (soot and char) and polycyclic aromatic compounds deposition in Lake Phayao, north Thailand. Environmental pollution, 269, p. 116148. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116148

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An improved understanding of the historical variation in the emissions and sources (biomass burning, BB vs. fossil fuel, FF combustion) of soot and char, the two components of black carbon (BC), and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) may help in assessing the environmental effects of the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) in SE Asia. We therefore determined historical variations of the fluxes of soot, char, and PACs (24 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 12 oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs), and 4 azaarenes) in a dated sediment core (covering the past ~150 years) of Phayao Lake in Thailand. The soot fluxes have been increasing in recent times, but at a far lower rate than previously estimated based on BC emission inventories. This may be associated with a decreasing BB contribution as indicated by the decreasing char fluxes from old to young sediments. The fluxes of high- and low-molecular-weight (HMW and LMW) PAHs, OPAHs, and azaarenes all sharply increased after ~1980, while the ΣLMW-/ΣHMW-PAHs ratios decreased, further supporting the reduction in BB contribution at the expense of increasing FF combustion
emissions. We also suggest that the separate record of char and soot, which has up to now not been done in aerosol studies, is useful to assess the environmental effects of ABC because of the different light-absorbing properties of these two BC components. Our results suggest that besides the establishment of improved FF combustion technology, BB must be further reduced in the SE Asian region in order to weaken the ABC haze.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Schneider, Tobias


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Elsevier Science




Cornelia Kehl

Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2021 17:23

Last Modified:

07 Feb 2021 03:03

Publisher DOI:






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