Carbonaceous particles play an important role in climate change, and an increase in their emission and deposition causes glacier melting in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau (HTP). This implies that studying their basic characteristics is crucial for a better understanding of the climate forcing observed in this area. Thus, we investigated characteristics of carbonaceous particles at a typical remote site of southeastern HTP. Organic carbon and elemental carbon concentrations at this study site were 1.86 ± 0.84 and 0.18 ± 0.09 μg m−3, respectively, which are much lower than those reported for other frequently monitored stations in the same region. Thus, these values reflect the background characteristics of the study site. Additionally, the absorption coefficient per mass (α/ρ) of water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) at 365 nm was 0.60 ± 0.19 m2 g−1, with the highest and lowest values corresponding to the winter and monsoon seasons, respectively. Multi-dimensional fluorescence analysis showed that the WSOC consisted of approximately 37% and 63% protein and humic-like components, respectively, and the latter was identified as the component that primarily determined the light absorption ability of the WSOC, which also showed a significant relationship with some major ions, including SO2-4, K+, and Ca2+, indicating that combustion activities as well as mineral dust were two important contributors to WSOC at the study site.
- Water-soluble organic carbon
- Light absorption
- Fluorescence components
- Himalayas and Tibetan plateau