Ramachandran, S, Cherian, R (2008). Regional and seasonal variations in aerosol optical characteristics and their frequency distributions over India during 2001-2005. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 113(D8), D08207.
 Regional and temporal variations in aerosol characteristics in 35 locations spread over seven different regions in India are studied during 2001 - 2005 from the daily mean MODIS Terra aerosol optical depth ( AOD) and fine mode fraction ( FMF) data. Northeast India has the lowest annual mean AOD of 0.28 while south comes next with 0.35. In the other regions AODs are higher than 0.35. Annual mean variations in AOD and FMFs in different regions do not show any noticeable increase or decrease during the 5-year period. High altitude locations are found to have lower AODs while densely populated, urban and industrialized locations have high AODs. Many locations show a winter low and summer high in AODs. Locations/ regions dominated by pollution are found to have high FMF and high AODs, while regions in which natural ( biogenic) aerosols are dominant had high FMF and range of AODs. The abundance of mechanically generated aerosols over a region results in low FMF and range of AODs. These features suggest that in addition to AOD variations knowledge on sources over a region are essential in understanding the FMF variations. Frequency distribution histograms of AODs and FMFs are consistent with the fact that aerosol sources exhibit seasonal and spatial variations over India. Dust activity peaks over north and west India during March-May which results in low FMFs as the aerosol distributions are influenced by large size dust aerosols. In Northeast FMFs are found to be higher than 0.8 throughout the year indicating the dominance of fine mode aerosols.