26 Dec 2020
A nationwide lockdown was imposed in India due to COVID-19 pandemic in five phases from 25th March to May 31, 2020. The lockdown restricted major anthropogenic activities, primarily vehicular and industrial, thereby reducing the particulate matter concentration. This work investigates the variation in Black Carbon (BC) concentration and its sources (primarily Fossil Fuel (ff) burning and Biomass Burning (bb)) over Delhi from 18th February to July 31, 2020, covering one month of pre-lockdown phase, all the lockdown phases, and two months of successive lockdown relaxations. The daily average BC concentration varied from 0.22 to 16.92 μg/m
, with a mean value of 3.62 ± 2.93 μg/m
. During Pre-Lockdown (PL, 18th Feb-24th March 2020), Lockdown-1 (L1, 25th March-14th April 2020), Lockdown-2 (L2, 15th April-3rd May 2020), Lockdown-3 (L3, 4th-17th May 2020), Lockdown-4 (L4, 18th-31st May 2020), Unlock-1 (UN1, June 2020), and Unlock-2 (UN2, July 2020) the average BC concentrations were 7.93, 1.73, 2.59, 3.76, 3.26, 2.07, and 2.70 μg/m
, respectively. During the lockdown and unlock phases, BC decreased up to 78% compared to the PL period. The BC source apportionment studies show that fossil fuel burning was the dominant BC source during the entire sampling period. From L1 to UN2 an increasing trend in BC
contribution was observed (except L3) due to the successive relaxations given to anthropogenic activities. BC
contribution dipped briefly during L3 due to the intensive crop residue burning events in neighboring states. CWT analysis showed that local emission sources were the dominant contributors to BC concentration over Delhi.