This study was part of the SAPOEX-16, a campaign conducted between 2 January 2016 and 20 March 2016, with sampling conducted at the Delhi observatory of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology [28°35′N, 77°12′E ; 15 m above ground level (agl)], BCOB (22°17′N, 90°71′E ; 10 m agl) located on Bhola Island in the delta of Bay of Bengal about 300 km south of Dhaka (capital city of Bangladesh), and MCOH (6°78′N; 73°18′E; 1.5 m agl) located in the northern Indian Ocean. Detailed information about the observatory at MCOH and the Delhi operations can be found in (26) and (32), respectively.

At Delhi, PM2.5 aerosol samples (n = 30) were collected using an Air Pollution Monitoring 550 aerosol sampler (Envirotech Pvt. Ltd., India) equipped with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standardized impactors, operated at 1 m3 hour−1 with a sampling duration of 12 hours (day and night). At BCOB, PM2.5 aerosol samples (n = 24) were collected using a high-volume sampler (model DH77, DIGITEL A.G., Switzerland) operated at 500 liters/min, with a sampling duration of 24 hours. At MCOH, PM1 aerosol samples (n = 43) were collected every 48 hours using a high-volume sampler (model DH77, DIGITEL A.G., Switzerland), operated at 500 liters/min. At MCOH, located at the northern tip of the island away from any local activities, wind-censored sampling was implemented during SAPOEX-16 to avoid any local island pollution. The sampler switched off automatically when wind speed was <1.2 m/s and when wind direction was southwest between 180° and 270°.

Aerosol samples were collected on precombusted (5 hours at 450°C) quartz fiber filters (Millipore, Billerica, MA). Filter blanks were collected approximately three times per month at each site during the campaign. Overall, 34 samples from the campaign were analyzed for WSOC concentrations, stable carbon isotope composition (δ13CWSOC), and optical properties (MACWS-BrC and AAE).

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