Mineral dust and major ion concentrations in snowpit samples from the NEEM site, Greenland

Jung Ho Kang, Heejin Hwang, Sang Bum Hong, Soon Do Hur, Sung Deuk Choi, Jeonghoon Lee, Sungmin Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polar ice sheets conserve atmospheric aerosols at the time of snowfall, which can be used to reconstruct past climate and environmental conditions. We investigated mineral dust and major ion records in snowpit samples obtained from the northwestern Greenland ice sheet near the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) camp in June 2009. We analyzed the samples for mineral dust concentrations as well as stable water isotopes (δ18O, δD, and deuterium excess) and major ions (Cl-, SO42-, methanesulfonic acid (MSA), Na+, and Ca2+). Seasonal δ18O and δD cycles indicate that the snowpit samples covered a six-year period from spring 2003 to early summer 2009. Concentrations of mineral dust, nss-Ca2+, and nss-SO42- showed seasonal deposition events with maxima in the winter-spring layers. On the other hand, the Cl-/Na+ ratio and the concentrations of MSA exhibited maxima in the summer layers, making them useful indicators for the summer season. Moreover, an anomalous atmospheric mineral dust event was recorded at a depth of 165-170 cm corresponding to late winter 2005 to spring 2006. A back trajectory analysis suggests that a major contributor to the Greenland aerosol was an air mass passing over the Canadian Arctic and North America. Several trajectories point to Asian regions as a dust source. The mineral dust deposited at NEEM was strongly influenced by long-range atmospheric transport and dust input from arid source areas in northern China and Mongolia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Atmospheric mineral dust
  • Greenland
  • Major ions
  • Seasonal variation

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