Variations in lead isotopes in Antarctic snow from northern Victoria Land during 2012-2015

Changhee Han, Songyi Kim, Ah Hyung Lee, Yeongcheol Han, Seungmi Lee, Chaewon Chang, Sungmin Hong, Hyejin Jung, Sang Bum Hong, Jeonghoon Lee, Soon Do Hur

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To evaluate recent changes in anthropogenic Pb pollution and its sources and origins in Antarctica, Pb and Ba concentrations and Pb isotopic compositions were determined in a continuous series of 40 snow samples from a 2-m deep snow pit, covering 4 full years from 2011/12 summer to 2015/16 summer, at the Hercules Névé plateau in Victoria Land, Antarctica. The results show that more than 90% of the atmospheric Pb deposited in Victoria Land was of noncrustal origin. This result implies the persistence of a significant human impact on the atmospheric cycle of Pb in the most remote places on Earth, despite a substantial reduction in anthropogenic Pb emissions in the Southern Hemisphere during recent years. The Pb isotopic fingerprints indicate that South America, particularly Brazil and Chile, has become a major source of anthropogenic Pb reaching Victoria Land. Our data highlight the need for both national and international measures to further reduce Pb emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055006
JournalEnvironmental Research Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • antarctic snow
  • anthropogenic Pb
  • lead isotopes
  • northern victoria land


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