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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a research grant (PE21100) from the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI). This work was also supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2018R1A2B2006489).
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.
- antarctic snow
- anthropogenic Pb
- lead isotopes
- northern victoria land