Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2017, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 455-466.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2017.00455

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Chemistry and environmental significance of aerosols collected in the eastern Tianshan

XiaoYu Zhang1, ShengJie Wang2, Xin Zhang2, Ping Zhou1, Shuang Jin1, ZhongQin Li1,2, Nozomu Takeuchi3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    2. College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China;
    3. Department of Earth Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoicho, Inage-ku, Chiba-city, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
  • Received:2016-12-28 Revised:2017-05-09 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: XiaoYu Zhang,
  • Supported by:
    This research was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41201065, 41121001, 41261017, 41171057, 41161012); the Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (41121001); the foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of CAREERI, CAS (51Y251B51); the SKLCS foundation (Grant No. SKLCSZZ-2012-01-01); the National Basic Research Program of China (2010CB951003, 2010CB951404); and the Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-EW-311). We would like to thank Wang Wenbin, Xia Mingying, She Yuanyang, Li Xuliang, and Jin Shuang for the sampling; and Zhu Yuman, Bao Qiufang, and Liu Yaping for the chemical analysis.

Abstract: Aerosol samples were collected at altitudes from 584 m a.s.l. to 3,804 m a.s.l. at seven sites of the eastern Tianshan. The occurrence, distribution, and possible sources of 47 trace metals-including alkali metals and alkali earth metals, transition metals, lanthanoids, and heavy metals-were investigated. It was found that four sampling sites (Shuinichang, 1,691 m a.s.l.; Urumqi City, 809 m a.s.l.; FuKang Station, 584 m a.s.l.; and Bogeda Glacier No. 4, 3,613 m a.s.l.) were contaminated mainly by heavy metals. Other three high-altitude sites (Urumqi Glacier No. 1, 3,804 m a.s.l.; WangFeng road-maintenance station, 3,039 m a.s.l.; and Tianshan Glaciology Station, 2,135 m a.s.l.) were not polluted. The aerosol particles were clustered into two dominant types:crust-originated particles and pollution-derived particles. Aerosols from UG1, WF, and TGS were characterized by crust-originated particles such as clay, plagioclase, dolomite, alkali feldspar, and biotite; while those from SNC, Urumqi, FK, and BG4 were characterized by high content of Cl-rich particles, S-rich particles, and soot. The backward-trajectories results indicated that air masses arriving at SNC, Urumqi, FK, and BG4 were identified as the more polluted source, when compared to the short-range air mass transport from the North to UGI and WF. Relatively lower altitude, as well as terrain blocking, might be another important reason for the gradient difference in pollution influence among these seven places in the Urumqi River Basin.

Key words: heavy-metal pollution, aerosols, central Asia

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