Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2018, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (3): 219-231.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2018.00219

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Spatial variations of Pb, As, and Cu in surface snow along the transect from the Zhongshan Station to Dome A, East Antarctica

XingXing Jiang1, ShuGui Hou1, YuanSheng Li2, HongXi Pang1, Rong Hua1, Mayewski Paul3,4, Sneed Sharon3, ChunLei An1,2, Handley Michael3, Ke Liu1, WangBin Zhang1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory for Coast and Island Development, School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China;
    2. Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China;
    3. Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA;
    4. School of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA
  • Received:2018-01-18 Revised:2018-04-23 Published:2018-11-22
  • Contact: ShuGui Hou,
  • Supported by:
    The authors would like to thank the Chinese 26th Antarctic Expedition. In addition, special thanks are given to Mr. JinHai Yu and Mr. Xiang Zou for their useful comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41330526).

Abstract: The spatial distributions of lead, arsenic, and copper (Pb, As, and Cu, respectively) in surface snow along the transect from the Zhongshan Station to Dome A, East Antarctica, are presented. The mean concentrations of Pb, As, and Cu are 1.04±1.56 pg/g, 0.39±0.08 pg/g, and 11.2±14.4 pg/g, respectively. It is estimated that anthropogenic contributions are dominant for Pb, As, and Cu. Spatially, Pb concentrations show an exponentially decreasing trend from the coast inland, while a moderate decreasing trend is observed for Cu concentrations in the coastal area (below 2,000 m above sea level (a.s.l.)). In the intermediate area (2,000-3,000 m a.s.l.), the concentrations and enrichment factors of all these elements show high variability due to the complicated characteristics of climate and environment. On the inland plateau (above 3,000 m a.s.l.), the high concentrations of As and Pb are induced by high deposition efficiency, the existence of polar stratospheric precipitation, and the different fraction deposition to East Antarctica. The extremely high concentrations with maximum values of 9.59 pg/g and 69.9 pg/g for Pb and Cu, respectively, are suggested to result mainly from local human activities at the station. Our results suggest that source, transport pathway, and deposition pattern, rather than distance from the coast or altitude, lead to the spatial distributions of Pb, As, and Cu; and it is further confirmed by spatial variations of the three metals deposited over the whole continent of Antarctica.

Key words: Antarctica, surface snow, trace metals, spatial variations, source and transportation

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