Trace metals are more abundant in atmospheric load and deposition material than can be due to rock and soil dusts and ocean salt. In pre-industrial ice from coastal west Antarctica, dust and salt account for only a few percent of the lead, cadmium, and indium that is present in most samples, less than half in any sample. For these trace metals, the deposition rate to the pre-industrial ice is approximately matched by the output rate to the atmosphere by quiescent (non-explosive) degassing of volcanoes worldwide, according to a new estimate. The basis of the match is the masses and proportions of the metals, and the proportions of Pb isotopes, in ice and in volcano emissions. The isotopic compositions of Pb in ice are similar to those of a suite of ocean island volcanoes, mostly in the southern hemisphere. The natural baseline values for pre-industrial atmospheric deposition fluxes of trace metal suites at Taylor Dome, and the worldwide quiescent volcano emissions fluxes to which they are linked, constitute a reasonably well-constrained baseline component for deposition fluxes of metals in modern times. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Trace metal suites in Antarctic pre-industrial ice are consistent with emissions from quiescent degassing of volcanoes worldwide