Metal concentrations in annual and subannual increments of snowpack from the accumulation zone of a south central Alaska glacier indicate that the deposition of Pb with and upon snow is decoupled from that of rock dusts. Rock dusts accumulate, apparently as dry deposition, on the topmost, exposed surfaces of snowpacks in spring and summer, whereas Pb does not. Pb concentration is elevated throughout the latest one third of an annual snowpack, whereas that of rock dusts is not. For whole-year snowpacks, there is a generally sympathetic relationship among concentration of Pb, concentration of rock dust, degree of dominance of rock dusts over ocean solutes, and ferromagnesian character of the rock dusts; however, the fractional abundance of Pb in whole year samples may decrease when rock dust masses become large and/or when rock dusts dominate most strongly over salts. The metal suite chosen to characterize rock dusts and to distinguish them from ocean solutes gives detailed information about rock type of dust source areas and about the nature of the degraded rock products that are taken up, transported, and deposited by the atmosphere. Rock dusts are present at concentrations of only about 300 nanograms (ng) of dust per gram of snow in the Alaskan snowpacks. Concentrations of Pb in the Alaska snow samples are moderate, ranging from 0.1 to 0.3 ng Pb/g snow. This contrasts with larger Pb concentrations of 0.4 to 0.9 ng Pb/g snow in whole-year snowpack samples from the Sierra Nevada, California; with similar to smaller concentrations from north and south Greenland of about 0.04 ng Pb/g snow or less, and about 0.2 ng Pb/g snow or less, respectively, and with much smaller concentrations from Antarctica, now believed to range from a minimum of about 0.001 to a maximum of 0.005 (or 0.01) ng Pb/g snow.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Rock-forming metals and Pb in modern Alaskan snow|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres|