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Measurements of light-absorbing impurities in snow over four glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau
H. Niu, S. Kang, Y. Wang, , D. Rupakheti, Y. Qian
Published in Elsevier Ltd
Volume: 243
Black carbon (BC), dust, and organic carbon (OC) aerosols, when deposited onto the surface of glaciers, can absorb light and decrease the snow albedo. These impurities in snow are referred to as ILAIs (i.e., insoluble light absorbing impurities). Atmospheric chemical models have been extensively used to simulate the transport and deposition of atmospheric aerosols in glacierized areas. However, systematic investigations of ILAIs in snowpack of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are rare. In this study, observations of ILAIs in snow and simulations of ILAIs of atmospheric aerosol at surface over four glaciers on the TP have been analyzed. Strong correlation between BC and dust was found in surface aged-snow, and their correlation significantly varied with snowpit depth. BC and OC concentrations in snowpit tended to decrease with depth. Significant differences of ILAI concentrations among depth intervals reflect their diverse hydrophilicities, physiochemical properties and post-depositional processes in snowpit, offering important observational constraints on the related processes. Monthly variation of atmospheric ILAIs at surface over glaciers is characterized by distinct spatial heterogeneity. The statistical results show higher ILAI concentrations in the summer of 2015 than 2014, which is in qualitative agreement with CALIPSO observations, likely reflecting the effects of inter-annual variation of summer monsoon on snow ILAI loadings. Optical attenuation (ATN) of BC is gradually decreased with depth of snowpit, whereas the trend of mass absorption cross-section (MAC) of BC throughout the profile of snowpit is opposite to that of ATN. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging demonstrates that calcium and silicon rich particles dominate over biological, quartz and flying ash particles in the cryoconite, providing additional constraints on the sources of dust-in-snow and can facilitate better understanding of the physicochemical properties and climatic effects of particles in the glacial cryoconite. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
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JournalData powered by TypesetAtmospheric Research
PublisherData powered by TypesetElsevier Ltd