Temporal variations of mineral dust, biogenic tracers, and anthropogenic species during the past two centuries from Belukha ice core, Siberian Altai
Olivier, S and Blaser, C and Bruetsch, S and Frolova, N and Gaeggeler, HW and Henderson, KA and Palmer, AS and Papina, T and Schwikowski, M, Temporal variations of mineral dust, biogenic tracers, and anthropogenic species during the past two centuries from Belukha ice core, Siberian Altai, Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 111, (D5) pp. D05309 . ISSN 0148-0227 (2006) [Refereed Article]
In July 2001, a 140 m long ice core was recovered from the Belukha glacier (49°48′26″N, 86°34′43″E, 4062 m a.s.l.) in the Siberian Altai. The ion chemistry of the upper 86 m, covering the last two centuries, is characterized by biogenic emissions (ammonium and formate), aeolian dust (calcium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium) and anthropogenic species (sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium). Particularly high ammonium and formate concentrations indicate pronounced emissions from Siberian forests. The inferred fire frequency does not show a long-term trend but distinct periods of enhanced activity. Sulfate has the highest industrial to preindustrial ratio and an anthropogenic contribution of more than 80%. Variations in this record reflect sulfur dioxide emissions in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Sulfate concentrations remained low until 1950, then sharply increased and peaked in the 1970s. The decrease in the 1980s is attributed to the economic, political, and social crises and to the replacement of coal with gas. Rising nitrate concentrations since 1960 reflect traffic growth and enhanced fertilizer application. Increasing ammonium concentrations since the 1950s are attributable to population inflow in southern Siberia with the associated enhancement of agricultural activity. A nitrate peak of short duration in 1908 is thought to be the atmospheric signature from the Tunguska event on 30 June 1908. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.