Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (1): 25-35.doi: 10.11821/xb201301005

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Characteristics of atmospheric dust deposition in snow on the glaciers of western Qilian Mountains

DONG Zhiwen, QIN Dahe, REN Jiawen, QIN Xiang, XU Jianzhong, SUN Weijun   

  1. The State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2012-09-06 Revised:2012-10-01 Online:2013-01-20 Published:2013-01-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41121001; No.41171053; The China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No.2012M512049; The China Desert Meteorology Science Foundation (Sqj2012001); China geological survey projects (1212011087114)

Abstract: Deposition of atmospheric dust was measured in snow deposited on Glacier No.12 at the Laohugou River, Shiyi Glacier in Yeniugou of western Qilian Mountains, China. An analysis of horizontal distribution of dust layers, snow height and concentration of dust in the snow cover suggests that deposition of dust in western Qilian Mountains is different from each other. The characteristics of modern atmospheric dust deposition in snow are different among research sites, as the environment changes from west to east. Mean mass concentration of microparticles with 0.57 < d < 40 μm in the snowpack is 3461 μg/kg and 2876 μg/kg, respectively. Dust flux to western Qilian Mountains has a range of 143.8-207.6 μg/cm2 for particles with 0.57 < d < 40 μm. Dust layers in the snow cover contain Ca-rich materials typically found in Asian dust particles. Vertical profile of Na+ concentration in the snowpack is also very similar to that of dust. Volume size distributions of dust particles in the snow showed single-modal structures having volume median diameters from 3 to 22 μm. SEM-EDX was used for dust micro-topography analysis.

Key words: atmospheric dust, glacier, snow, physiochemical characteristics, western Qilian Mountains