Characteristics of Modern Atmospheric Dust Deposition in Snow on the Glaciers of East Tianshan Mountains, China

  • 1. The State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences/Tianshan Glaciological Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China

Received date: 2007-09-06

  Revised date: 2008-01-05

  Online published: 2008-05-26

Supported by

National Key Project for Basic Research of China, No 2007CB411501 ; Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-127; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40631001, No.40571033; No.40701034; No.40371028; No.J0630966; The Project for Outstanding Young Scientists of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40121101


Deposition of atmospheric dust was measured in snow deposited on Glacier No.1 at the headwater of Urumqi River, Haxilegen Glacier No.51 in Kuitun and Miaoergou Glaicer in Hami in East Tianshan Mountains, western 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 East Tianshan Mountains is different from each other. The characteristics of modern atmospheric dust deposition in snow is different among three research points in East Tianshan Mountains , as the environment changes from west to east. Mean mass concentration of microparticles with 0.57 < d < 26 μm in the snowpack is 969 μg/kg, 1442 μg/kg and 3690 μg/kg in three study sites, respectively. Dust flux to East Tianshan Mountains has a range of 58.2-73.8 μgcm-2a-1 for particles with 0.57 < d < 26 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 with duat's. Volume size distributions of dust particles in the snow showed single-modal structures having volume median diameters from 3-22 μm. Dust profiles in snow cover over the last 4 years reveal frequent sporadic high dust concentrations and large year-to-year variations in the amount deposited, implying that dust deposition in East Tianshan Mountains is very sensitive to atmospheric environmental change.

Cite this article

DONG Zhiwen, LI Zhongqin, WANG Feiteng, ZHANG Mingjun . Characteristics of Modern Atmospheric Dust Deposition in Snow on the Glaciers of East Tianshan Mountains, China[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2008 , 63(5) : 544 -552 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200805010


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