Concentrations of Cadmium, Copper, Lead and Zinc in Snow from Near Dye 3 in South Greenland

Clean sampling and analysis procedures have been used to measure the concentrations of Al and four heavy metals in snow representing one year’s accumulation (1983-84) near Dye 3 in Greenland. Mean values were Al 17.5ng g−1, Cd 0.74 pg g−1, Cu 6.2 pg g−1, Pb 28 pg g−1 and Zn 27 pg g−1. Concentrations of the heavy metals are lower than previously reported at other Greenland sites for snowfall during the last 20 years. A distinct late-winter / early-spring maximum is seen for Al, Cu, Pb and Zn, in accord with other workers’ measurements of various species in the atmospheric aerosol in the Arctic. Cu appears to have a large crustal component, but Cd, Pb and Zn probably originate mainly from pollution. One explanation for the lower Pb values may be the considerable reduction in North American and European usage of Pb as a petrol (gasoline) additive during the last decade. These limited data emphasize the importance of obtaining a reliable century-long record of these metals in Greenland ice.


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Authors: Wolff, Eric W., Peel, Daviid A.

On this site: Eric Wolff
1 January, 1988
Annals of Glaciology / 10
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