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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Sep 2020

02 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement report: Spatial variations in snowpack ionic chemistry and water stable isotopes across Svalbard

Elena Barbaro1,2, Krystyna Koziol3, Mats P. Björkman4, Carmen P. Vega5,a, Christian Zdanowicz6, Tonu Martma7, Jean-Charles Gallet8, Daniel Kępski9, Catherine Larose10, Bartłomiej Luks9, Florian Tolle11, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler12,13, Aleksander Uszczyk14, and Andrea Spolaor1,2 Elena Barbaro et al.
  • 1Institute of Polar Sciences, ISP-CNR, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venice Mestre, Italy
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172, Venice, Italy
  • 3Department of Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Faculty, Gdansk University of Technology, G. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 460, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 5Dirección Meteorológica de Chile, Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil, Portales 3450, Santiago, Chile
  • 6Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, 76236, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 7Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
  • 8Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, 9296, Norway
  • 9Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, KsięciaJanusza 64, 01-452 Warsaw, Poland
  • 10Environmental MicrobialGenomics, Laboratoire Ampère, CNRS, University of Lyon, France
  • 11Université de Franche-Comté, Besancon, FEMTO-ST, UMR 6174 CNRS, France
  • 12Departement of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 13Arctic Geophysics, University Center on Svalbard, UNIS, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
  • 14University of Silesia in Katowice, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
  • apreviously at: Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract. The Svalbard archipelago, between 74° and 81° N, is ∼60 % covered by glaciers and located at the Arctic sea ice edge. The region experiences rapid variations in atmospheric flow during the snow season (from late September to May) and can be affected by air advected both from lower and higher latitudes, which likely impact the chemical composition of snowfall. While long-term changes in Svalbard snow chemistry have been documented in ice cores drilled from two high-elevation glaciers, the spatial variability of the snowpack composition across Svalbard is comparatively poorly understood. Here, we report the results of the most comprehensive seasonal snow chemistry survey to date, carried out in April 2016 across 22 sites on 7 glaciers across the archipelago. At each glacier, three snow pits were sampled along altitudinal profiles and the collected samples were analysed for major ions (Ca2+, K+, Na+, Mg2+, NH+4, SO42−, Br, Cl and NO3) and stable water isotopes (δ18O, δ2H). The main aims were to investigate the natural and anthropogenic processes influencing the snowpack and to better understand the influence of atmospheric aerosol transport and deposition patterns on the snow chemical composition. The snow deposited in the southern region of Svalbard was characterized by the highest total ionic loads, mainly attributed to sea salt particles. Both NO3 and NH4+ in the seasonal snowpack reflected secondary aerosol formation and post-depositional changes, resulting in very different spatial deposition patterns: NO3 had its highest loading in northwestern Spitsbergen, and NH4+ in the southwest. The Br enrichment in snow was highest in northeastern glacier sites closest to areas of extensive sea ice coverage. Spatial correlation patterns between Na+ and δ18O suggest that the influence of long-range transport of aerosols on snow chemistry is proportionally greater above 600–700 m a.s.l.

Elena Barbaro et al.

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Elena Barbaro et al.

Elena Barbaro et al.


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Short summary
This paper presents the most comprehensive seasonal snow chemistry survey to date, carried out in April 2016 across 22 sites on 7 glaciers across Svalbard. The dataset consists on the concentration, mass loading, spatial and altitudinal distribution of major ion species (Ca2+, K+, Na2+, Mg2+, NH4+, SO42−, Br, Cl and NO3), together with its stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition (δ18O and δ2H) in the snowpack. This study was part of the larger Community Coordinated Snow Study in Svalba
This paper presents the most comprehensive seasonal snow chemistry survey to date, carried out...