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Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract/ Summary

Studies of the chemical constituents in Antarctic and Greenland snow and ice cores have proven to be extremely useful for determining the composition of the atmosphere during past climatic events (Boutron and Delmas, 1980; Herron, 1982) and hence provide data concerning climatic change. Despite the potential for the collection of similar types of information from high altitude temperate glacier snow and ice cores, their study has been limited. In addition, unlike polar ice sheets, high altitude temperate glaciers are not only close to populated area but have higher accumulation rates. Owing to the latter, preservation of detailed records on sub-annual and sub-seasonal scales can be extracted from high altitude temperate glacier cores.

As part of the 1980 University of New Hampshire Nun Kun coring program a suite of surface snow samples were collected from one snowfall event that occurred during the field season. Determinations of deuterium, reactive phosphate, reactive silicate, reactive iron, chloride, nitrate plus nitrite, pH, and ammonium measured on the eight samples collected from this snowfall are presented in this paper. Although limited in number, these samples are unique and as such their interpretative use has been extended to define source(s) for the chemical species found within the snow samples and effects created on the distribution of these species by the mountainous terrain of Nun Kun. Results from these samples will be useful in the interpretation of the time-series record currently being analyzed from this area and in helping to improve our knowledge of the ice and snow chemistry of high altitude temperate glaciers.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Mayewski, P. A., W. B. Lyons, and N. Ahmad (1983), Chemical composition of a high altitude fresh snowfall in the Ladakh Himalayas, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10(1), 105–108, doi:10.1029/GL010i001p00105.

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