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Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

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Abstract/ Summary

High-resolution major and trace elements (Sr, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu, Bi, U, Tl, Al, S, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Co) quantified in a Mount Everest ice core ( 6518 m above sea level) spanning the period 1650-2002 AD provides the first Asian record of trace element concentrations from the pre-industrial era, and the first continuous high-resolution Asian record from which natural baseline concentrations and subsequent changes due to anthropogenic activities can be examined. Modern concentrations of most elements remain within the pre-industrial range; however, Bi, U, and Cs concentrations and their enrichment factors (EF) have increased since the similar to 1950s, and S and Ca concentrations and their EFs have increased since the late 1980s. A comparison of the Bi, U, Cs, S, and Ca data with other ice core records and production data indicates that the increase in atmospheric concentrations of trace elements is widespread, but that enrichment varies regionally. Likely sources for the recent enrichment of these elements include mining, metal smelting, oil and coal combustion, and end uses for Bi, and mining and refinement for U and Cs. The source of the synchronous enrichment of Ca and S is less certain, but may be related to land use and environmental change.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Kaspari, S, Mayewski, PA, Handley, M, Osterberg, E, Kang, SC, Sneed, S, Hou, SG, et al., 2009, Recent Increases in Atmospheric Concentrations of Bi, U, Cs, S and Ca from a 350-Year Mount Everest Ice Core Record: Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, v. 114, D04302. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

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© Copyright 2009 American Geophysical Union




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