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The rates of sea salt sulfatization in the atmosphere and surface snow of inland Antarctica
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, D04308- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most of the aerosol particles present in the surface snow and ice of inland Antarctica come from primary sea salt (sodium chloride) and marine biological activity (methansulfonic and sulfuric acids). Melted water from surface snow, firn, and Holocene ice contains mainly sodium, chloride, and sulfate ions. Although it is well known that sea salt aerosols react rapidly with sulfuric acid, a process known as sulfatization, it is not known when this process takes place. In this research we undertake to measure the proportion of sea salt aerosols that undergo sulfatization in the atmosphere and surface snow, as opposed to deeper ice, in order to understand the suitability of sea salt aerosols as a proxy for past climates in deep ice cores. We directly measure the sulfatization rates in recently fallen snow (0-4 m in depth) collected at the Dome Fuji station, using X-ray dispersion spectroscopy to determine the constituent elements of soluble particles and computing the molar ratios of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate. We estimate that about 90% of the initial sea salt aerosols sulfatize as they are taken up by precipitation over Dome Fuji or in the snowpack within one year after being deposited on the ice sheet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 117, D04308- p.
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Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76999DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016378ISI: 000301129700001OAI: diva2:528814
10Available from: 2012-05-28 Created: 2012-05-28 Last updated: 2012-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Hansson, MargaretaKarlin, Torbjörn
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
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