Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Pb isotope record over one century in snow from Victoria Land, Antarctica

Abstract : Pb and Ba concentrations and Pb isotopic compositions are reported for firn core and snow pit samples from Victoria Land, Antarctica, dating from 1872 AD to 1994 AD. From variations in Pb/Ba ratios and Pb isotopic compositions, two periods of major Pb enhancements were identified, from 1891 to 1908 AD and from 1948 to 1994 AD. The earlier pollution event is attributed to Pb emissions from non-ferrous metal production and coal combustion in the Southern Hemisphere and is in excellent agreement with coincident pollution inputs reported in firn/ice cores from two other regions of Antarctica, at Coats Land and Law Dome. Using Pb isotopic systematics, it was calculated that 50% of Pb deposited in Victoria Land in 1897 originated from anthropogenic emission sources. The more recent period of Pb enhancements, from 1948 to 1994 AD, corresponds to the introduction and widespread use of gasoline alkyl Pb additives in automobiles in the Southern Hemisphere, with anthropogenic Pb inputs averaging 60% of total Pb but with large uncertainty. Intra- and inter-annual variations in Pb concentrations and isotopic compositions were evaluated in snow pits samples corresponding to the period 1991–1994. Substantial variations in Pb/Ba and 206Pb/207Pb ratios were detected but the absence of a regular seasonal pattern for these parameters suggests that the transport and deposition of aerosols to the Antarctic ice sheet are complex and vary from year to year.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Aurore Gayraud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 9:19:02 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 9:16:02 AM




K. van de Velde, P. Vallelonga, J. P. Candelone, K. J. R. Rosman, Vania Gaspari, et al.. Pb isotope record over one century in snow from Victoria Land, Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2005, 232 (1-2), pp.95 à 108. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2005.01.007⟩. ⟨insu-00375165⟩



Record views