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Atmospheric pollution for trace elements in the remote high-altitude atmosphere in central Asia as recorded in snow from Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) of the Himalayas

Abstract : A series of 42 snow samples covering over a one-year period from the fall of 2004 to the summer of 2005 were collected from a 2.1-m snow pit at a high-altitude site on the northeastern slope of Mt. Everest. These samples were analyzed for Al, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cd, Sb, Pb, and Bi in order to characterize the relative contributions from anthropogenic and natural sources to the fallout of these elements in central Himalayas. Our data were also considered in the context of monsoon versus non-monsoon seasons. The mean concentrations of the majority of the elements were determined to be at the pg g− 1 level with a strong variation in concentration with snow depth. While the mean concentrations of most of the elements were significantly higher during the non-monsoon season than during the monsoon season, considerable variability in the trace element inputs to the snow was observed during both periods. Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, and Bi displayed high crustal enrichment factors (EFc) in most samples, while Cr, Ni, Rb, and Pb show high EFc values in some of the samples. Our data indicate that anthropogenic inputs are potentially important for these elements in the remote high-altitude atmosphere in the central Himalayas. The relationship between the EFc of each element and the Al concentration indicates that a dominant input of anthropogenic trace elements occurs during both the monsoon and non-monsoon seasons, when crustal contribution is relatively minor. Finally, a comparison of the trace element fallout fluxes calculated in our samples with those recently obtained at Mont Blanc, Greenland, and Antarctica provides direct evidence for a geographical gradient of the atmospheric pollution with trace elements on a global scale.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00379641
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 9:50:43 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 9:16:02 AM

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Khanghyun Lee, Soon Do Hur, Shugui Hou, Sungmin Hong, Xiang Qin, et al.. Atmospheric pollution for trace elements in the remote high-altitude atmosphere in central Asia as recorded in snow from Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) of the Himalayas. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2008, 404 (1), pp.171 à 181. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.06.022⟩. ⟨insu-00379641⟩

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