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Article
The Aeolian Flux of Calcium, Chloride and Nitrate to the McMurdo Dry Valleys Landscape: Evidence from Snow Pit Analysis
Antarctic Science
  • Rebecca A. Witherow
  • W. Berry Lyons
  • Nancy A.N. Bertler
  • Kathleen A. Welch
  • Paul Andrew Mayewski, University of Maine - Main
  • Sharon B. Sneed
  • Thomas Nylen
  • Michael J. Handley
  • Andrew Fountain
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
12-1-2006
Disciplines
Abstract/ Summary

We have determined the flux of calcium, chloride and nitrate to the McMurdo Dry Valleys region by analysing snow pits for their chemical composition and their snow accumulation using multiple records spanning up to 48 years. The fluxes demonstrate patterns related to elevation and proximity to the ocean. In general, there is a strong relationship between the nitrate flux and snow accumulation, indicating that precipitation rates may have a great influence over the nitrogen concentrations in the soils of the valleys. Aeolian dust transport plays an important role in the deposition of some elements (e.g. C(2+)) into the McMurdo Dry Valleys' soils. Because of the antiquity of some of the soil surfaces in the McMurdo Dry Valleys regions, the accumulated atmospheric flux of salts to the soils has important ecological consequences. Although precipitation may be an important mechanism of salt deposition to the McMurdo Dry Valley surfaces, it is poorly understood because of difficulties in measurement and high losses from sublimation.

Citation/Publisher Attribution
Witherow, RA, Lyons, WB, Bertler, NAN, Welch, KA, Mayewski, PA, Sneed, SB, Nylen, T, et al., 2006, The Aeolian Flux of Calcium, Chloride and Nitrate to the McMurdo Dry Valleys Landscape: Evidence from Snow Pit Analysis: Antarctic Science, v. 18, p. 497-505. Available on publisher's site at: http://www.esaim-m2an.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=545608&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S095410200600054X
Publisher Statement
© Copyright 2006 by Cambridge University Press
DOI
10.1017/S095410200600054X
Version
publisher's version of the published document
Citation Information
Rebecca A. Witherow, W. Berry Lyons, Nancy A.N. Bertler, Kathleen A. Welch, et al.. "The Aeolian Flux of Calcium, Chloride and Nitrate to the McMurdo Dry Valleys Landscape: Evidence from Snow Pit Analysis" Antarctic Science Vol. 18 Iss. 4 (2006) p. 497 - 505
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul_mayewski/24/