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Snow chemistry of Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada

  • Kumiko Goto-Azuma (a1), Roy M. Koerner (a2), Masayoshi Nakawo (a3) and Akira Kudo (a4)

Abstract

Pit-wall samples were collected from two sites about 2 km apart on Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and from a site a further 1 km distant, in order to study spatial and seasonal variations in snow chemistry. Two of the pits were dug in wind-scoured zones and one in an unscoured zone. Although a large part of the winter snow is removed from the scoured zones (which do not show very negative δ 18O values) the winter/spring anion peaks are still evident; this may be due to the predominance of dry deposition in mid-winter. The Cl and SO4 2– ions peak in late winter/early spring, while NO3 peaks both in late winter/early spring and in summer. Vertical concentration profiles of all anions did not significantly alter over a 2 year period, indicating that there are no serious post-depositional changes due to evaporation, snow melting or photochemical reactions. However, comparisons between stake/board snow-accumulation measurements and those derived from the least scoured pit indicate that a single pit will represent annual accumulation rates for a local area only.

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References

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