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Spatial distribution and seasonal pattern of biogenic sulphur compounds in snow from northern Victoria Land, Antarctica

  • R. Udisti (a1), R. Traversi (a1), S. Becagli (a1) and G. Piccardi (a1)
Abstract

A study of the spatial and temporal distribution of methane sulphonic aeid (MSA) and nssSO4 2- concentrations in snow-pit samples was performed to determine the main and secondary sources, transport effects and seasonal pattern of biogenic sulphur compounds. Four snow pits, about 3 m deep, excavated at the same time at different altitudes (870-2960 m a.s.1.) in northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, gave coherent information about the effect of altitude and seasonality on the snow chemical composition. A progressive, well-defined decreasing concentration trend is shown as altitude increases, with the biggest effect in the first 1000 m a.s.1. At higher altitudes, biogenic sources make the most important contribution to the tola! sulphate balance with respect to sea-mray input. Particular attention was paid to the relationship between MSA and nssSO4 2- by using MSA as a univoca] biogenic marker. The nssSO4 2- /MSA ratio was evaluated with respect to altitude and seasonality to determine the effect of transport mechanisms (such as long-range transport and fractionation) or non-dimethyl sulphide sources on nssSO4 2- snow content.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
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