Pb concentrations and isotopic record preserved in northwest Greenland snow

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Abstract

We present high-resolution lead (Pb) concentrations and isotopic ratios from a northwest Greenland snow pit covering a six-year period between 2003 and 2009. Pb concentrations ranged widely from 2.7 pg g−1 to 97.3 pg g−1, with a mean concentration of 21.6 pg g−1. These values are higher than those recorded for the pre-industrial period. Pb concentrations exhibit seasonal spikes in winter−spring layers. Crustal Pb enrichment factors (EF) suggest that the northwest Greenland snow pit is highly enriched with Pb of predominantly anthropogenic origin. The 206Pb/207Pb ratios ranged from 1.144 to 1.169 with a mean value of 1.156, which fall between less radiogenic Eurasian-type and more radiogenic Canadian-type signatures. This result suggests that several potential source areas of Pb impact on northwest Greenland. Abrupt changes in Pb concentrations and Pb isotope ratios were observed and related to seasonal shifts in source regions of aerosol transport. The 206Pb/207Pb isotope ratio increased gradually between 2003 and 2009. The similarity of the three-isotope plot (206Pb/207Pb versus 208Pb/207Pb) between some of our samples and Chinese urban aerosols suggests a steadily increasing contribution of Chinese Pb to northwest Greenland snow.

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Kang, J. H., Hwang, H., Han, C., Hur, S. D., Kim, S. J., & Hong, S. (2017). Pb concentrations and isotopic record preserved in northwest Greenland snow. Chemosphere, 187, 294–301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.08.101

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