Dust and associated trace element fluxes in a firn core from the coastal East Antarctica and its linkages with the Southern Hemisphere climate variability over the last ~ 50 yr
C. M. Laluraj, M. Thamban, and K. Satheesan
National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Headland Sada, Goa-403804, India
Received: 18 Mar 2013 – Accepted for review: 31 Mar 2013 – Discussion started: 05 Apr 2013
Abstract. High-resolution records of dust and trace element fluxes were studied in a firn core from the coastal Dronning Maud Land (cDML) in East Antarctica to identify the influence of climate variability on accumulation of these components over the past ~ 50 yr. A doubling of dust deposition was observed since 1985, coinciding with a shift in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index to positive values and associated increase in the wind speed. Back-trajectories showed that an increase in dust deposition is associated with the air parcels originating from north-west of the site, possibly indicating its origin from the Patagonian region. Our results suggest that while multiple processes could have influenced the increased dust formation, shift in SAM had a dominant influence on its transport. It is observed that since the 1985s the strength of easterlies increased significantly over the cDML region, which could sink air and dust material to the region that were brought by the westerlies through mass compensation. The correlation between the dust flux and δ18O records further suggest that enhanced dust flux in the firn core occurred during periods of colder atmospheric temperature, which reduced the moisture content and increased dust fall. Interestingly, the timing and amplitude of the insoluble dust peaks matched remarkably well with the fluxes of Ba, Cr, Cu, and Zn confirming that dust was the main carrier/source of atmospheric trace elements to East Antarctica during the recent past.
Laluraj, C. M., Thamban, M., and Satheesan, K.: Dust and associated trace element fluxes in a firn core from the coastal East Antarctica and its linkages with the Southern Hemisphere climate variability over the last ~ 50 yr, Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 1841-1867, doi:10.5194/cpd-9-1841-2013, 2013.