Evidence of calcium carbonates in coastal (Talos Dome and Ross Sea area) East Antarctica snow and firn: Environmental and climatic implications

M. Sala, B. Delmonte, M. Frezzotti, M. Proposito, C. Scarchilli, V. Maggi, G. Artioli, M. Dapiaggi, F. Marino, P.C. Ricci, G. De Giudici

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Abstract

Micrometre-sized aeolian dust particles stored in Antarctic firn and ice layers are a useful tool for reconstructing climate and environmental changes in the past. The mineral content, particle concentration and chemical composition of modern dust in firn cores from the peripherycal dome (Talos Dome) and coastal area of East Antarctica (Ross Sea sector) were investigated. During analyses there was a considerable decrease in microparticle concentrations within a few hours of ice sample melting, accompanied by a systematic increase in the concentration of calcium ions (Ca2+) in solution. Based on mineralogical phase analyses, which reveal the presence of anhydrous and hydrous calcium carbonates such as calcite (CaCO3), monohydrocalcite (CaCO3·H2O) and ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O, hexahydrate calcium carbonate), the observed variations in concentrations are ascribed to the partial dissolution of the carbonate content of samples. Soluble carbonate compounds are thus primary aerosols included into the samples along with insoluble aluminosilicate minerals. We hypothesize hydrous carbonates may derive from the sea ice surface, where ikaite typically forms at the early stages of sea ice formation. Back trajectory calculations show that favourable events for air mass advection from the sea ice surface to Talos Dome are rare but likely to occur. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 - 52
Number of pages10
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume271
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Sala, M., Delmonte, B., Frezzotti, M., Proposito, M., Scarchilli, C., Maggi, V., Artioli, G., Dapiaggi, M., Marino, F., Ricci, P. C., & De Giudici, G. (2008). Evidence of calcium carbonates in coastal (Talos Dome and Ross Sea area) East Antarctica snow and firn: Environmental and climatic implications. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 271(1-4), 43 - 52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2008.03.045