Modern and Holocene aeolian dust variability from Talos Dome (Northern Victoria Land) to the interior of the Antarctic ice sheet

B. Delmonte, C. Baroni, P.S. Andersson, B. Narcisi, M.C. Salvatore, J.R. Petit, C. Scarchilli, M. Frezzotti, S. Albani, V. Maggi

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High-elevation sites from the inner part of the East Antarctic plateau sample windborne dust representative of large portions of the Southern hemisphere, and are sensitive to long-range atmospheric transport conditions to polar areas. On the periphery of the ice sheet, conversely, the aeolian transport of particles from high-elevation ice-free areas can locally represent a relatively important additional input of dust to the atmosphere, and the interplay of atmospheric dynamics, dust transport and deposition is strictly related to the regional atmospheric circulation behaviour both at present-day and in the past. The understanding of the spatial extent where local sources can influence the mineral dust budget on the ice sheet is fundamental for understanding the atmospheric dust cycle in Antarctica and for the interpretation of the dust history in marginal glaciological settings.In this work we investigate the spatial variability of dust flux and provenance during modern (pre-industrial) and Holocene times along a transect connecting Talos Dome to the internal sites of the Antarctic plateau and we extend the existing documentation of the isotopic (Sr-Nd) fingerprint of dust-sized sediments from Victoria Land source areas.Dust flux, grain size and isotopic composition show a marked variability between Talos Dome, Mid Point, D4 and Dome C/Vostok, suggesting that local sources play an important role on the periphery of the ice sheet. Microscope observations reveal that background mineral aerosol in the TALDICE core is composed by a mixture of dust, volcanic particles and micrometric-sized fragments of diatoms, these latter representing a small but pervasive component of Antarctic sediments. A set of samples from Victoria Land, mostly consisting of regolith and glacial deposits from high-elevation areas, was collected specially for this work and the isotopic composition of the dust-sized fraction of samples was analyzed. Results reveal a close relationship with the parent lithologies, but direct comparison between source samples and firn/ice core dust is problematical because of the ubiquitous volcanic contribution to the environmental particulate input in the Talos Dome area.The frequency of events potentially suitable for peripheral dust transport to Talos Dome appears relatively high for present-day conditions, according to back trajectories calculations, and the related air flow pattern well-defined from a seasonal and spatial perspective. Also, as expected from palaeo-data, these events appear extremely uncommon for internal sites. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76 - 89
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology

Cite this

Delmonte, B., Baroni, C., Andersson, P. S., Narcisi, B., Salvatore, M. C., Petit, J. R., Scarchilli, C., Frezzotti, M., Albani, S., & Maggi, V. (2013). Modern and Holocene aeolian dust variability from Talos Dome (Northern Victoria Land) to the interior of the Antarctic ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews, 64, 76 - 89.