Annals of Glaciology, V 16, p 25-32, 1992
Sources and spatial variation of the solute content of snow
in the Tien Shan, PR China
Mark W. Williams
Department of Geography and
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309
California Air Resources Board
Department of Biological Sciences
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA
Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology
Lanzhou, Gansu, PR China 730000
Research on the sources and spatial variation
of the chemical content of snow
was conducted in four
headwater basins of the eastern Tien Shan, PRC.
The mean SO4 concentration of 16.2 ueq/L was three-fold
greater than background concentrations from other remote areas of
About 80% of the SO4 in snow was deposited
in association with CA and MG,
partially accounting for the relatively high pH of 6.34 in new snow.
The variance of individual ions in the snowpack
ranged from 24-46%, measured as the standard deviation divided
by the mean and based on 59 samples.
Analysis of variance tests showed that solute concentrations
varied significantly among sites within an individual basin
and that the mean solute concentrations did not vary significantly
Aeolian dust in the snowpack resulted in significant
post-depositional alterations in the solute
content of snow.
Mineral weathering of the dust in the snowpack of the Tien Shan
produced alkalinity and CA,
increasing conductance and buffering H+.