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Desert dust deposition on Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus Mountains, Russia in 2009-2012 as recorded in snow and shallow ice core: high-resolution "provenancing", transport patterns, physical properties and soluble ionic composition

Kutuzov, S., Shahgedanova, M., Mikhalenko, V., Lavrentiev, I. and Kemp, S. (2013) Desert dust deposition on Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus Mountains, Russia in 2009-2012 as recorded in snow and shallow ice core: high-resolution "provenancing", transport patterns, physical properties and soluble ionic composition. Cryosphere Discussions, 7 (2). pp. 1621-1672. ISSN 1994-0440

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/tcd-7-1621-2013

Abstract/Summary

A record of dust deposition events between 2009 and 2012 on Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus Mountains derived from a snow pit and a shallow ice core is presented for the first time for this region. A combination of isotopic analysis, SEVIRI red-green-blue composite imagery, MODIS atmospheric optical depth fields derived using the Deep Blue algorithm, air mass trajectories derived using the HYSPLIT model and analysis of meteorological data enabled identification of dust source regions with high temporal (hours) and spatial (cf. 20–100 km) resolution. Seventeen dust deposition events were detected; fourteen occurred in March–June, one in February and two in October. Four events originated in the Sahara, predominantly in north-eastern Libya and eastern Algeria. Thirteen events originated in the Middle East, in the Syrian Desert and northern Mesopotamia, from a mixture of natural and anthropogenic sources. Dust transportation from Sahara was associated with vigorous Saharan depressions, strong surface winds in the source region and mid-tropospheric south-westerly flow with daily winds speeds of 20–30 m s−1 at 700 hPa level and, although these events were less frequent, they resulted in higher dust concentrations in snow. Dust transportation from the Middle East was associated with weaker depressions forming over the source region, high pressure centered over or extending towards the Caspian Sea and a weaker southerly or south-easterly flow towards the Caucasus Mountains with daily wind speeds of 12–18 m s−1 at 700 hPa level. Higher concentrations of nitrates and ammonium characterise dust from the Middle East deposited on Mt. Elbrus in 2009 indicating contribution of anthropogenic sources. The modal values of particle size distributions ranged between 1.98 μm and 4.16 μm. Most samples were characterised by modal values of 2.0–2.8 μm with an average of 2.6 μm and there was no significant difference between dust from the Sahara and the Middle East.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:32284
Publisher:Copernicus Publications

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