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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (5): 612-622    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0131-z
Brief Communication     
The transport of chemical components in homogeneous snowpacks on Urumqi Glacier No. 1, eastern Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia
YOU Xiaoni1,2, LI Zhongqin1, Ross EDWARDS3, WANG Lixia2
Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and Environment/Tianshan Glaciological Station/Laboratory of Ice Core and Cold Regions Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Tianshui Normal University, Tianshui 741001, China;
3 Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University of Technology, Bentley WA 6102, Australia
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Abstract  Chemical records from alpine ice cores provide an invaluable source of paleoclimatic and environ-mental information. Not only the atmospheric chemical composition but also depositional and post-depositional processes are recorded within snow/firn strata. To interpret the environmental and climatic significance of ice core records, we studied the variability of glacier snowpack chemistry by investigating homogeneous snowpacks from October 2003 to September 2006 on Urumqi Glacier No. 1 in eastern Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia. Principle Component Analysis of ionic species in dry and wet seasons revealed the impact of meltwater in redistributing ions in the snowpacks. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd principle components for dry seasons differ significantly, reflecting complex associations between depositional or/and post-depositional processes. The variability trend of ionic concentrations during the wet seasons was found to fit a Gauss Function with significant parameters. The elution factor revealed that more than half of ions are leached out during the wet seasons. Differences with respect to ion snowpack mo-bility were found. Of the ions studied SO42– was the most mobile and Mg2+ the least mobile. A threshold relationship between air temperatures and the elution process was investigated over the study period. The results indicate that the strong melt /ablation processes and iconic redistribution occur at a threshold air temperature of 0°C. The study found that surface melt on the snowpacks is the main factor causing the alteration of the snowpack chemistry. Rainfall also has an impact on the chemistry but plays a less significant role than the surface melt.

Key wordssap flow      radial pattern; Populus alba L. var. pyramidalis      reference evapotranspiration (ET0)      Granier method     
Received: 29 September 2014      Published: 05 October 2015

National Natural Science Foundation of China (41261017).

Corresponding Authors: YOU Xiaoni     E-mail:
Cite this article:

YOU Xiaoni, LI Zhongqin, Ross EDWARDS, WANG Lixia. The transport of chemical components in homogeneous snowpacks on Urumqi Glacier No. 1, eastern Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(5): 612-622.

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