Sr–Nd isotope evidence for modern aeolian dust sources in mountain glaciers of western China

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Abstract:

In order to apportion the dust sources of mountain glaciers in western China, the Sr–Nd isotopic compositions of insoluble particles were determined in snow samples collected from 13 sites. The combined plot of 87Sr/86Sr and εNd(0) demonstrates a distinctive geographic pattern over western China, which can be classified into three regions from north to south. Samples from the Altai mountains show the lowest 87Sr/86Sr ratio and the highest εNd(0) value, similar to the data of deserts in the north of China such as the Gurbantunggut desert. Samples from the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP) and Himalaya show the highest 87Sr/86Sr and lowest εNd(0) values, resembling the local and regional dust sources found in the southern TP and Himalaya–India region. Samples from the Tien Shan and northern Tibetan Plateau exhibit intermediate 87Sr/86Sr and εNd(0) values, similar to the data reported for the northern margin of the TP (NM_TP). However, three sampling sites, JMYZ (Jiemayangzong) located in the Himalaya and ZD (Zadang) and YL (Yulong) located in the southeast TP, presented distinctive Sr–Nd isotopic signatures typical of the NM_TP, suggesting potential long-range and high-altitude dust transport across the TP.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/2012JoG12J006

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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