Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14221-14248, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
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Elemental carbon in snow at Changbai Mountain, Northeastern China: concentrations, scavenging ratios and dry deposition velocities
Z. W. Wang1, C. A. Pedersen2, X. S. Zhang1, J. C. Gallet2, J. Ström3, and Z. J. Ci1
1Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China
2Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
3Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. Light absorbing aerosol, in particular elemental carbon (EC), in snow and ice enhance absorption of solar radiation, reduce the albedo, and is an important climate driver. In this study, measurements of EC concentration in air and snow are performed concurrently at Changbai Station, Northeastern China, from 2009 to 2012. The mean EC concentration for surface snow is 987 ± 1510 ng g−1 with a range of 7 to 7636 ng g−1. EC levels in surface snow around (about 50 km) Changbai Mountain are lower than those collected on the same day at Changbai station, and decrease with distance from Changbai station, indicating that EC load in snow around Changbai Mountain is influenced by local source emissions. Scavenging ratios of EC by snow are calculated through comparing the concentrations of EC in fresh snow with those in air. The upper-limit of mean scavenging ratio is 137.4 ± 99.7 with median 149.4, which is smaller than those reported from Arctic areas. The non-rimed snow process may be one of significant factors for interpreting the difference of scavenging ratio in this area with the Arctic areas. Finally, wet and dry depositional fluxes of EC have been estimated, and the upper-limit of EC wet deposition flux is 0.46 ± 0.38 μg cm−2 month−1 during the three consecutive snow season, and 1.32 ± 0.95 μg cm−2 month−1 for dry deposition flux from December to February during study period. During these three years, 77% of EC in snow is attributed to the dry deposition, indicating that dry deposition processes play a major role for EC load in snow in the area of Changbai, Northeastern China. Based on the dry deposition fluxes of EC and hourly black carbon (BC) concentrations in air, the estimated mean dry deposition velocity is 2.81 × 10−3 m s−1 with the mean median of 3.15 × 10−3 m s−1. These preliminary estimates for the scavenging ratio and dry deposition velocity of EC on snow surface will be beneficial for numerical models, and improve simulations of EC transport, fate and radiative forcing in order to ultimately make better climate prediction.

Citation: Wang, Z. W., Pedersen, C. A., Zhang, X. S., Gallet, J. C., Ström, J., and Ci, Z. J.: Elemental carbon in snow at Changbai Mountain, Northeastern China: concentrations, scavenging ratios and dry deposition velocities, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14221-14248, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-14221-2013, 2013.
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