Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 995-1016, 2007
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Iodine and Bromine speciation in snow and the effect of elevation
B. S. Gilfedder1, M. Petri2, and H. Biester1
1Institut für Umweltgeochemie, Neuenheimer Feld 236 69120, Heidelberg, Germany
2Bodensee-Wasserversorgung, Sipplingen Laboratory, Germany

Abstract. Iodine is an essential trace element for all mammals and may also influence climate through new aerosol formation. Atmospheric bromine cycling is also important due to its well-known ozone depletion capabilities. Despite precipitation being the ultimate source of iodine in the terrestrial environment, the processes effecting the distribution, speciation and transport of these elements are relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of orographic lifting on iodine concentrations and also quantify inorganic and organic iodine and bromine species. Snow samples were collected over an altitude profile (~800 m) from the northern Black Forest and were analysed (IC-ICP-MS) for iodine and bromine species and trace metals (ICP-MS). All elements and species showed a significant (r2>0.65) inverse relationship with altitude despite the short (5 km) horizontal distance of the transect. In fact, total iodine more than halved (38 to 13 nmol/l) over the 800 m height change. The results suggest that orographic lifting of cloud masses has a major influence on iodine levels in precipitation and is perhaps more important than lateral distances in determining iodine concentrations in terrestrial precipitation. The microphysical removal process was common to all elements. We also show that organically bound iodine is the dominant iodine species in snow (61–75%), followed by iodide. Iodate was only found in two samples despite a detection limit of 0.3 nmol/l. Two unknown but most likely anionic organo-I species were also identified in IC-ICP-MS chromatograms and comprised 2–10% of the total iodine. The majority of the bromine was inorganic bromide with a max.~of 32% organo-Br.

Citation: Gilfedder, B. S., Petri, M., and Biester, H.: Iodine and Bromine speciation in snow and the effect of elevation, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 995-1016, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-995-2007, 2007.
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