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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-402
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-402
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Jun 2019

Research article | 03 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

The Elbrus (Caucasus, Russia) ice core glaciochemistry to reconstruct anthropogenic emissions in central Europe: The case of sulfate

Susanne Preunkert1,2, Michel Legrand1,2, Stanislav Kutuzov3, Patrick Ginot1,2,4, Vladimir Mikhalenko3, and Ronny Friedrich5 Susanne Preunkert et al.
  • 1Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement (IGE), Grenoble, 38402, France
  • 2CNRS, Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement (IGE), Grenoble, 38402, France
  • 3Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119017, Russia
  • 4Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de Grenoble, IRD/UGA/CNRS, Grenoble, 38400, France
  • 5Curt-Engelhorn-Center Archaeometry, Mannheim, Germany

Abstract. This study reports on the glaciochemistry of a deep ice core (182 m long) drilled in 2009 at Mount Elbrus (43°21′ N, 42°26′ E; 5115 m above sea level) in the Caucasus, Russia. Radiocarbon dating of the particulate organic carbon fraction in the ice suggests a basal ice age of ~ 1670 ± 400 cal yr BP. Based on chemical stratigraphy, the upper 168.6 m of the core were dated by counting annual layers. The seasonally resolved chemical records cover the years 1774–2009 (Common Era), thus, being useful to reconstruct many aspects of atmospheric pollution in central Europe from pre-industrial times to present-day. After having examined the extent to which the arrival of large dust plumes originating from Sahara and Middle East modifies the chemical composition of the Elbrus (ELB) snow and ice layers, we focus on the sulfur pollution. The ELB sulfate levels indicate a four- and six-fold increase from 1774–1900 to 1980–1995 in winter and summer, respectively. Remaining close to 116 ± 28 ppb during the nineteen century, the summer sulfate levels started to rise at a mean rate of ~ 6 ppb per year from 1920 to 1950. The summer sulfate increase accelerated between 1950 and 1975 (11 ppb per year), levels reaching a maximum between 1980 and 1990 (730 ± 152 ppb) and subsequently decreasing to 630 ± 130 ppb at the beginning of the twenty first century. Long-term sulfate trends observed in the ELB ice cores are compared with those previously obtained in Alpine ice, the most important difference consists in a more pronounced decrease of the sulfur pollution over the three last decades in western than central Europe.

Susanne Preunkert et al.
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Susanne Preunkert et al.
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This paper reports on the quality of a ice core drilled to bedrock at Mount Elbrus (5115 m elevation, Russia) to reconstruct the atmospheric pollution in central Europe from pre-industrial times to present-day. E.g. the sulfate record indicates a four- and six-fold increase from prior to 1900 to 1980–1995 in winter and summer, respectively. Afterwards, consistently with SO2 emission inventories, a more pronounced decrease over the last 30 years is observed in western than central Europe.
This paper reports on the quality of a ice core drilled to bedrock at Mount Elbrus (5115 m...
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