Analysis and Quantification of Dust in Antarctic Snow
: A Case Study from Princess Elizabeth Land and Dronning Maud Land

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


Ice sheets of Antarctica, holding fingerprints of past atmospheric events, are considered as a barometer of global climate change. Atmospheric dust concentration in ice cores provides a direct and reliable proxy indicator of past changes in the atmospheric composition and climate. Reliable measurements of dust in the modern snow deposits are vital for understanding their utility for past climate reconstruction. With this understanding, the particle mass concentration and size range distribution of dust particles was measured from 12 snow cores (213 sub- samples) retrieved from a Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) transect and 7 snow cores (111 sub-samples) from a central Dronning Maud Land (DML) transect. The spatial variation in the PEL shows a decreasing particle mass concentration towards inland region of the transect. The particle size ranged between 2 and 3 μm. The coastal section of PEL showed an average particle mass concentration of 174 μg l-1 and DML 140 μg l-1. The inland region of PEL transect showed an average particle mass concentration of 141 μg l-1 and DML, 120 μg l-1. Dust flux ranged between 80 and 106 for PEL and 16, 648 for DML. The summer dust flux tends to be on a higher average when compared with the winter in DML and PEL. Possible sources, spatial and seasonal variations of dust have been analysed in the present study.
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The Energy and Resources Institute
SponsorsIndian National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research
SupervisorThamban Meloth (Supervisor) & Mahalinganathan K. (Supervisor)

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