Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 271–288 | Cite as

Year-round records of bulk aerosol composition over the Zhongshan Station, Coastal East Antarctica

  • Guojie XuEmail author
  • Liqi ChenEmail author
  • Miming Zhang
  • Yuanhui Zhang
  • Jianjun Wang
  • Qi Lin


To characterize ionic composition and trace elements in the coastal Antarctic, more than 100 bulk aerosol samples were collected at the Chinese Zhongshan Station from February 2005 to November 2008. Major water-soluble species, including Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl, NO3, SO42−, and methane sulfonic acid (MSA), were analyzed by ion chromatography (IC). Trace metals, including Al, V, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb, were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results showed that sea salt was the major component in aerosols at the Zhongshan Station in coastal East Antarctica. Sea salt ions Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, and Cl exhibited the maximum concentration in March, and the highest average concentration in September. NH4+, NO3, SO42−, and MSA exhibited obvious seasonal variations, with higher concentrations in austral summer than in austral winter. During the 4-year observations, the highest aerosol composition loading was showed in 2008, and the high variation and average concentrations of trace metals appeared in January. Based on high NH4+/(Cl + NO3 + 2 × SO42−) molar ratios, atmospheric aerosol was not that acidic in the austral summer. Sulfate depletion was found by the low SO42−/Na+ ratio in samples collected in the austral winter, especially from May to October. Enrichment factor (EF) and multivariate statistical analysis were utilized to explore potential emission sources of aerosols over the Zhongshan station. Na+, Cl, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ were mainly from sea salt sources, and Al, Fe, Cu, Cr, Pb, and V were mainly from crustal and anthropogenic pollution sources, while S-cycle compounds non-sea-salt sulfate (nss-SO42−) and MSA originated from marine biogenic emissions.


Aerosol Ions Trace elements East Antarctica Seasonal variation Emission sources 



The authors thank the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA), and the staff of Zhongshan Station for supporting the field operations.

Author contributions

G.X., L.C., J.W., and Y.Z. conceived the study. Q.L. conducted sample analysis. G.X., M.Z., L.C., and J.W. conducted the data analysis. All authors contributed to interpreting the results and writing the paper.

Funding information

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (41706104, 41476172, 41772366), Chinese Projects for Investigations and Assessments of the Arctic and Antarctic (CHINARE2012-2020 for 01-04, 02-01, and 03-04), the Scientific Research Foundation of Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration under contract No. 2015031, No. 2018014, the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST (2015r037), the open fund by the Double Innovation Talent Program (R2016SCB01), the Fund of Key Laboratory of Global Change and Marine-Atmospheric Chemistry, SOA (GCMAC1811), and the open fund by the Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of CMA-NUIST (KDW1702).

Supplementary material

11869_2018_642_MOESM1_ESM.docx (528 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 528 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological AdministrationNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Global Change and Marine-Atmospheric Chemistry, Third Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationXiamenChina

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