Climatic and environmental signals recorded in the EGRIP snowpit, Greenland

  • Zhiheng DuEmail author
  • Cunde Xiao
  • Qi Zhang
  • Chuanjin Li
  • Feiteng Wang
  • Ke Liu
  • Xiangyu Ma
Original Article


Polar ice sheets conserve atmospheric mineral dust (aerosols) at the time of snowfall, and this material can be used to reconstruct historical climate and environmental conditions. Snowpit samples were obtained from the East Greenland Ice Core Project (EGRIP) site in July 2017. Mineral dust concentrations as well as stable water isotope (δ18O, δD, and deuterium excess) and major ion (F, Cl, \({\text{NO}}_{2}^{-}\), \({\text{NO}}_{3}^{-}\), \({\text{SO}}_{4}^{2-}\), methanesulfonic acid (MSA), Na+, \({\text{NH}}_{\text{4}}^{\text{+}}\), Mg2+ and Ca2+) concentrations were analyzed in this study. The seasonal δ18O and δD cycles indicate that the snowpit samples covered the period from winter 2012 to summer 2017. The concentrations of mineral dust and Ca2+ showed seasonal deposition events with maxima in the spring layers. The concentrations of MSA exhibited maxima in the summer layers, making them useful indicators for the summer season. Moreover, an anomalous non-sea salt \({\text{SO}}_{4}^{2-}\) (nss \({\text{SO}}_{4}^{2-}\)) event was recorded at a depth of 130 − 85 cm that corresponded to the Holuhraun eruption (31 August 2014). In addition, a significant short-term cooling effect was observed. A back-trajectory analysis suggests that a major ash event from Iceland contributed to the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). These results provide insight for future studies of the EGRIP ice core.


Mineral dust Major ions Environmental signal Holuhraun eruption East GRIP 



This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA19070103), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41425003; 41701071) and the CAS “Light of West China” Program.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that there are no conflicts of interest in this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiheng Du
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cunde Xiao
    • 2
  • Qi Zhang
    • 3
  • Chuanjin Li
    • 1
  • Feiteng Wang
    • 1
  • Ke Liu
    • 4
  • Xiangyu Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Land Surface Processes and Resource EcologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Climate System, China Meteorology AdministrationChinese Academy of Meteorological ScienceBeijingChina
  4. 4.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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