Atmosphere – Cryosphere interaction with focus on transport, deposition and effects of dust, black carbon, and other aerosols

Atmosphere and Cryosphere are closely linked and need to be investigated as an interdisciplinary subject. Most of the cryospheric areas have undergone severe changes in last decades while such areas have been more fragile and less adaptable to global climate changes. This AS-CR session invites model- and observational-based investigations on any aspects of linkages between atmospheric processes and snow and ice on local, regional and global scales. Emphasis is given on the Arctic, high latitudes and altitudes, mountains, sea ice, Antarctic regions. In particular, we encourage studies that address aerosols (such as Black Carbon, Organic Carbon, dust, volcanic ash, diatoms, bioaerosols, bacteria, etc.) and changes in the cryosphere, e.g., effects on snow/ice melt and albedo. The session also focuses on dust transport, aeolian deposition, and volcanic dust, including health, environmental or climate impacts at high latitudes, high altitudes and cold Polar Regions. We include contributions on biological and ecological sciences including dust-organisms interactions, cryoconites, bio-albedo, eco-physiological, biogeochemical and genomic studies. Related topics are light absorbing impurities, cold deserts, dust storms, long-range transport, glaciers darkening, polar ecology, and more. The scientific understanding of the AS-CR interaction needs to be addressed better and linked to the global climate predictions scenarios.

Co-organized by BG3/CL4/CR7/NH1
Convener: Pavla Dagsson WaldhauserovaECSECS | Co-conveners: Biagio Di Mauro, Marie Dumont, Outi MeinanderECSECS
vPICO presentations
| Mon, 26 Apr, 15:30–17:00 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Mon, 26 Apr

Chairpersons: Pavla Dagsson Waldhauserova, Outi Meinander, Biagio Di Mauro
Alberto Sanchez-Marroquin, Olafur Arnalds, Kelly J. Baustian-Dorsi, Jo Browse, Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Alexander D. Harrison, Elena C. Maters, Kirsty J. Pringle, Jesus Vergara-Temprado, Ian T. Burke, Jim B. McQuaid, Ken S. Carslaw, and Ben J. Murray

Although most of the dust present in the atmosphere originates from low-latitude arid deserts, it has been increasingly recognised that there are significant sources of High-Latitude Dust (HLD) in locations such as Iceland, Greenland, North American Arctic or North Eurasia [1]. The emission, transport and deposition of HLD can interact with the atmosphere, cryosphere and the marine ecosystem in several ways. Particularly, HLD has the potential to act as significant source of atmospheric Ice-Nucleating Particles (INP), competing with other sources such as dust and other INP types from lower-latitude arid sources [2, 3]. INPs are the fraction of aerosol particles that can trigger ice-formation in supercooled water droplets, that otherwise would remain unfrozen until temperatures of about -36 oC.

Ice formation initiated by the presence of INPs dramatically affects the amount of solar radiation reflected by clouds containing both liquid water and ice, known as mixed-phase clouds. However, ice-related processes in mixed-phase clouds such as the INP concentration are commonly oversimplified in most climate models, which leads to large discrepancies in the amount of water and ice that the models simulate at mid- to high-latitudes [4]. These present-day divergences in simulated mixed-phase clouds lead to a large uncertainty in the cloud climate feedback. This feedback is associated to the fact that mid- to high-latitude mixed-phase clouds dampen a part of the of the global temperature rise associated with greenhouse gases [5] [6].

Here we will explain the importance of understanding the chemical and ice-nucleating properties of HLD, as well as how it is emitted, transported and deposited for the cloud climate feedback. We will present new results from aircraft studies of the ice nucleating ability of HLD as well as modelling work which shows that this dust can be transported to altitudes and regions where it has the potential to influence mixed-phase clouds and climate.

How to cite: Sanchez-Marroquin, A., Arnalds, O., Baustian-Dorsi, K. J., Browse, J., Dagsson-Waldhauserova, P., Harrison, A. D., Maters, E. C., Pringle, K. J., Vergara-Temprado, J., Burke, I. T., McQuaid, J. B., Carslaw, K. S., and Murray, B. J.: Ice nucleation by glaciogenic dust and cloud climate feedbacks, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15939,, 2021.

Santiago Gassó, Pawan Gupta, Paul Ginoux, and Robert Levy

Aerosol transport processes in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) have been the center of renewed attention in the last two decades because of a number of major geophysical events such as volcanic eruptions (Chile and Argentina), biomass burning (Australia and Chile) and dust storms (Australia and Argentina).

While volcanic and fire activity in the SH have been the focus of several studies, there is a dearth of satellite assessments of dust activity. The lack of such analysis impairs the understanding of biological processes in the Southern Ocean and of the provenance of dust found in snow at the surface of East Antarctica.

This presentation will show an analysis of time series of Aerosol Optical Depths over the Patagonia desert in South America. Data from two aerosol algorithms (Dark Target and Deep Blue) will be jointly analyzed to establish a timeline of dust activity in the region. Also, dust proxies from both algorithms will be compared with ground-based observations of visibility at different airports in the area. Once an understanding of frequency and time evolution of the dust activity is achieved, first estimations of ocean-going dust fluxes will be derived.

How to cite: Gassó, S., Gupta, P., Ginoux, P., and Levy, R.: Preliminary results of the first assessment of 20 years of dust activity in the Patagonia desert (South America) with aerosol products from the MODIS sensors, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7805,, 2021.

György Varga, Pavla Dagsson-Walhauserová, Fruzsina Gresina, and Agusta Helgadottir

Saharan dust has an impact on the atmospheric environment and sedimentary units in distant regions. Although Iceland is located within one of the main atmospheric dust pathways moving towards the Arctic, no evidence of Saharan dust deposition has been provided to date for the region. Here we present the results of fourteen Saharan dust episodes, which were identified in Iceland between 2008 to 2020. Aerosol optical depth data of Terra MODIS, HYSPLIT backward trajectories and numerical simulations of Barcelona Supercomputing Center were used in this work to identify the dust episodes. 
Grain size and shape of the Saharan mineral material deposited in Iceland during two severe deposition events were investigated in detail. Icelandic dust samples from the most active local dust sources were compared with samples of deposited mineral dust from these two severe Saharan dust events to determine their granulometric (complex grain size and shape parameters) and mineralogical characteristics. An automated static optical image analysis technique was applied to thousands of individual particles, and was completed by Raman spectroscopy to identify external quartz particles. 
Saharan dust episodes were associated with enhanced meridional atmospheric flow patterns driven by unusual meandering jets. Strong southerly winds were able to carry large Saharan quartz particles (> 100 µm) towards Iceland. Our results confirm the atmospheric pathways of Saharan dust towards the Arctic, and identify new pathways of giant Saharan dust particles in the study region, including the first evidence of their deposition in Iceland as previously predicted by models.
The support of the National Research, Development, and Innovation Office (projects NKFIH KH130337 and K120620 (for G. Varga)), Czech Science Foundation (project No. 20-06168Y (for P. Dagsson-Waldhauserova)), and COST inDust Action are gratefully acknowledged.

How to cite: Varga, G., Dagsson-Walhauserová, P., Gresina, F., and Helgadottir, A.: Saharan dust episodes and giant quartz particles in Iceland, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11113,, 2021.

Chaoliu Li, Fangping Yan, and shichang kang

Carbonaceous matter, including organic carbon (OC) and black carbon (BC), is an important climate forcing agent and contributes to glacier retreat in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau (HTP). The HTP - the so-called “Third Pole” – contains the most extensive glacial area outside of the polar regions. Considerable research on carbonaceous matter in the HTP has been conducted, although this research has been challenging due to the complex terrain and strong spatiotemporal heterogeneity of carbonaceous matter in the HTP. A comprehensive investigation of published atmospheric and snow data for HTP carbonaceous matter concentration, deposition and light absorption is presented, including how these factors vary with time and other parameters. Carbonaceous matter concentrations in the atmosphere and glaciers of the HTP are found to be low. Analysis of water-insoluable organic carbon and BC from snowpits reveals that concentrations of OC and BC in the atmosphere and glacier samples in arid regions of the HTP may be overestimated due to contributions from inorganic carbon in mineral dust. Due to the remote nature of the HTP, carbonaceous matter found in the HTP has generally been transported from outside the HTP (e.g., South Asia), although local HTP emissions may also be important at some sites. This study provides essential data and a synthesis of current thinking for studies on atmospheric transport modeling and radiative forcing of carbonaceous matter in the HTP.

How to cite: Li, C., Yan, F., and kang, S.: Carbonaceous Matter in the Atmosphere and Glaciers of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau: An Investigative Review, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1687,, 2021.

Patricia DeRepentigny, Alexandra Jahn, Marika Holland, John Fasullo, Jean-François Lamarque, Cécile Hannay, Michael Mills, David Bailey, Simone Tilmes, and Andrew Barrett

The use of the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) from 1997-2014 to create the CMIP6 historical biomass burning (BB) forcing allows for a more accurate representation of BB emissions in climate models, but also results in an unrealistic increase in their inter-annual variability compared to pre- and post-GFED years, especially in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. We find that this new BB forcing affects the simulated Arctic sea ice loss in several CMIP6 models, bringing them into better agreement with the observed sea ice decline by leading to enhanced sea ice loss in the early 21st century. This suggests that BB emissions may have played a role in the acceleration of the observed early 21st century Arctic sea ice loss.

Using the Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2), we conduct sensitivity experiments in which we use BB emissions with a fixed annual cycle over the GFED period, to remove the inter-annual variability between 40-70°N. These experiments show that the strong acceleration in sea ice decline since the late 1990s simulated by the CESM2 is caused by enhanced Arctic warming driven by the increased variability in BB emissions over the GFED period. We also find that about half of the increase in sea ice sensitivity to CO2 and global mean surface temperature in the CESM2 compared to its CMIP5 counterpart, the CESM1, can be attributed to the change in BB emissions from CMIP5 to CMIP6, which suggests that the previously found improvement in sea ice sensitivity in CMIP6 models may in part be due to this new BB forcing and not only to changes in model physics. Overall, the results from this analysis highlight the influence of mid-latitude BB emissions on Arctic sea ice and provide new insights into the potential of a forced contribution to the observed accelerated early 21st century Arctic sea ice loss. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of avoiding temporal discontinuities in prescribed aerosol forcing datasets as well as the need to better understand inter-model contrasts within the CMIP6 archive related to sensitivity to BB emissions.

How to cite: DeRepentigny, P., Jahn, A., Holland, M., Fasullo, J., Lamarque, J.-F., Hannay, C., Mills, M., Bailey, D., Tilmes, S., and Barrett, A.: Impact of CMIP6 biomass burning emissions on Arctic sea ice loss, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9020,, 2021.

Vlada Batalova, Vladimir Mikhalenko, Stanislav Kutuzov, Lyudmila Shumilovskikh, and Karim Shukurov

The report highlights the results of first ice-core palynology studies from the Elbrus Western Plateau. The title of the highest point in Europe and the geographical location of Elbrus determine the diversity of natural conditions and, as a result, palynological spectra, which act as markers of seasonal vegetation, climate dynamics, fires and anthropogenic activities in the Mediterranean, southern European Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

The 24-m ice core from the Elbrus Western Plateau collected in 2017 (5115 m a.s.l., 43о20′53,9′′ N, 42о25′36′′ E) covers the period 2012-2017. Pollen analysis revealed a significant number of biological markers contained in the ice core, including pollen and spores, fungi, algae, testate amoebae, feather barbules, microcharcoal, and black carbon.

The obtained results show that taxonomic diversity and concentration of biomarkers in the ice core were determined by the seasons of the year and their inherent convective flows. Pollen assemblages are characterized by predominance of native Caucasian plant species. Among them pollen values of Picea forming the high-altitude forest belt in the Western Caucasus significantly exceed pollen frequency of Pinus growing near the upper timber line on Elbrus Mt in the Central Caucasus that suggests a westerlies of air masses and transfer of microparticles. A high abundance of non-pollen palynomorphs in pollen assemblages demonstrates a high potential for studying of human impact on mountain ecosystems. The first pollen data from the ice core evidences a promising resource of the high-altitude temperate glaciers as a flexible tool for atmospheric monitoring of microparticle transfer and fixing its seasonality and biotic relationships.

This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project № 17-17-01270.

How to cite: Batalova, V., Mikhalenko, V., Kutuzov, S., Shumilovskikh, L., and Shukurov, K.: Modern atmospheric monitoring using pollen analysis of ice cores: a case study from the Elbrus Western Plateau, Caucasus, Russia, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8202,, 2021.

Foteini Baladima, Jennie Thomas, Marie Dumont, Didier Voisin, Clementine Junquas, Rajesh Kumar, Louis Marelle, Jean-Christophe Raut, Christophe Lavaysse, Francois Tuzet, and Romain Biron
Mineral dust and black carbon (BC) constitute the most important aerosols present in the atmosphere and cryosphere and have well known potential effects on regional and global climate. Upon their deposition they can impact snow albedo, snowpack evolution and timing of snow-melt. However, capturing BC and dust deposition events in mountain regions is currently a challenge due to the complexity of aerosol-cloud interactions and the specifics of mountain meteorological systems, which are difficult to represent in large scale models. Here, we use a case study of dust deposition, between 30 March and 5 April 2018, when a significant dust deposition event was observed within the seasonal snowpack at the Col du Lautaret in the French Alps. This comes in addition to the background BC deposition that occurred during the same period. Specifically, we investigate the role of model resolution in capturing both mountain meteorology, precipitation, and the resulting model predicted dust and BC deposition. For this, the meteorological-chemical model WRF-Chem is used with three nested domains including the primary dust emissions region in Africa (low resolution domain), a second domain that includes Europe, and a third high resolution domain over the Alps. We compare WRF-Chem predicted aerosol and meteorological properties (at different model resolution) with in-situ, remote sensing, and reanalysis products to validate the model and quantify the added value of high resolution modelling within the Alps. We conclude that predicted mountain meteorology including precipitation is significantly better when using the high resolution configuration (3 x 3 km horizontal resolution domain). Additionally, this improved meteorology predicted by the model has significant impacts on predicted dust deposition and BC. The better representation of the mountain meteorology when the resolution becomes finer leads to improved model predicted dust and BC deposition to alpine snow. Implications for this, including improved resolution within models that consider the full aerosol lifecycle in the atmosphere and in snow covered mountain regions is discussed.

How to cite: Baladima, F., Thomas, J., Dumont, M., Voisin, D., Junquas, C., Kumar, R., Marelle, L., Raut, J.-C., Lavaysse, C., Tuzet, F., and Biron, R.: Modeling large dust deposition events to alpine snow and their impacts: the role of model resolution, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8334,, 2021.

Karen De Causmaecker, Andy Delcloo, and Alexander Mangold

Atmospheric composition plays an important role in present and near-future climate change. Airborne particles can serve as cloud condensation and ice nuclei and have therefore a strong influence on cloud formation and thus also on precipitation. This is in particular of interest in Antarctica, since precipitation is the only source of mass gain to the Antarctic ice sheet, which is expected to become the dominant contributor to global sea level rise in the 21st century. A detailed insight into the transport pathways and distribution of airborne particles is therefore essential.
At the Belgian Antarctic research station Princess Elisabeth in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, aerosol particles and their characteristics are measured. Atmospheric particles have been collected on filters during the last three austral summers for organic and inorganic chemical analysis by high-volume sampling. In addition, the atmospheric particle number concentration, size distribution and optical particle properties have been measured since 2010.

The geographical source regions of airborne particles in Dronning Maud Land remain however to a large extent unknown. In this work, we investigate the climatology of the particle properties with respect to their source regions. To that end, we use the FLEXTRA model to calculate 10-day 3D backward trajectories over the past 10 years. We apply a non-hierarchical cluster method to identify and classify the dominant source regions.

How to cite: De Causmaecker, K., Delcloo, A., and Mangold, A.: Identifying source regions for airborne particles in East Antarctica, Dronning Maud Land, using backward trajectory modelling, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14524,, 2021.

Marion Réveillet, Marie Dumont, Simon Gascoin, Matthieu Lafaysse, Pierre Nabat, Aurelien Ribes, Rafife Nheili, Francois Tuzet, Martin Menegoz, and Paul Ginoux

By darkening the snow surface, mineral dust and black carbon (BC) deposition accelerate snowmelt and triggers numerous feedbacks. Assessments of their long-term impact at the regional scale are still largely missing despite the environmental and socio-economic implications of snow cover changes. Using detailed snowpack simulations, we show that dust and BC deposition advance snowmelt by 17 days on average in the French Alps and the Pyrenees over the 1979-2018 period, with major implications for water availability and ground temperature. The effect of BC compared to dust is generally prevailing except in the Southern Pyrenees more exposed to Saharan dust events. We also quantify a contribution of BC and dust deposition up to 30% to the variance of the snow melt-out date. Lastly, we demonstrate that the decrease in BC deposition since the 80's alleviated the impact of current warming on snow cover decline. Therefore, this study highlights the importance of accounting for the inter-annual fluctuations in light absorbing particles deposition to improve the accuracy of snow cover reanalyses and climate projections.

How to cite: Réveillet, M., Dumont, M., Gascoin, S., Lafaysse, M., Nabat, P., Ribes, A., Nheili, R., Tuzet, F., Menegoz, M., and Ginoux, P.: Modulation of the snow cover changes in the French Alps and the Pyrenees by the deposition of light absorbing particles over the last 40 years , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10657,, 2021.

Dmitriy Belyanin, Yuliya Vosel, Kseniya Mezina, Mikhail Melgunov, and Vladimir Dobretsov

Revealing background concentrations of chemical elements and radionuclides in the surface components of the environment exposed to constant atmospheric processes is the first step towards detecting areas with their abnormally high concentrations of natural and man-made character. In this work, we present the results of studying the content of trace elements and microparticles in the snow cover accumulated during the 2018-2019 winter season in the Novy Urengoy region. Samples were taken along the roads using a rare sampling grid over the entire depth of the snow cover. In laboratory conditions, after the snow melted, the solution was filtered. The results of mass spectrometric measurements of the trace element concentrations in the filtrates show that their composition is homogeneous and does not vary slightly at the sampling points. Evaluation of the prevailing directions of backward air-mass trajectories was computed using the HYSPLIT model.

This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant (project No 18-77-10039). Analytical studies were carried out at the Center for multi-elemental and isotope research SB RAS.

How to cite: Belyanin, D., Vosel, Y., Mezina, K., Melgunov, M., and Dobretsov, V.: The trace elements in the snow cover of the 2018-2019 season in the Novy Urengoy region (Arctic part of Western Siberia), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15763,, 2021.

Rémy Lapere, Sylvain Mailler, Laurent Menut, and Nicolás Huneeus

The configuration of the Santiago basin, Chile (33.5°S 70.65°W) is quite unique in that it combines very strong emissions of urban anthropogenic pollutants with the steep topography of the coastal and Andes cordilleras surrounding the Metropolitan area. Interactions between atmospheric pollution and mountain meteorology are therefore exacerbated, and the potential for black carbon (BC) deposition on glaciers is strong. Based on chemistry-transport modeling with WRF-CHIMERE, we investigate (i) the pathways leading to deposition of BC from Santiago up to Andean glaciers in wintertime and (ii) the differences in magnitude and time dynamics of such deposition between wintertime and summertime.

Ice and snow in the central Andes contain significant amounts of BC often attributed to emissions from Santiago. However, given the usually stable conditions in wintertime and the height of the obstacle to overcome for urban air masses (Santiago is 500 m a.s.l., summits are above 4000 m a.s.l.) the pathways for such deposition are not straightforward. We find that, for a typical winter month, up to 40% of BC dry deposition on snow- or ice-covered areas in the central Andes directly downwind from the Metropolitan area can indeed be attributed to emissions from Santiago. The adjacent network of canyons plays a key role in this export: for the case of the Maipo canyon, polluted urban air masses follow gentle slopes upward in the afternoon, consistently with mountain-valley circulation, before being vertically exported when reaching the tip of the main canyon. Statistical analysis shows that zonal wind speed in the urban area and vertical diffusion deep into the canyon account for most of the variance in BC deposition.

In summertime, more intense convection takes place, and mountain-valley circulation is seldom perturbed by cloud cover, resulting in a greater export potential. Accordingly, summertime dry deposition of BC on glaciers occurs on a regular basis with equivalent amounts each day, contrarily to a more chaotic time series in wintertime. The contribution of wet deposition in winter (nonexistent in summer) exacerbates this irregularity. However, as a consequence of weaker emissions, average monthly dry deposition of BC over the central Andes glaciers (29°S to 38°S) is found to be less than half in summertime (135 µg/m2) compared to wintertime (320 µg/m2). Given the lesser role played by wood burning for residential heating in summertime, emissions from Santiago through traffic and industry dominate the signal leading to 55% of dry deposition, while it accounts for only 14% in wintertime, at the regional scale, due to more scattered sources.

How to cite: Lapere, R., Mailler, S., Menut, L., and Huneeus, N.: Mountain-valley circulation in central Chile: consequences for Black Carbon deposition over glaciers in wintertime and summertime, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-482,, 2021.

Chaman Gul, Parth Sarathi Mahapatra, Shichang Kang, Praveen Kumar Singh, Xiaokang Wu, Cenlin He, Rajesh Kumar, Mukesh Rai, Yangyang Xu, and Siva Praveen Puppala

This study discusses year-long (October 2016–September 2017) observations of atmospheric black carbon (BC) mass concentration, its source and sector contributions using a chemical transport model at a high-altitude (28°12'49.21"N, 85°36'33.77"E, 4900 masl) site located near the Yala Glacier in the central Himalayas, Nepal. During a field campaign, fresh snow samples were collected from the surface of the Yala Glacier in May 2017, which were analysed for BC and water-insoluble organic carbon mass concentration in order to estimate the scavenging ratio and surface albedo reduction. The maximum BC mass concentration in the ambient atmosphere (0.73 μg m-3) was recorded in the pre-monsoon season. The BC and water-insoluble organic carbon analysed from the snow samples were in the range of 96–542 ng g-1 and 152–827 ng g-1, respectively. The source apportionment study using the absorption Ångström exponent from in situ observations indicated approximately 44% contribution of BC from biomass-burning sources and the remainder from fossil-fuel sources during the entire study period. The source contribution study, using model data sets, indicated ~14% contribution of BC from open-burning and ~77% from anthropogenic sources during the study period. Our analysis of regional contributions of BC indicated that the highest contribution was from both Nepal and India combined, followed by China, while the rest was distributed among the nearby countries. The surface snow albedo reduction, estimated by an online model – Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation – was in the range of 0.8–3.8% during the pre-monsoon season. The glacier melt analysis suggested that BC contributed to approximately 28% of the total melting in the pre-monsoon season. 

How to cite: Gul, C., Sarathi Mahapatra, P., Kang, S., Kumar Singh, P., Wu, X., He, C., Kumar, R., Rai, M., Xu, Y., and Puppala, S. P.: Black carbon concentration in the central Himalayas: impact on glacier melt and potential source contribution, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8515,, 2021.

Outi Meinander, Enna Heikkinen, Jonas Svensson, Minna Aurela, Aki Virkkula, Mika Vestenius, and Antti Hyvärinen

Black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC, including brown carbon BrC) aerosols in the atmosphere, and their wet and dry deposition, are important for their climatic and cryospheric effects. Seemingly small amounts of BC in snow, of the order of 10–100 parts per billion by mass (ppb), have been shown to decrease its albedo by 1–5 %. Due to the albedo-feedback mechanism, surface darkening accelerates snow and ice melt. In snow, the temporal variability of light absorbing aerosols, such as BC, depends both on atmospheric and cryospheric processes, mostly on sources and atmospheric transport, and dry and wet deposition processes, as well as post-depositional snow processes.

We started a new research activity on BC and OC wet and dry deposition at Helsinki Kumpula SMEAR III station (60°12 N, 24°57 E, Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations, The work included winter, spring, summer and autumn deposition samples during January 2019 - June 2020 (sampling is currently on hold). In winter, wet deposition consisted of snowfall and rainwater samples. Dry deposition samples were separately collected in 2020. For sample collection, a custom-made device, including a heating-system, was applied. The samples were analyzed using the OCEC analyzer of the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s aerosol laboratory, Helsinki, Finland. The special features in our deposition data are: 

  • seasonal BC, OC, and TC (total carbon, the sum of BC and OC) deposition data for an urban background station at 60 oN
  • precipitation received as either water or snow  
  • dry deposition samples included (only in 2020)
  • data as wet and dry deposition rates [concentration/time/area]
  • simultaneous atmospheric measurements of the SMEAR III station

Since our deposition samples are collected manually, the data are non-continuous, yet they allow us to provide deposition rates. Such data can be utilized in various modeling approaches including, for example, climate and long-range transport and deposition modeling. According to our knowledge, these data are the first BC (determined as elemental carbon, EC), OC and TC wet and dry deposition data to represent Finland. Our sampling location, north of 60 deg. N, can be useful for other high-latitude studies and Arctic assessments, too.

Acknowledgements. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Academy of Finland NABCEA-project of Novel Assessment of Black Carbon in the Eurasian Arctic (no. 296302) and the Academy of Finland Flagship funding (grant no. 337552).

How to cite: Meinander, O., Heikkinen, E., Svensson, J., Aurela, M., Virkkula, A., Vestenius, M., and Hyvärinen, A.: Seasonal variations in black and organic carbon wet and dry deposition rates at SMEAR III station (60oN), Finland, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5362,, 2021.

Vijayakumar Sivadasan Nair, Usha Keshav Hasyagar, and Surendran Nair Suresh Babu

The snow-covered mountains of Himalayas are known to play a crucial role in the hydrology of South Asia and are known as the “Asian water tower”. Despite the high elevations, the transport of anthropogenic aerosols from south Asia and desert dust from west Asia plays a significant role in directly and indirectly perturbing the radiation balance and hydrological cycle over the region. Absorbing aerosols like black carbon (BC) and dust deposited on the snow surface reduces the albedo of the Himalayan snow significantly (snow darkening or snow albedo effect). Using a Regional Climate Model (RegCM-4.6.0) coupled with SNow, ICe and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) module, the implications of aerosol-induced snow darkening on the regional hydroclimate of the Himalayas are investigated in this study. The aerosols deposited on snow shows a distinct regional heterogeneity. The albedo reduction due to aerosols shows a west to east gradient during pre-monsoon season and this results in the positive radiative effect of about 29 Wm-2, 17 Wm-2 and 5 Wm-2 over western, central and eastern Himalayas respectively. The reduction in the snow albedo also results in the sign reversal of the aerosol direct radiative effect i.e., from warming to cooling at the top of the atmosphere during pre-monsoon season. The excess solar energy trapped at the surface due to snow darkening warms the surface (0.66-1.9 K) and thus decreases the snow cover extent significantly. This results in the reduction of the number of snow-covered days by more than a month over the western Himalayas and about 10 – 15 days over the central Himalayas. The early snowmelt due to aerosol-induced snow darkening results in the increase of runoff throughout the melting season. Therefore, the present study highlights the heterogeneous response of aerosol induced snow albedo feedbacks over the Himalayan region and its impact on the snowpack and hydrology, which has further implications on the freshwater availability over the region.

How to cite: Nair, V. S., Keshav Hasyagar, U., and Babu, S. N. S.: Implications of aerosol-induced snow darkening on regional hydroclimate over the Himalayas, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11972,, 2021.

Anna Mikhailenko, Yury Fedorov, Tatiana Minkina, Leonid Dmitrik, Irina Dotsenko, Daria Solodko, and Viktoria Chepurnaya

With atmospheric precipitation to 28% of mercury (from their total input into this basin) is transported to the Azov Sea via precipitation [1,2]. There is an increasing tendency in the mercury concentrations in rain and snow sampled in the cities of the Rostov Region, compared to precipitation over the sea and its coast. The maximum mercury concentrations in the hydrometeors were found in the cities in autumn and winter. It is due to its penetration into the troposphere as a result of the rapidly increasing dust amounts and gas emissions sourced by combustion of coal, fuel oil, and gas during the heating season. The mercury concentrations in the hydrometeors are higher in stale snow than in just-fallen snow. It is suggested that stale snow is a depositing material absorbing mercury from the troposphere, where it accumulates due to activity of various enterprises with pollutant emissions. This statement is confirmed indirectly by the fact that the Donbass coals are characterized by high mercury concentrations [1]. Another mechanism could be mercury re-distribution during the compaction of snow cover and its interaction with soil. In the course of the winter expeditions, a clear snow stratification was registered: just-fallen powder and stale crystallized grey snow with a large amount of mineral and organic material. In stale snow, the dissolved and suspended form of mercury migration prevailed over its content in freshly fallen snow. The mercury content in hydrometeors was influenced by such factors as wind activity and the amount of atmospheric precipitation. On the one hand, when wind activity increases, the atmosphere surface layers in the cities are cleared from technological substances, and the input of soil particles increases during dust storms. There is intensive mercury leaching from the atmosphere during torrential rains. It leads to a sharp decrease in its atmospheric concentrations. On the other hand, there is an increase in the mercury content in the rainfall after a dry period under calm weather conditions.

The work was carried out with the financial support of the RF President grant No. MK-1862.2020.5., RFBR projects No. 19-05-50097.


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How to cite: Mikhailenko, A., Fedorov, Y., Minkina, T., Dmitrik, L., Dotsenko, I., Solodko, D., and Chepurnaya, V.: The distribution and behavior of mercury in snow, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12080,, 2021.

Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Nathalie Burdova, Slobodan Nickovic, Bojan Cvetkovic, Olafur Arnalds, Beatrice Moroni, Dragana Djordjevic, and Darius Ceburnis

High Latitude Dust (HLD) contributes 5% to the global dust budget and active HLD sources cover > 500,000 km2. In Iceland, desert areas cover about 44,000 km2, but the hyperactive dust hot spots of area < 1,000 km2 are the most dust productive sources. For example Hagavatn dust source of area about 10 km2 is captured on satellite images to produce visible dust plumes exceeding distance of > 700 km.

Recent studies have shown that Icelandic dust travelled about 2,000 km to Svalbard (Moroni et al., 2018) and about 3,500 km to Balkan Peninsula (Djordjevic et al., 2019). It estimated that about 7% of Icelandic dust can reach the high Arctic (N>80°). Previous study on Icelandic dust travelling about 1,300 km to Ireland (Ovadnevaite et al., 2009) serves as a case study to identify additional dust events arriving to Mace Head, Ireland in 2018-2020. In situ dust concentrations in Iceland, remote sensing and dust forecasts based on atmospheric-dust model DREAM (Dust REgional Atmospheric Model, are used for this study.        


Đorđević D., et al. 2019. Can Volcanic Dust Suspended From Surface Soil and Deserts of Iceland Be Transferred to Central Balkan Similarly to African Dust (Sahara)? Frontiers in Earth Sciences 7, 142-154.

Moroni B., et al. 2018. Mineralogical and chemical records of Icelandic dust sources upon Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands). Frontiers in Earth Science  6, 187-219.

Ovadnevaite J., Ceburnis D., et al. 2009. Volcanic sulphate and arctic dust plumes over the North Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric Environment 43, 4968-4974.

Additional studies on Icelandic dust:

How to cite: Dagsson-Waldhauserova, P., Burdova, N., Nickovic, S., Cvetkovic, B., Arnalds, O., Moroni, B., Djordjevic, D., and Ceburnis, D.: Long-range transport of Icelandic dust towards Europe and Arctic , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13306,, 2021.