Deposition of ionic species and black carbon to the Arctic snowpack: combining snow pit observations with modeling
Although aerosols in the Arctic have multiple and complex impacts on the regional climate, their removal due to deposition is still not well quantified. We combined meteorological, aerosol, precipitation, and snowpack observations with simulations to derive information about the deposition of sea salt components and black carbon (BC) from November 2011 to April 2012 to the Arctic snowpack at two locations close to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. The dominating role of sea salt and the contribution of dust for the composition of atmospheric aerosols were reflected in the seasonal composition of the snowpack. The strong alignment of the concentrations of the major sea salt components in the aerosols, the precipitation, and the snowpack is linked to the importance of wet deposition for transfer from the atmosphere to the snowpack. This agreement was less strong for monthly snow budgets and deposition, indicating important relocation of the impurities inside the snowpack after deposition. Wet deposition was less important for the transfer of nitrate, non-sea-salt sulfate, and BC to the snow during the winter period. The average BC concentration in the snowpack remains small, with a limited impact on snow albedo and melting. Nevertheless, the observations also indicate an important redistribution of BC in the snowpack, leading to layers with enhanced concentrations. The complex behavior of bromide due to modifications during sea salt aerosol formation and remobilization in the atmosphere and in the snow were not resolved because of the lack of bromide measurements in aerosols and precipitation.