The scavenging of atmospheric sulfate by arctic snow

Cliff I. Davidson, Richard E. Honrath, Joseph B. Kadane, Ruey S. Tsay, Paul A. Mayewski, Wm Berry Lyons, Niels Z. Heidam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Scavenging ratios for sulfate on the south-central Greenland Ice Sheet at Dye 3 have been computed for 1982-1984. The ratios are based on measured concentrations in snow and estimated concentrations in air. The snow data have been obtained from snowpit samples which were dated by comparing δ18O values with meteorological records. The airborne concentrations have been estimated from data collected at coastal Greenland sites. Scavenging ratios resulting from this process are found to be in the range ~ 100-200 in winter and ~ 200-400 in summer. The greater summer values are attributed to increased riming, resulting in scavenging of sulfate as condensation nuclei and possible oxidation of SO2 in cloudwater droplets. Using the airborne and snowpit concentrations with assumed dry deposition velocities of 0.02-0.05 cms-, it is estimated that dry deposition is responsible for roughly 10-30% of the total sulfate deposition on a year-round basis at Dye 3. During portions of the Arctic winter, however, when the snow is unrimed and when there is less precipitation, dry deposition may be dominant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-882
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment (1967)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic haze
  • Greenland
  • dry deposition
  • precipitation scavenging
  • scavenging ratios
  • sulfate
  • wet deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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