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Publication Abstract

Rainfall Chemistry Composition in Bellsund (Sw Spitsbergen, Svalbard). Part 2: Elements Origin and Transport

Lehman-Konera, S., Ruman, M., Frankowski, M., Raczynski, K., Pawlak, F., & Polkowska, &. (2022). Rainfall Chemistry Composition in Bellsund (Sw Spitsbergen, Svalbard). Part 2: Elements Origin and Transport. SSRN. DOI:10.2139/ssrn.4195357.


The summer season has always been associated with deposition of pollutants much lower than in winter or spring. Global warming results in increasingly widespread wildfires, mostly in Siberia, but also in North America and Europe. During wildfires in industrialised and urbanised areas, an uncontrollable amount of elements may be emitted to the atmosphere and transported to Svalbard. This study examines eleven samples of rainfall collected at the end of the summer season in a coastal area of south Bellsund (NW Wedel Jarlsberg Land, Spitsbergen). It covers detailed analysis of ions (Cl-,NO3-, SO42-), major (Na, Ca, Mg, K) as well as trace elements (among others As, Cd, Cr, Fe, Co, Pb, Ni, Zn), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to HYSPLIT backward air masses trajectories. The analysis of air masses trajectories and literature research of wildfires, volcanic activities, and dust storms of the Northern Hemisphere before and during the study season permitted the assessment of their relations with the fluctuations and origin of elements on particular days. Although the air masses inflowing to Calypsostranda were well mixed, it was possible to distinguish at least three days (August 7th, 15th and 28th) with evident influence of volcanic activity in Aleutian and Kuril-Kamchatka Trenches, as well as for Siberian wildfires, as confirmed by air masses trajectories. Based on the presence of non-sea K (nsK) and non-sea sulphates (nss) and Ca (soil factor of burned areas), a continuous influence of wildfires on rainfall chemistry was also found. The presence of elements related to soil dust in each rainfall sample pointing to the role of August dust storms on the transport of elements associated with wildfires from both Eurasia and North America, even long after their occurrence. Moreover, dust storms in Eurasia were mainly responsible for the transport of Zn, Pb , and Cd to Svalbard.