Cryoconite is a dark, dusty aggregate of mineral particles, organic matter, and microorganisms transported by wind and deposited on glacier surfaces. It can accelerate glacier melting and alter glacier mass balances by reducing the surface albedo of glaciers. Biomass burning in the Tibetan Plateau, especially in the glacier cryoconites, is poorly understood. Retene, levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan can be generated by the local fires or transported from the biomass burning regions over long distances. In the present study, we analyzed these four molecular markers in cryoconites of seven glaciers from the northern to southern Tibetan Plateau. The highest levels of levoglucosan and retene were found in cryoconites of the Yulong Snow Mountain and Tienshan glaciers with 171.4 ± 159.4 ng g−1 and 47.0 ± 10.5 ng g−1 dry weight (d.w.), respectively. The Muztag glacier in the central Tibetan Plateau contained the lowest levels of levoglucosan and retene with mean values of 59.8 ng g−1 and 0.4 ± 0.1 ng g−1 d.w., respectively. In addition, the vegetation changes and the ratios of levoglucosan to mannosan and retene indicate that combustion of conifers significantly contributes to biomass burning of the cryoconites in the Yulong Snow Mountain and Tienshan glacier. Conversely, biomass burning tracers in cryoconites of Dongkemadi, Yuzhufeng, Muztag, Qiyi and Laohugou glaciers are derived from the combustion of different types of biomass including softwood, hardwood and grass.

Biomass burning source identification through molecular markers in cryoconites over the Tibetan Plateau

Li Q.;Wang N.;Barbante C.;Battistel D.;Argiriadis E.;Wu X.;
2019

Abstract

Cryoconite is a dark, dusty aggregate of mineral particles, organic matter, and microorganisms transported by wind and deposited on glacier surfaces. It can accelerate glacier melting and alter glacier mass balances by reducing the surface albedo of glaciers. Biomass burning in the Tibetan Plateau, especially in the glacier cryoconites, is poorly understood. Retene, levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan can be generated by the local fires or transported from the biomass burning regions over long distances. In the present study, we analyzed these four molecular markers in cryoconites of seven glaciers from the northern to southern Tibetan Plateau. The highest levels of levoglucosan and retene were found in cryoconites of the Yulong Snow Mountain and Tienshan glaciers with 171.4 ± 159.4 ng g−1 and 47.0 ± 10.5 ng g−1 dry weight (d.w.), respectively. The Muztag glacier in the central Tibetan Plateau contained the lowest levels of levoglucosan and retene with mean values of 59.8 ng g−1 and 0.4 ± 0.1 ng g−1 d.w., respectively. In addition, the vegetation changes and the ratios of levoglucosan to mannosan and retene indicate that combustion of conifers significantly contributes to biomass burning of the cryoconites in the Yulong Snow Mountain and Tienshan glacier. Conversely, biomass burning tracers in cryoconites of Dongkemadi, Yuzhufeng, Muztag, Qiyi and Laohugou glaciers are derived from the combustion of different types of biomass including softwood, hardwood and grass.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3730801
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