Climate and Environmental Change

Seasonal variations in heavy metals concentrations in Mt. Qomolangma Region snow

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Cold and Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China|
    3. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China|
    4. College of Urban and Environment Sciences, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen 041004, China

Received date: 2008-03-31

  Revised date: 2008-10-20

  Online published: 2009-04-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40501014; No.40871058


The concentrations of heavy metals Ba, Pb, Cu, Zn and Co in snow pit collected in September, 2005 from the accumulation area of the East Rongbuk Glacier (6523 m a.s.l.), which lies on the northern slope of Mt. Qomolangma, were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Concentrations (pg/ml) of heavy metals are Ba2-227, Co2.8-15.7, Cu10-120, Zn29-4948 and Pb14-142, respectively. The δ18O was determined by MAT-252. The time period of the snow pit spans from autumn 2005 to summer 2004. Seasonal variations of the concentrations and δ18O are observed, of which Pb, Cu, Zn and Co are much lower in summer monsoon season than that in non summer monsoon season, suggesting that different sources of heavy metals contributed to the site. EFc (crustal enrichment factors) is Co3.6, Cu27, Pb33 and Zn180, respectively. Higher EFc values of Pb, Cu and Zn suggest that Pb, Cu especially Zn are mainly contributed by anthropogenic sources.

Cite this article

DUAN Jianping, WANG Lily, REN Jiawen, LI Lun, HAN Junqing . Seasonal variations in heavy metals concentrations in Mt. Qomolangma Region snow[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2009 , 19(2) : 249 -256 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-009-0249-z