Weller, R et al. (2004): Mean snow accumulation rate, and mean methane sulfonate, chloride and nitrate concentration in snow pits and firn cores of Dronning Maud Land. Dataset #855383 (DOI registration in progress), Supplement to:Weller, Rolf; Traufetter, Fidan; Fischer, H; Oerter, Hans; Piel, Claudia; Miller, Heinz (2004): Postdepositional losses of methane sulfonate, nitrate, and chloride at the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica deep-drilling site in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109(D7), doi:10.1029/2003JD004189
We quantified postdepositional losses of methane sulfonate (MSA-), nitrate, and chloride at the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) drilling site in Dronning Maud Land (DML) (75°S, 0°E). Analyses of four intermediate deep firn cores and 13 snow pits were considered. We found that about 26 ± 13% of the once deposited nitrate and typically 51 ± 20% of MSA- were lost, while for chloride, no significant depletion could be observed in firn older than one year. Assuming a first order exponential decay rate, the characteristic e-folding time for MSA- is 6.4 ± 3 years and 19 ± 6 years for nitrate. It turns out that for nitrate and MSA- the typical mean concentrations representative for the last 100 years were reached after 5.4 and 6.5 years, respectively, indicating that beneath a depth of around 1.2-1.4 m postdepositional losses can be neglected. In the area of investigation, only MSA- concentrations and postdepositional losses showed a distinct dependence on snow accumulation rate. Consequently, MSA- concentrations archived at this site should be significantly dependent on the variability of annual snow accumulation, and we recommend a corresponding correction. With a simple approach, we estimated the partial pressure of the free acids MSA, HNO3, and HCl on the basis of Henry's law assuming that ionic impurities of the bulk ice matrix are localized in a quasi-brine layer (QBL). In contrast to measurements, this approach predicts a nearly complete loss of MSA-, NO3 - , and Cl-.