Seasonal Progression of the Deposition of Black Carbon by Snowfall at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen

P. R. Sinha, Y. Kondo, K. Goto-Azuma, Y. Tsukagawa, K. Fukuda, M. Koike, S. Ohata, N. Moteki, T. Mori, N. Oshima, E. J. Førland, M. Irwin, J. C. Gallet, C. A. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Deposition of black carbon (BC) aerosol in the Arctic lowers snow albedo, thus contributing to warming in the region. However, the processes and impacts associated with BC deposition are poorly understood because of the scarcity and uncertainties of measurements of BC in snow with adequate spatiotemporal resolution. We sampled snowpack at two sites (11 m and 300 m above sea level) at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen, in April 2013. We also collected falling snow near the surface with a windsock from September 2012 to April 2013. The size distribution of BC in snowpack and falling snow was measured using a single-particle soot photometer combined with a characterized nebulizer. The BC size distributions did not show significant variations with depth in the snowpack, suggesting stable size distributions in falling snow. The BC number and mass concentrations (CNBC and CMBC) at the two sites agreed to within 19% and 10%, respectively, despite the sites' different snow water equivalent (SWE) loadings. This indicates the small influence of the amount of SWE (or precipitation) on these quantities. Average CNBC and CMBC in snowpack and falling snow at nearly the same locations agreed to within 5% and 16%, after small corrections for artifacts associated with the sampling of the falling snow. This comparison shows that the dry deposition was a small contributor to the total BC deposition. CMBC were highest (2.4 ± 3.0 μg L−1) in December–February and lowest (1.2 ± 1.2 μg L−1) in September–November.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1016
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 27
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic
  • black carbon
  • dry deposition
  • falling snow
  • snowpack
  • wet deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal Progression of the Deposition of Black Carbon by Snowfall at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this