Elemental and Mineralogical Composition of the Western Andean Snow (18 degrees S-41 degrees S)

Alfonso, Juan A.; Cordero, Raul R.; Rowe, Penny M.; Neshyba, Steven; Casassa, Gino; Carrasco, Jorge; MacDonell, Shelley; Lambert, Fabrice; Pizarro, Jaime; Fernandoy, Francisco; Feron, Sarah; Damiani, Alessandro; Llanillo, Pedro; Sepulveda, Edgardo; Jorquera, Jose; et. al.

Abstract

The snowpack is an important source of water for many Andean communities. Because of its importance, elemental and mineralogical composition analysis of the Andean snow is a worthwhile effort. In this study, we conducted a chemical composition analysis (major and trace elements, mineralogy, and chemical enrichment) of surface snow sampled at 21 sites across a transect of about 2,500 km in the Chilean Andes (18-41 degrees S). Our results enabled us to identify five depositional environments: (i) sites 1-3 (in the Atacama Desert, 18-26 degrees S) with relatively high concentrations of metals, high abundance of quartz and low presence of arsenates, (ii) sites 4-8 (in northern Chile, 29-32 degrees S) with relatively high abundance of quartz and low presence of metals and arsenates, (iii) sites 9-12 (in central Chile, 33-35 degrees S) with anthropogenic enrichment of metals, relatively high values of quartz and low abundance of arsenates, (iv) sites 13-14 (also in central Chile, 35-37 degrees S) with relatively high values of quartz and low presence of metals and arsenates, and v) sites 15-21 (in southern Chile, 37-41 degrees S) with relatively high abundance of arsenates and low presence of metals and quartz. We found significant anthropogenic enrichment at sites close to Santiago (a major city of 6 million inhabitants) and in the Atacama Desert (that hosts several major copper mines).

Más información

Título según WOS: Elemental and Mineralogical Composition of the Western Andean Snow (18 degrees S-41 degrees S)
Título según SCOPUS: Elemental and Mineralogical Composition of the Western Andean Snow (18°S–41°S)
Título de la Revista: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
Volumen: 9
Número: 1
Editorial: Nature Research
Fecha de publicación: 2019
Idioma: English
DOI:

10.1038/s41598-019-44516-5

Notas: ISI, SCOPUS