Author ORCID Identifier
Deuerling - https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8825-0546
The connection of ecosystems by wind-driven transport of material has become a topic of increasing interest and importance. Less than 1% of dust transported worldwide is exported to the Southern Ocean and Antarctic cryosphere; however, aeolian transport on the Antarctic continent is predominantly locally derived from the abrasion of bedrock. The deposition of the aeolian material is integral to nutrient and solute dispersal in the Antarctic ecosystem. This is particularly true in the ice-free areas of Antarctica, such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), where aeolian material deposited in the aquatic system is solubilized during the melt season. The material is predominantly locally-derived from the abrasion of bedrock. In this study, a two-step leaching experiment simulates the melt season and we quantify the flux of solutes and nutrients to the aquatic ecosystem. Soluble salts were removed from the aeolian material first during cold water leaching followed by an increase in carbonate and silicate dissolution during freeze–thaw. Major ion fluxes on glaciers and lakes are at least two orders of magnitude greater than nutrient fluxes. However, the fluxes derived from these experiments are less than the estimated flux from streams to lakes and probably represent minima. Aeolian redistribution of local soils is important because they are the only source of new solutes and nutrients to the aquatic ecosystem of the MDV.
Deuerling KM, Lyons WB, Welch SA, Welch KA (2014) The characterization and role of aeolian deposition on water quality, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Aeolian Research: 13, 7-17. doi: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2014.01.002
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