Composition of dust deposited to snow cover in the Wasatch Range (Utah, USA): Controls on radiative properties of snow cover and comparison to some dust-source sediments

Richard L. Reynolds, Harland L. Goldstein, Bruce M. Moskowitz, Ann C. Bryant, S. McKenzie Skiles, Raymond F. Kokaly, Cody B. Flagg, Kimberly Yauk, Thelma Berquó, George Breit, Michael E Ketterer, Daniel Fernandez, Mark E. Miller, Thomas H. Painter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dust layers deposited to snow cover of the Wasatch Range (northern Utah) in 2009 and 2010 provide rare samples to determine the relations between their compositions and radiative properties. These studies are required to comprehend and model how such dust-on-snow (DOS) layers affect rates of snow melt through changes in the albedo of snow surfaces. We evaluated several constituents as potential contributors to the absorption of solar radiation indicated by values of absolute reflectance determined from bi-conical reflectance spectroscopy. Ferric oxide minerals and carbonaceous matter appear to be the primary influences on lowering snow-cover albedo. Techniques of reflectance and Mössbauer spectroscopy as well as rock magnetism provide information about the types, amounts, and grain sizes of ferric oxide minerals. Relatively high amounts of ferric oxide, indicated by hard isothermal remanent magnetization (HIRM), are associated with relatively low average reflectance (<0.25) across the visible wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Mössbauer spectroscopy indicates roughly equal amounts of hematite and goethite, representing about 35% of the total Fe-bearing phases. Nevertheless, goethite (α-FeOOH) is the dominant ferric oxide found by reflectance spectroscopy and thus appears to be the main iron oxide control on absorption of solar radiation. At least some goethite occurs as nano-phase grain coatings less than about 50. nm thick. Relatively high amounts of organic carbon, indicating as much as about 10% organic matter, are also associated with lower reflectance values. The organic matter, although not fully characterized by type, correlates strongly with metals (e.g., Cu, Pb, As, Cd, Mo, Zn) derived from distal urban and industrial settings, probably including mining and smelting sites. This relation suggests anthropogenic sources for at least some of the carbonaceous matter, such as emissions from transportation and industrial activities. The composition of the DOS samples can be compared with sediments in a likely dust-source setting at the Milford Flat Fire (MFF) area about 225. km southwest of Salt Lake City. The MFF area represents geologically and physiographically similar and widespread dust sources west-southwest of the Wasatch Range and heavily populated Wasatch Front. The DOS layers and MFF sediments are similar in some textural, chemical, and magnetic properties, as well as in the common presence of goethite, hematite, magnetite-bearing basalt fragments, quartz, plagioclase, illite, and kaolinite. Textural and some chemical differences among these deposits can be explained by atmospheric sorting as well as by inputs from other settings, such as salt-crusted playas and contaminant sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalAeolian Research
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Fingerprint

snow cover
reflectance
dust
goethite
snow
spectroscopy
oxide
sediment
hematite
albedo
solar radiation
organic matter
playa
remanent magnetization
magnetic property
smelting
mineral
anthropogenic source
sorting
illite

Keywords

  • Atmospheric dust
  • Black carbon
  • Goethite
  • Hematite
  • Magnetic properties
  • Metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology

Cite this

Composition of dust deposited to snow cover in the Wasatch Range (Utah, USA) : Controls on radiative properties of snow cover and comparison to some dust-source sediments. / Reynolds, Richard L.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Moskowitz, Bruce M.; Bryant, Ann C.; Skiles, S. McKenzie; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Flagg, Cody B.; Yauk, Kimberly; Berquó, Thelma; Breit, George; Ketterer, Michael E; Fernandez, Daniel; Miller, Mark E.; Painter, Thomas H.

In: Aeolian Research, Vol. 15, 01.12.2014, p. 73-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reynolds, RL, Goldstein, HL, Moskowitz, BM, Bryant, AC, Skiles, SM, Kokaly, RF, Flagg, CB, Yauk, K, Berquó, T, Breit, G, Ketterer, ME, Fernandez, D, Miller, ME & Painter, TH 2014, 'Composition of dust deposited to snow cover in the Wasatch Range (Utah, USA): Controls on radiative properties of snow cover and comparison to some dust-source sediments', Aeolian Research, vol. 15, pp. 73-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2013.08.001
Reynolds, Richard L. ; Goldstein, Harland L. ; Moskowitz, Bruce M. ; Bryant, Ann C. ; Skiles, S. McKenzie ; Kokaly, Raymond F. ; Flagg, Cody B. ; Yauk, Kimberly ; Berquó, Thelma ; Breit, George ; Ketterer, Michael E ; Fernandez, Daniel ; Miller, Mark E. ; Painter, Thomas H. / Composition of dust deposited to snow cover in the Wasatch Range (Utah, USA) : Controls on radiative properties of snow cover and comparison to some dust-source sediments. In: Aeolian Research. 2014 ; Vol. 15. pp. 73-90.
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T2 - Controls on radiative properties of snow cover and comparison to some dust-source sediments

AU - Reynolds, Richard L.

AU - Goldstein, Harland L.

AU - Moskowitz, Bruce M.

AU - Bryant, Ann C.

AU - Skiles, S. McKenzie

AU - Kokaly, Raymond F.

AU - Flagg, Cody B.

AU - Yauk, Kimberly

AU - Berquó, Thelma

AU - Breit, George

AU - Ketterer, Michael E

AU - Fernandez, Daniel

AU - Miller, Mark E.

AU - Painter, Thomas H.

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N2 - Dust layers deposited to snow cover of the Wasatch Range (northern Utah) in 2009 and 2010 provide rare samples to determine the relations between their compositions and radiative properties. These studies are required to comprehend and model how such dust-on-snow (DOS) layers affect rates of snow melt through changes in the albedo of snow surfaces. We evaluated several constituents as potential contributors to the absorption of solar radiation indicated by values of absolute reflectance determined from bi-conical reflectance spectroscopy. Ferric oxide minerals and carbonaceous matter appear to be the primary influences on lowering snow-cover albedo. Techniques of reflectance and Mössbauer spectroscopy as well as rock magnetism provide information about the types, amounts, and grain sizes of ferric oxide minerals. Relatively high amounts of ferric oxide, indicated by hard isothermal remanent magnetization (HIRM), are associated with relatively low average reflectance (<0.25) across the visible wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Mössbauer spectroscopy indicates roughly equal amounts of hematite and goethite, representing about 35% of the total Fe-bearing phases. Nevertheless, goethite (α-FeOOH) is the dominant ferric oxide found by reflectance spectroscopy and thus appears to be the main iron oxide control on absorption of solar radiation. At least some goethite occurs as nano-phase grain coatings less than about 50. nm thick. Relatively high amounts of organic carbon, indicating as much as about 10% organic matter, are also associated with lower reflectance values. The organic matter, although not fully characterized by type, correlates strongly with metals (e.g., Cu, Pb, As, Cd, Mo, Zn) derived from distal urban and industrial settings, probably including mining and smelting sites. This relation suggests anthropogenic sources for at least some of the carbonaceous matter, such as emissions from transportation and industrial activities. The composition of the DOS samples can be compared with sediments in a likely dust-source setting at the Milford Flat Fire (MFF) area about 225. km southwest of Salt Lake City. The MFF area represents geologically and physiographically similar and widespread dust sources west-southwest of the Wasatch Range and heavily populated Wasatch Front. The DOS layers and MFF sediments are similar in some textural, chemical, and magnetic properties, as well as in the common presence of goethite, hematite, magnetite-bearing basalt fragments, quartz, plagioclase, illite, and kaolinite. Textural and some chemical differences among these deposits can be explained by atmospheric sorting as well as by inputs from other settings, such as salt-crusted playas and contaminant sources.

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