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Arctic and Antarctica

Deuterium excess in the snow and glaciers of the Polar Ural and massive ice of the south of the Yamal Peninsula and the coast of Baydaratskaya Bay
Chizhova Yuliya Nikolaevna

PhD in Geography

Senior Research Fellow at Moscow State University

109017, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Staromonetnyi Pereulok, 35, of. 102
Другие публикации этого автора

Vasil'chuk Yurii Kirillovich

Doctor of Geology and Mineralogy

Professor at the Department of Landscape Geochemistry and Soil Geography of Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, 1, of. 2012


The subject of the study is the distribution of oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes and the variations of the deuterium excess in snow and glaciers of the Polar Urals and massive ice of the south of the Yamal Peninsula and the coast of Baydaratskaya Bay. The isotope composition of winter snow and ice of the glacier No. 1, and the glacier of the Romantics was studied in the Polar Urals. On the south of the Yamal Peninsula, the isotopic characteristics of the massive ice in the valley of the Erkutayakha River, Oyuyakha River and at the mouth of the Sabettayakha River were analyzed. The massive ice of the autochthonous type should differ significantly in the isotopic composition of the ice from the buried ice. Isotopic characteristics of massive ice are a good tool for studying the conditions of the ice formation, which is due to the processes of isotope fractionation of oxygen and hydrogen during phase transitions, while the fractionation factor of vapor-water and water-ice transitions are determined by temperature. Variations of stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in massive ice and the δ2H -d-excess ratio are used as a diagnostic tool to determine the type of ice formation. In winter snow of the Polar Urals higher values of isotope composition is recorded with depth increase, reflecting the seasonality of snow accumulation. Very high values of the deuterium excess are recorded - from 14.3 to 19 ‰, the average value was 16.9 ‰. Values of the deuterium excess are distributed in antiphase with the distribution of heavy oxygen and hydrogen with depth. The values of δ18О in the ice of the glacier №1 range from -12.6 ‰ to -16.03 ‰, δ2H - from -96.7 ‰ to -115.1 ‰. The values of the deuterium excess in the ice of the glacier No. 1 are rather low, averaging 6-7 ‰, the highest value of d-excess is 13.1 ‰ the minimum value of d-excess = 4.7 ‰. For glacier ice No. 1, a negative slope δ2H-d-excess is noted, indicating congelation ice formation in a closed system (i.e., a limited volume of water). This can occur when a certain volume of thawed water in pores of the firn, when the firn mass, saturated with thawed water, turns into ice. The Romantik Glacier occupies in δ2H-d-excess ratio an intermediate position between the atmospheric precipitation (snow cover) and the ice of the glacier No. 1.Variations of stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in the massive ice on the Erkutayaha River in the southern part of the Yamal Peninsula are significant, and the δ2H-d-excess ratio is an evidence of mostly intra-soil injection ice formation, i.e. freezing of a limited volume of free water. The δ2H-d-excess ratios for massive ice at the mouth of the Oyuyakha River at the coast of Baydaratskaya Bay evidences that a powerful ice body could have been formed when a large volume of water was frozen in a closed system, as can be seen from the trend of decreasing of δ18O values down from the top. The non-explicit expression of the negative correlation of δ2H to d-excess may be due to the fact that the source of moisture was the surface water evaporated, or was characterized by less isotope fractionation than the theoretical one. The values of d-excess in ice are from 8.4 to -2.3 ‰ and indicate rather the intra-soil formation of ice. Variation of the δ2H-d-excess ratio in ice formation is an additional tool for diagnostic studies of massive ice genesis and types of ice formation.

Keywords: Polar Ural, intrusive, segregated, deuterium excess, hydrogen isotopes, oxygen isotopes, ice, glacier, snow, Yamal Peninsula



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