Climate Dynamics

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 635–647 | Cite as

The influence of regional circulation patterns on wet and dry mineral dust and sea salt deposition over Greenland

  • M. A. HutterliEmail author
  • T. Crueger
  • H. Fischer
  • K. K. Andersen
  • C. C. Raible
  • T. F. Stocker
  • M. L. Siggaard-Andersen
  • J. R. McConnell
  • R. C. Bales
  • J. F. Burkhart


Annually resolved ice core records from different regions over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) are used to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of calcium (Ca2+, mainly from mineral dust) and sodium (Na+, mainly from sea salt) deposition. Cores of high common inter-annual variability are grouped with an EOF analysis, resulting in regionally representative Ca2+ and Na+ records for northeastern and central Greenland. Utilizing a regression and validation method with ERA-40 reanalysis data, these common records are associated with distinct regional atmospheric circulation patterns over the North American Arctic, Greenland, and Central to Northern Europe. These patterns are interpreted in terms of transport and deposition of the impurities. In the northeastern part of the GrIS sea salt records reflect the intrusion of marine air masses from southeasterly flow. A large fraction of the Ca2+ variability in this region is connected to a circulation pattern suggesting transport from the west and dry deposition. This pattern is consistent with the current understanding of a predominantly Asian source of the dust deposited over the GrIS. However, our results also indicate that a significant fraction of the inter-annual dust variability in NE and Central Greenland is determined by the frequency and intensity of wet deposition during the season of high atmospheric dust loading, rather than representing the variability of the Asian dust source and/or long-range transport to Greenland. The variances in the regional proxy records explained by the streamfunction patterns are high enough to permit reconstructions of the corresponding regional deposition regimes and the associated circulation patterns.


Empirical Orthogonal Function Circulation Pattern Mineral Dust Regional Time Series Asian Dust Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Project entitled ‘‘Patterns of Climate Variability in the North Atlantic (PACLIVA)’’ funded the by European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme Contract Nr. EVR1-2002-000413, and the National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) on Climate funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. KKA thanks the Carlsberg foundation for funding. Collection and analyses of the D2, D3, NASA-U, DAS1, and UAK1 cores was supported by grants from NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Program and the Summit99 core by grants from NSF’s Arctic Natural Sciences program. R.C.B. and J.F.B. were supported by NASA grants NAG5-6779, NAG5-10264 and NASA Earth System Science Fellowship awarded to J.F.B. ERA-40 re-analysis data were provided by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF, We thank D. Wagenbach and R. Röthlisberger for helpful discussions and M. Frey and D. Belle-Oudry for help with ice core analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Hutterli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • T. Crueger
    • 3
  • H. Fischer
    • 4
  • K. K. Andersen
    • 5
  • C. C. Raible
    • 1
  • T. F. Stocker
    • 1
  • M. L. Siggaard-Andersen
    • 5
  • J. R. McConnell
    • 6
  • R. C. Bales
    • 7
  • J. F. Burkhart
    • 7
  1. 1.Physics InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Physical Sciences DivisionBritish Antarctic SurveyCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, BremerhavenBremerhavenGermany
  5. 5.Niels Bohr InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  6. 6.Desert Research InstituteRenoUSA
  7. 7.University of California, MercedAtwaterUSA

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