Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 2015–2027 | Cite as

Chemical characteristics and influencing factors of snow in eastern Qilian Mountains, China

  • Hong-ze He
  • Xue-lu LiuEmail author
  • Guo-feng Zhu


As an important indicator of environmental and climate changes, snow chemical properties can be used to reflect microcosmic changes, large-scale environmental and climate changes. 174 groups of snow samples were collected from four different rivers, Jinta river, Sishui river, Binggou river, and Nancha river, in the eastern Qilian Mountains in west China from May 2014 to October 2017. The characteristics of inorganic ions, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl−, NO3−, HCO3-, and SO2−, in the samples were analyzed by Dionex-600 and Dionex-3000 ion chromatograph. The results show that Ca2+ is the main cation, while HCO3- is the main anion; the ion concentration of snow is higher than that of rain. After careful analysis, we draw the conclusion that due to the controlling of the westerly wind, the atmosphere of the Qilian Mountains is dry with high dust content in winter and spring, which makes the ions in the snow mainly derive from the weathering of carbonate rock and sulfate rock. The ions in snow cover mainly come from land-sourced dust, while less contribution is from marine sources and human activities.


Qilian Mountains Snow cover Ion Dust activity Water vapor transport Rock lithology 


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This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41661005; 41867030; 41761047).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and Environmental SciencesGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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