Origin and characterisation of microparticles in an ice core from the Central Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica.

Research paper by C M CM Laluraj, K P KP Krishnan, M M Thamban, R R Mohan, S S SS Naik, W W D'Souza, R R Ravindra, A A Chaturvedi

Indexed on: 28 Feb '08Published on: 28 Feb '08Published in: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment


The scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopic (SEM-EDS) study of selected samples from an ice core collected from Central Dronning Maud Land (CDML), East Antarctica, revealed several microparticles. They are mainly siliceous and carbonaceous particles and have distinct variations in their shape and composition. The morphology and major element chemistry of the particles suggest their origin from either volcanic eruptions or continental dust. The EDS analysis revealed that the volcanic particles are enriched in silica (average SiO2 62%), compared to the continental dust particle (average SiO2 56%). We found that the tephra relating to Agung (1963) and Karkatau (1883) volcanic eruptions, as recorded, in the ice core harbored microbial cells (both coocoid and rods). The occurrence of organic and inorganic particles which bear relation to volcanic eruption and continental dust implies significant environmental changes in the recent past.