Regional Characteristics of Atmospheric Sulfate Formation in East Antarctica Imprinted on 17O-Excess Signature

S. Ishino, S. Hattori, M. Legrand, Q. Chen, B. Alexander, J. Shao, J. Huang, L. Jaeglé, B. Jourdain, S. Preunkert, A. Yamada, N. Yoshida, J. Savarino

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


17O-excess (Δ17O = δ17O − 0.52 × δ18O) of sulfate trapped in Antarctic ice cores has been proposed as a potential tool for assessing past oxidant chemistry, while insufficient understanding of atmospheric sulfate formation around Antarctica hampers its interpretation. To probe influences of regional specific chemistry, we compared year-round observations of Δ17O of non-sea-salt sulfate in aerosols (Δ17O(SO42−)nss) at Dome C and Dumont d'Urville, inland and coastal sites in East Antarctica, throughout the year 2011. Although Δ17O(SO42−)nss at both sites showed consistent seasonality with summer minima (∼1.0‰) and winter maxima (∼2.5‰) owing to sunlight-driven changes in the relative importance of O3 oxidation to OH and H2O2 oxidation, significant intersite differences were observed in austral spring–summer and autumn. The cooccurrence of higher Δ17O(SO42−)nss at inland (2.0‰ ± 0.1‰) than the coastal site (1.2‰ ± 0.1‰) and chemical destruction of methanesulfonate (MS) in aerosols at inland during spring–summer (October–December), combined with the first estimated Δ17O(MS) of ∼16‰, implies that MS destruction produces sulfate with high Δ17O(SO42−)nss of ∼12‰. If contributing to the known postdepositional decrease of MS in snow, this process should also cause a significant postdepositional increase in Δ17O(SO42−)nss over 1‰, that can reconcile the discrepancy between Δ17O(SO42−)nss in the atmosphere and ice. The higher Δ17O(SO42−)nss at the coastal site than inland during autumn (March–May) may be associated with oxidation process involving reactive bromine and/or sea-salt particles around the coastal region.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JD033583
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • aerosols
  • Antarctica
  • isotope
  • methanesulfonate
  • sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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