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Title: The cryoconite of the Thule area
Authors: Gerdel, Robert W.
Drouet, Francis, 1907-
Keywords: Snow
Snow cover
Snow surface
Cyrogenic formations
Snow impurities
Publisher: U.S. Army Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Research Establishment.
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (U.S. Army Snow
Description: Technical report
Summary: Samples of cryoconite from the Nuna ramp area in Northwest Greenland have been analyzed for the mineral and cryptogamic content. The non-mineral content of the blue-black gelatinous, drip-free cryoconite was found to be about 95% of the wet mass. After drying and ashing, the organic matter comprised 13.9 to 20% of the oven-dry sample. The mineral matter was predominately fine-grained, sharp-edged grains from 1 mm or larger to microscopic in size and appeared to have been wind-borne from the adjacent nunataks and moraines. The organic matter was found to be largely algae with inclusion of fungi and a rotifer. Since algae utilize radiation primarily in the blue region between 0.40 μ and 0.65 μ, where ice has the greatest transmissivity, it is possible that the cryoconite holes are at least partly the product of energy released by photosynthetic and metabolic processes rather than by direct absorption of red or heat-wave lengths of solar radiation by the dark cryoconite. The uniformity in the pattern and dimensions of the cryoconite holes supports the assumption that biological processes are dominant in their formation and growth.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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