Chemistry of snow and lake water in Antarctic region
Surface snow and lake water samples were collected at different locations around Indian station at Antarctica, Maitri, during
December 2004–March 2005 and December 2006–March 2007. Samples were analyzed for major chemical ions. It is found that average
pH value of snow is 6.1. Average pH value of lake water with low chemical content is 6.2 and of lake water with high chemical
content is 6.5. The Na+ and Cl− are the most abundantly occurring ions at Antarctica. Considerable amount of SO42− is also found in the surface snow and the lake water which is attributed to the oxidation of DMS produced by marine phytoplankton.
Neutralization of acidic components of snow is mainly done by NH4+ and Mg2+. The Mg2+, Ca2+ and K+ are nearly equally effective in neutralizing the acidic components in lake water. The NH4+ and SO42− occur over the Antarctica region mostly in the form of (NH4)2SO4.