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Data for Dust deposited on snow cover in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, 2011-2016: Compositional variability bearing on snow-melt effects

Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

Light-absorbing particles in atmospheric dust deposited on snow cover (dust-on-snow, DOS) diminish albedo and accelerate the timing and rate of snow melt. Identification of these particles and their effects are relevant to snow-radiation modeling and water-resource management. Laboratory-measured reflectance of DOS samples from the San Juan Mountains (USA) were compared with DOS mass loading, particle sizes, iron mineralogy, carbonaceous matter type and content, and chemical compositions. Samples were collected each spring for water years 2011-2016, when individual dust layers had merged into one (all layers merged) at the snow surface. Average reflectance values of the six samples were 0.2153 (sd, 0.0331) across the visible wavelength region (0.4-0.7 µm) and 0.3570 (sd, 0.0498) over the full-measurement range (0.4-2.50 µm). Reflectance values correlated inversely to concentrations of ferric oxide, organic carbon (1.4-10 wt. %), magnetite (0.05-0.13 wt. %), and silt (PM63-3.9; median grain sizes averaged 21.4 µm) but lacked correspondence to total iron and PM10 contents. Measurements of reflectance and Mössbauer spectra and magnetic properties indicated that microcrystalline hematite and nano-size goethite were primarily responsible for diminished visible reflectance. Positive correlations between organic carbon and metals attributed to fossil-fuel combustion, with observations from electron microscopy, indicated that some carbonaceous matter occurred as black carbon. Magnetite was a surrogate for related light-absorbing minerals, dark rock particles, and contaminants. Similar analyses of DOS from other areas would help evaluate the influences of varied dust sources, wind-storm patterns, and anthropogenic inputs on snow melt and water resources in and beyond the Colorado River basin.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5de59fa3e4b02caea0e8fbc4
Data Last Modified 20200820
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 06be8f64-d547-4371-b0c9-92b6d1f27187
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -107.827,37.9069,-107.7114,37.9557
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 2564491969cd5bc0b80874e240ed04886c86bfc63a468c4a17e0ed8bd07ed409
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -107.827, 37.9069, -107.827, 37.9557, -107.7114, 37.9557, -107.7114, 37.9069, -107.827, 37.9069}

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