Ice-Core Based Assessment of Historical Anthropogenic Heavy Metal (Cd, Cu, Sb, Zn) Emissions in the Soviet Union

Eichler, Anja; Tobler, Leonhard; Eyrikh, Stella; Malygina, Natalia; Papina, Tatyana; Schwikowski, Margit (2014). Ice-Core Based Assessment of Historical Anthropogenic Heavy Metal (Cd, Cu, Sb, Zn) Emissions in the Soviet Union. Environmental science & technology, 48(5), pp. 2635-2642. ACS Publications 10.1021/es404861n

[img] Text
es404861n.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

The development of strategies and policies aiming at the reduction of environmental exposure to air pollution requires the assessment of historical emissions. Although anthropogenic emissions from the extended territory of the Soviet Union (SU) considerably influenced concentrations of heavy metals in the Northern Hemisphere, Pb is the only metal with long-term historical emission estimates for this region available, whereas for selected other metals only single values exist. Here we present the first study assessing long-term Cd, Cu, Sb, and Zn emissions in the SU during the period 1935–1991 based on ice-core concentration records from Belukha glacier in the Siberian Altai and emission data from 12 regions in the SU for the year 1980. We show that Zn primarily emitted from the Zn production in Ust-Kamenogorsk (East Kazakhstan) dominated the SU heavy metal emission. Cd, Sb, Zn (Cu) emissions increased between 1935 and the 1970s (1980s) due to expanded non-ferrous metal production. Emissions of the four metals in the beginning of the 1990s were as low as in the 1950s, which we attribute to the economic downturn in industry, changes in technology for an increasing metal recovery from ores, the replacement of coal and oil by gas, and air pollution control.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwikowski, Margit


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




ACS Publications




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2014 12:06

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback