Glacial meltwater runoff has significant variation at diurnal and seasonal timescale, which could change the distribution of particle size, morphology, the specific surface of the suspended substance in meltwater, the duration of water-rock interaction, and the rate of the diffusion of CO2 from the atmosphere to the water.
Therefore, Climate and geographical environment can dramatically affect the conditions of chemical reactions, thus changing the rate of chemical weathering.
Recently, scientist from Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources collected fresh snowfall and water samples in Qilian Mountains, Northwestern China, to elucidate the effect of these processes on the chemical weathering.
The results indicated that electronic conductivity (EC) linearly increased with increasing distance from the glacial snout, and the concentrations of major ions increased with increasing water-rock interaction time.
Moreover, further research indicated that the sampling method influenced the assessment of chemical weathering rates.
In practice, however, it is difficult to estimate the impact of diurnal variations on the rate of chemical weathering, thus increasing the uncertainty of the simulated chemical weathering in the global ice age.
In this work, diurnal hydrochemical variations in different locations along the flow path in the Qiyi glacierized catchment were studied and tried to find a practical sampling method for studying the chemical weathering rate in glacier catchment.
The study entitled “Diurnal and seasonal variation of glacier meltwater hydrochemistry in Qiyi glacierized catchment in Qilian Mountains, Northwest China: implication for chemical weathering” was published in Journal of Mountain Science.