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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 406508, 10 pages
Research Article

20-Year Climatology of and Wet Deposition at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

1Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, 9296 Tromsø, Norway
2Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Oslo University, Postbox 1032, Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
3Norwegian Institute for Air Research, P.O. Box 100, N-2027 Kjeller, Norway
4Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, 11418 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 14 September 2011; Accepted 9 December 2011

Academic Editor: Anna Sjöblom

Copyright © 2011 Rafael Kühnel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 20-year dataset of weekly precipitation observations in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, was analysed to assess atmospheric wet deposition of nitrogen. Mean annual total nitrogen deposition was 74 mg N/(m2 yr) but exhibited large interannual variability and was dominated by highly episodic “strong” events, probably caused by rapid transport from European sources. The majority (90%) of precipitation samples were defined as “weak” (<2 mg N/m2) and contributed an annual baseline of ~17 mg N/(m2 yr), whereas 10% of precipitation samples were defined as “strong” (>2 mg N/m2) and additionally contributed up to 225 mg N/(m2 yr). Nitrate deposition largely occurred in samples within the solid-precipitation season (16 September–2 June), and ammonium deposition occurred equally in both solid and liquid seasons. Trends of reactive nitrogen emissions from Europe are uncertain, and increasing cyclonic activity over the North Atlantic caused by a changing climate might lead to more strong deposition events in Svalbard.