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Impacts of the Kuwait Oil Fires on the Mount Qomolangma Region


doi: 10.1007/BF02656862

  • Mt. Qomolangma (also known as Mt. Everest), the world’s highest mountain, is situated over the world’s highest plateau, the Tibetan Plateau. Because of its height and because of its distance from industrialized areas, the environmental state of the Mt. Qomolangma region can normally be considered “undisturbed”. It is interesting to investigate how this “undisturbed” state has been changing with time and whether it has been influenced by large environmentally disruptive events such as the Kuwait oil fires of 1990 and 1991 (Small, 1991). In order to do this, riv-er water samples were collected from the Rongpu River at Rongpu Temple Station in the summers of 1992 and 1993, as was done in 1975, and aerosol samples were collected in the summer of 1992 at the same station as was done in 1980. River water samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Aerosol samples were analyzed using proton-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) at the University of Fudan in Shanghai. The results show that the concentrations of chemical species in the river water at Rongpu Temple Station were much higher in the summer of 1992 than they were in 1975 and 1993, and the concentrations of atmospheric chemical species were much higher in 1992 than they were in 1980. The environment of the north slope of Mt. Qomolangma was therefore heavily polluted before and/or during the summer of 1992, possibly due to the Kuwait oil fires in 1990 and 1991.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 April 1996
Manuscript revised: 10 April 1996
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Impacts of the Kuwait Oil Fires on the Mount Qomolangma Region

  • 1. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029,Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029,Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029

Abstract: Mt. Qomolangma (also known as Mt. Everest), the world’s highest mountain, is situated over the world’s highest plateau, the Tibetan Plateau. Because of its height and because of its distance from industrialized areas, the environmental state of the Mt. Qomolangma region can normally be considered “undisturbed”. It is interesting to investigate how this “undisturbed” state has been changing with time and whether it has been influenced by large environmentally disruptive events such as the Kuwait oil fires of 1990 and 1991 (Small, 1991). In order to do this, riv-er water samples were collected from the Rongpu River at Rongpu Temple Station in the summers of 1992 and 1993, as was done in 1975, and aerosol samples were collected in the summer of 1992 at the same station as was done in 1980. River water samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Aerosol samples were analyzed using proton-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) at the University of Fudan in Shanghai. The results show that the concentrations of chemical species in the river water at Rongpu Temple Station were much higher in the summer of 1992 than they were in 1975 and 1993, and the concentrations of atmospheric chemical species were much higher in 1992 than they were in 1980. The environment of the north slope of Mt. Qomolangma was therefore heavily polluted before and/or during the summer of 1992, possibly due to the Kuwait oil fires in 1990 and 1991.

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