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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Khan, Alia L.

Second Advisor

Strecker, Angela Lee

Third Advisor

Wagner, Sasha


Black carbon (BC) is partially combusted organic material from natural and anthropogenic sources, and is a highly effective driver of melt in the cryosphere. BC has been found in both populated and remote areas around the globe. This study follows the evolution of UV-exposed dissolved BC (DBC) in the cryosphere using the Benzenepolycarboxylic Acid (BPCA) markers B4CA, B5CA, and B6CA. Samples were collected from Mount Baker, Washington, and from both an in situ field study and a controlled photodegradation study, both using natural and anthropogenic BC standards. Both natural and experimental samples had a dominance of B5CA relative to other BPCAs. Many natural samples did not have identifiable quantities of B4CA. Natural snow samples and control samples show overall low DBC values, within range of other cryospheric studies around the world and in the Pacific Northwest United States. The controlled photodegradation study showed an increase in DBC with UV exposure for all standards compared to controls, however diesel soot samples showed




black carbon, BC, glacier, snow, biogeochemistry, BPCA, benzenepolycarboxylic acid, DBC, Mount Baker, cryosphere


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Soot--Washington (State)--Mount Baker National Forest; Water--Organic compound content--Washington (State)--Mount Baker National Forest; Cryosphere; Photodegradation--Washington (State)--Mount Baker National Forest; Ultraviolet radiation--Washington (State)--Mount Baker National Forest

Geographic Coverage

Mount Baker National Forest (Wash.)




masters theses




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