Selenium and Sulfur in a Greenland Ice Sheet: Relation to Fossil Fuel Combustion

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Science  16 Apr 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3980, pp. 261-263
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3980.261


In the combustion of fossil fuels, selenium is mobilized in the atmosphere to a much lesser extent than is sulfur. This difference is ascribed to the chemical behavior of their respective tetravalent oxides. The ratio of selenium to sulfur in glacial ice is characteristic of terrestrial matter, and these elements may find their way to ice sheets by the formation of volatile compounds in biochemical processes.