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Shallow-ice microstructure at Dome Concordia, Antarctica

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The shallow-ice microstructure at Dome Concordia, Antarctica, has been studied between100 m and 580 m. An original digital-image-processing technique has been specially developed to extract ice microstructure (grain boundaries) from thin sections prepared during the two first scientific EPICA field seasons (1997/98 and 1998/99). Using this, not only the mean crystal size, but also crystal-size distributions and shape anisotropy, were determined. The mean crystal-size profile as well as crystal-size distributions reveal normal grain growth up to 430 m. Between 430 m and 500 m, a marked decrease of crystal size is observed and compared with a similar trend obtained in the "old" Dome C ice core formerly associated with the Holocene/Last Glacial transition (Duval and Lorius,1980). This seems to indicate a slightly lower accumulation rate (by <10%) at Dome C. The shapes of the crystal-size distributions, though very similar, do evolve with depth and seem to be sensitive to climatic changes. An increasing flattening of crystal shape is observed with depth. This allowed estimation of the vertical strain rate in the shallow part of the ice sheet.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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