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Spatial gradients in snow layering and 10 m temperatures at two EPICA–Dronning Maud Land (Antarctica) pre-site-survey drill sites

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During the 1997/98 field season, Sweden, Norway and The Netherlands performed a pre-site survey for EPICA in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. This paper summarizes the results and pays special attention to the high spatial gradients found in snow layering and temperatures. The sites were "Camp Victoria" (CV) on Amundsenisen (76° S, 8° W; 2400 m a.s.l.), approximately 550 km from the coast, and "Camp Maudheimvidda" (CM) on Maudheimvidda (74° S,13° W; 362 m a.s.l.), some 140 km from the coast.

The drilling programme included both medium-long firn/ice cores and shallow firn cores. These were analysed by means of 18O, DEP, ECM, activity, density, and ion content. The combined results suggests a mean annual accumulation rate of 60 mm.w.e. for CV and 220 mm.w.e. for CM.

Variability measurements of spatial snow layering were performed at two scales; over tens of kilometres by radar and over a few metres by pits and high-resolution radar soundings. Results, as measured by relative standard deviation, were typically 10% on the polar plateau and as high as 50% near the coast.

The 10 m temperature measurements were −38.5°C (std dev. = 0.5°) for CV and −17.6°C (std dev. = 0.15°) for CM.

Snow chemistry was sampled at each medium-long-core drill site. Comparison of 18O profiles from snow pits and the uppermost part of the CV medium-long core showed large variations. Mean 18O values over 2 m profiles varied between 41.6‰ and 39.7‰ within a horizontal distance of 50 m.

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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