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Physical properties of the seasonal snow cover in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

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Snow stratigraphy was analyzed in the Maudheimvidda area of western Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, during austral summer 1999/2000 as a part of the Finnish Antarctic Research Programme (FINNARP). Measurements were made in shallow (1-2 m) snow pits along a 350 km transect from the coastto the polar plateau, covering at least one annual cycle and an elevation range from sea level to about 2500m. The aim of the study is to document spatial and temporal variations in snow-cover properties, with the further aim of relating these variations to environmental factors and to patterns observable by remote sensing. The measurements suggest five principal snow zones: (i) sea ice, (ii) the seaward edge zone of the ice shelf, (iii) the inner parts of the ice shelf, (iv) the snow cover above the grounding line and (v) the local topographic highs. Local topographic highs such as ice domes and ice rises differ from other snow environments: the snow is less densely packed, possibly an indication of locally reduced speed of the katabatic outflow. Fewer and thinner crusts on the topographic highs are consistent with RADARSAT backscatter variations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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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