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Seasonal variability in ice crystal properties at NorthGRIP: a case study around 301 m depth

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The aim of this case study is to quantify the seasonal variability in crystal properties and to discuss the reason for the variability. A continuous 1.10 m long vertical thin-section profile covering approximately five annual cycles has been obtained from the North Greenland Icecore Project (NorthGRIP) ice core at around 301 m depth. The crystal outline and the c-axis orientation of more than 13000 crystals in the profile have been measured on a new Australian automated ice-crystal analyzer. In 2.5 cm resolution we observe a strong seasonal variability in crystal areas of >30% deviation from the average value of 6.7 mm2. Each year, a band of smaller crystals is observed in ice deposited during spring. The area distribution function is found to be close to a lognormal distribution. The crystal areas are compared to the concentration of chemical impurities in the ice; at a 5 cm resolution, the best correlation is found with the concentration of Ca2+. Our results show no seasonal variability of the average c-axis orientation of ice crystals.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-06-01

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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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