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Comprehensive 1000 year climatic history from an intermediate-depth ice core from the south dome of Berkner Island, Antarctica: methods, dating and first results

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A 181 m deep ice core drilled in 1994/95 on the south dome of Berkner Island, Antarctica, was analyzed for stable isotopes, major ions and microparticle concentrations. Samples for ion chromatography were prepared by using a novel technique of filling decontaminated sample from a device for continuous ice-core melting directly into the sample vials. The core was dated through identification of volcanic horizons and interpolative layer counting. The core, together with a similar core from the north dome, reveals a 1000 year history of relatively stable climate. Temporal variations in the two cores deviate from each other owing to changing patterns of regional-scale circulation; the best correspondence between them is found for MSA. 18O, accumulation rate and a sea-salt proxy show only negligible correlation, which suggests a complex meteorological setting. Increasing annual accumulation is observed for the last 100 years. A period of increased sea-salt concentrations started around AD 1405, as has also been observed in other cores. Microparticle concentrations are on average 1220 particles (≥1.0 m diameter) mL−1; they are enhanced from AD 1200 to 1350, possibly because of a higher atmospheric mineral dust load or because local volcanic activity was stronger than previously thought. Microparticles and NH4+show marked but multiple and very irregular sub-annual peaks; long-term stacking of 1 year data intervals yields seasonal maxima in austral spring or mid-summer, respectively. Post-depositional redistribution was observed for MSA, NO3 and F at volcanic horizons.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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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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