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Preliminary results of ionic concentrations in snow pits along the Zhongshan–Dome A traverse route, Antarctica

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During an inland traverse expedition along the route from Zhongshan station on the coast to Dome A (about 4200 m a.s.l.; 1400 km from Zhongshan) in East Antarctica in 1998/99, three snow pits with a depth of 2.1–3.3 m were sampled continuously. Snow pits were located at sites 800–1100 km from the coast, with altitudes varying from 2850 to 3760 m. The samples were analyzed for stable oxygen isotope and major ions. Seasonal variations in 18O are not clear, so initial dating was made through comparison of concentration profiles of major ions and then adjusted according to the visible stratigraphy. Generally, average ionic concentrations decrease with increasing altitude and hence distance from the coast, but NH4+ and Ca2+ have relatively high values at a site 1000 km inland. Ionic concentrations tend to increase with depth at lower altitudes, but the opposite is true at higher altitudes. Accumulation rates increase with depth at site DT401 (3760 m a.s.l.; 1097 km from Zhongshan) and decrease at DT364 (3380 m a.s.l.; 1022 km from Zhongshan) and DT263 (2850 m a.s.l.; 820 km from Zhongshan), suggesting that differences in regional trends exist. In all snow pits, Na+ and Cl concentration profiles have a very good positive correlation. Profiles of nssSO42− in the pits show quite different features. At 3760 m a.s.l, no remarkable nssSO42− peaks can be distinguished, but one and three peak sets are quite striking at 3380 and 2850 m, respectively.

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.

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