Reconstructing ice-sheet accumulation rates at ridge B, East Antarctica

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Understanding how ice sheets responded to past climate change is fundamental to forecasting how they will respond in the future. Numerical models calculating the evolution of ice sheets depend upon accumulation data, which are principally available from ice cores. Here, we calculate past rates of ice accumulation using internal layering. The englacial structure of the East Antarctic ice divide at ridge B is extracted from airborne ice-penetrating radar. The isochronous surfaces are dated at their intersection with the Vostok ice-core site, where the depth–age relationship is known. The dated isochrons are used as input to a one-dimensional ice-flow model to investigate the spatial accumulation distribution. The calculations show that ice-accumulation rates generally increase from Vostok lake towards ridge B. The western flank of the ice divide experiences markedly more accumulation than in the east. Further, ice accumulation increases northwards along the ice divide. The results also show the variability of accumulation in time and space around the ridge B ice divide over the last 124 000 years.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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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