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Deglacial and Holocene changes in accumulation at Law Dome, East Antarctica

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Abstract:

Dating constraints have been combined with an ice-flow model to estimate surface accumulation rates at Law Dome, East Antarctica, to approximately 80 kyr BP. Results indicate that the present high-accumulation regime (∼0.7 m a−1 ice equivalent) was established some time after ∼7 kyr BP, following an increase of approximately 80% from early to mid-Holocene. The accumulation rate at the Last Glacial Maximum is estimated at less than ∼10% of the modern value. The record reveals an approximately linear dependence between temperature (inferred from isotope ratio) and accumulation rate through the glacial period. This dependence breaks down in the early Holocene, and this is interpreted as a change to a mode in which moisture-transport changes have a stronger influence on accumulation than temperature (via absolute humidity). The changes in accumulation, including the large change in the early to mid-Holocene, are accompanied by changes in sea-salt concentrations which support the hypothesis that Law Dome climate has shifted from a glacial climate, more like that of the present-day Antarctic Plateau, to its current Antarctic maritime climate. The change between these two modes occurred progressively through the early Holocene, possibly reflecting insolation-driven changes in atmospheric moisture content and circulation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756404781814221

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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