Deglacial and Holocene changes in accumulation at Law Dome, East Antarctica
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
Publication date: June 1, 2004
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