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A 200 year sulfate record from 16 Antarctic ice cores and associations with Southern Ocean sea-ice extent

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Abstract:

Chemistry data from 16, 50–115 m deep, sub-annually dated ice cores are used to investigate spatial and temporal concentration variability of sea-salt (ss) SO42− and excess (xs) SO42− over West Antarctica and the South Pole for the last 200 years. Low-elevation ice-core sites in western West Antarctica contain higher concentrations of SO42− as a result of cyclogenesis over the Ross Ice Shelf and proximity to the Ross Sea Polynya. Linear correlation analysis of 15 West Antarctic ice-core SO42− time series demonstrates that at several sites concentrations of ssSO42− are higher when sea-ice extent (SIE) is greater, and the inverse for xsSO42−. Concentrations of xsSO42− from the South Pole site (East Antarctica) are associated with SIE from the Weddell region, and West Antarctic xsSO42− concentrations are associated with SIE from the Bellingshausen–Amundsen–Ross region. The only notable rise of the last 200 years in xsSO42−, around 1940, is not related to SIE fluctuations and is most likely a result of increased xsSO42− production in the mid–low latitudes and/or an increase in transport efficiency from the mid–low latitudes to central West Antarctica. These high-resolution records show that the source types and source areas of ssSO42− and xsSO42− delivered to eastern and western West Antarctica and the South Pole differ from site to site but can best be resolved using records from spatial ice-core arrays such as the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE).

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756405781813366

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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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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    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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