An 860 km surface mass-balance profile on the East Antarctic plateau derived by GPR

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Abstract:

Snow accumulation and its variability on the East Antarctic plateau are poorly understood due to sparse and regionally confined measurements. We present a 5.3 GHz (C-band) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) profile with a total length of 860 km recovered during the joint Norwegian–US International Polar Year traverse 2007/08. Mean surface mass balance (SMB) over the last 200 years was derived from the GPR data by identifying the volcanic deposition of the Tambora eruption in 1815. It varies between 9.1 and 37.7 kg m−2 a−1 over the profile, with a mean of 23.7 kg m−2 a−1 and a standard deviation of 4.7 kg m−2 a−1. The 200 year SMB estimated is significantly lower than most of the SMB estimates over shorter time periods in this region. This can be partly explained by a SMB minimum in the vicinity of the ice divide. However, it is more likely that a recent increase in SMB observed by several studies is largely responsible for the observed discrepancy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756410791392718

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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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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