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Formation processes of basal ice at Hamna Glacier, Sôya Coast, East Antarctica, inferred by detailed co-isotopic analyses

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Debris-laden basal ice is exposed along an ice cliff near Hamna Glacier, Sôya Coast, East Antarctica. The basal ice is about 6.8 m thick and shows conspicuous stratigraphic features. The upper 5.5 m consists of alternating layers of bubble-free and bubbly ice.  values of the bubble-free ice layers are enriched by 2.4 ± 1.0 ‰ (standard deviation) for 18O compared to values of neighboring bubbly ice layers above, and slopes of 18O vs D are close to 8. Such layers are suggested to have been formed by refreezing of meltwater in an open system. In contrast, part of the bubbly ice layers shows neutral profiles for stable isotopes, suggesting that these ice masses are undisturbed ice-sheet ice which was not affected by melting and freezing. The massive alternating layers are thus considered to have been formed by folding of refrozen and non-melted layers. The lower 1.3 m consists predominantly of bubble-free massive ice. The profile of co-isotopic values shows a change of about 3.0 % for 18O at the interface between bubble-free and bubbly ice. Since the isotopic change occurred over a wider thickness than the upper 5.5 m, the basal ice is suggested to have been formed by refreezing of meltwater on a larger scale than the upper 5.5 m.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2001

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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