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A mean net accumulation pattern derived from radioactive layers and radar soundings on Austfonna, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard

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Abstract:

We present the snow-accumulation distribution over Austfonna, Nord-austlandet, Svalbard, based on 29 shallow ice cores that were retrieved from this ice cap during 1998 and 1999. Mean annual net accumulation is deduced from radioactive layers resulting from the1954-74 atmospheric nuclear tests (maximum in1963) and the Chernobyl accident (1986). The Chernobyl layer was located in 19 ice cores in the accumulation area, and the nuclear test layer was located in two deeper ice cores. In addition, the spatial vari- ation of the depth of winter 1998/99 snowpack was mapped using snow probing, ground- penetrating radar methods and pit studies. The altitudinal gradient of the mean annual net mass balance and the altitude of the mean equilibrium line are determined along five transects ending at the top of the ice cap. The mean annual net mass balance and the equi- librium-line altitudes show a high degree of asymmetry between the western and eastern parts of Austfonna, in accordance with the distribution of winter accumulation. Large inter- annual variations of the accumulation exist. However, the study of the mean annual net mass balance shows no trend for two different time periods, 1963^86 and 1986 to the date of the drillings (1998/99).

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756501781831800

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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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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