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Firn accumulation records for the past 1000 years on the basis of dielectric profiling of six cores from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

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This paper presents an overview of firn accumulation in Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica, over the past 1000 years. It is based on a chronology established with dated volcanogenic horizons detected by dielectric profiling of six medium-length firn cores. In 1998 the British Antarctic Survey retrieved a medium-length firn core from western DML. During the Nordic EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) traverse of 2000/01, a 160 m long firn core was drilled in easternDML. Together with previously published data from four other medium-length ice cores from the area, these cores yield 50 possible volcanogenic horizons. All six firn cores cover a mutual time record until the 29th eruption. This overlapping period represents a period of approximately 1000 years, with mean values ranging between 43 and 71 mm w. e. The cores revealed no significant trend in snow accumulation. Running averages over 50 years, averaged over the six cores, indicate temporal variations of 5%. All cores display evidence of a minimum in the mean annual firn accumulation rate around AD 1500 and maxima around AD 1400 and 1800. The mean increase over the early 20th century was the strongest increase, but the absolute accumulation rate was not much higher than around AD 1400. In eastern DML a 13% increase is observed for the second half of the 20th century.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2004

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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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