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Non-climate influences on stable isotopes at Taylor Mouth, Antarctica

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The late-Holocene trends in 18O differ significantly in two ice cores (30 km apart) from the area of Taylor Dome, Antarctica. It is unlikely that the trend in the core from Taylor Mouth (the flank site) is due to a standard 18O–surface temperature relationship. Assuming that the Taylor Dome (near-summit) core records local climate variations common to both cores, we assess two leading possible causes for the observed differences: (1) Relative to Taylor Dome, Taylor Mouth may collect snow from more sources with distinct isotopic compositions. (2) Vapor motion during prolonged near-surface exposure may cause post-depositional isotope enrichment at Taylor Mouth, where the accumulation rate is low. Our model of firn pore-space vapor and sublimating ice grains suggests that post-depositional processes can modify 18O values by several ‰. Isotopic samples from areas with significantly different accumulation rates near Taylor Mouth could differentiate between possibilities (1) and (2).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2005

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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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