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Small-scale spatio-temporal characteristics of accumulation rates in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

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Spatio-temporal variations of the recently determined accumulation rate are investigated using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) measurements and firn-core studies. The study area is located on Ritscherflya in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, at an elevation range 1400–1560 m. Accumulation rates are derived from internal reflection horizons (IRHs), tracked with GPR, which are connected to a dated firn core. GPR-derived internal layer depths show small relief along a 22 km profile on an ice flowline. Average accumulation rates are about 190 kg m−2 a−1 (1980–2005) with spatial variability (1) of 5% along the GPR profile. The interannual variability obtained from four dated firn cores is one order of magnitude higher, showing 1 standard deviations around 30%. Mean temporal variations of GPR-derived accumulation rates are of the same magnitude or even higher than spatial variations. Temporal differences between 1980–90 and 1990–2005, obtained from two dated IRHs along the GPR profile, indicate temporally non-stationary processes, linked to spatial variations. Comparison with similarly obtained accumulation data from another coastal area in central Dronning Maud Land confirms this observation. Our results contribute to understanding spatio-temporal variations of the accumulation processes, necessary for the validation of satellite data (e.g. altimetry studies and gravity missions such as Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

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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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