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Ice motion and mass balance at the Allan Hills blue-ice area, Antarctica, with implications for paleoclimate reconstructions

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We present a new surface-balance and ice-motion dataset derived from high-precision GPS measurements from a network of steel poles within three icefields of the Allan Hills blue-ice area, Antarctica. The surveys were conducted over a 14 year time period. Ice-flow velocities and mass-balance estimates for the main icefield (MIF) are consistent with those from pre-GPS era measurements but have much smaller uncertainties. The current study also extends these measurements through the near-western icefield (NWIF) to the eastern edge of the mid-western icefield (MWIF). The new dataset includes, for the first time, well-constrained evidence of upward motion within the Allan Hills MIF, indicating that old ice should be present at the surface. These data and terrestrial meteorite ages suggest that paleoclimate reconstructions using the surface record within the Allan Hills MIF could potentially extend the ice-core-based record beyond the 800 000 years currently available in the EPICA Dome C core.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2012

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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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