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Accumulation variability and mass budgets of the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system, East Antarctica, at high elevations

  • Jiahong Wen (a1) (a2) (a3), Kenneth C. Jezek (a2), Andrew J. Monaghan (a2), Bo Sun (a3), Jiawen Ren (a4) and Philippe Huybrechts (a5) (a6)...

Abstract

The temporal and spatial variability of the annual accumulation rate and the mass budgets of five sub-basins of the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system (LAS), East Antarctica, at high elevations are assessed using a variety of datasets derived from field measurements and modeling. The annual temporal variations of the accumulation rate for four cores from the west and east sides of the LAS are around ±34%. Decadal fluctuation of the accumulation from the DT001 firn core drops to ±10%, and the 30 year fluctuation to ±5%, which is assumed to contain the information about the regional and long-term trend in accumulation. The 15-point running mean of the annual accumulation rate derived from stake measurements can remove most of the high-frequency spatial variation so as to better represent the local accumulation. Model simulations show that the spatial variability of erosion/ deposition of snow by the wind has a noticeable impact on the surface mass balance at the higher parts of the LAS. Mass-budget estimates at high-elevation sub-basins of the LAS suggest drainage 9 has a negative imbalance of −0.7 ± 0.4 Gta-1, Lambert and Mellor Glaciers have a positive imbalance of 3.9 ± 2.1 and 2.1 ±2.4 Gta-1 respectively, and Fisher Glacier and drainage 11 are approximately in balance. The higher-elevation region as a whole has a positive mass imbalance of 4.4 ± 6.3 Gta-1, which is consistent with the most recent radar altimetry assessment that shows an overall thickening over this region.

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