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Glacial Stage Ice-Core Records from the Subtropical Dunde Ice Cap, China

  • L.G. Thompson (a1), E. Mosley-Thompson (a1), M.E. Davis (a1), J.F. Bolzan (a1), J. Dai (a1), L. Klein (a1), N. Gundestrup (a2), T. Yao (a3), X. Wu (a3) and Z. Xie (a3)...

Abstract

The first ice-core record of both the Holocene and Wisconsin/Würm Late Glacial Stage (LGS) from the subtropics has been extracted from three ice cores to bedrock from the Dunde ice cap on the north-central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Ice thicknesses at the ice-cap summit average 138 m, the bedrock surface is relatively flat, surface and basal temperatures are −7.3 and −4.7°C, respectively and the ice cap exhibits radial flow away from the summit dome. These records reveal a major change in the climate of the plateau ∼10 000 years ago and suggest that LGS conditions were colder, wetter and dustier than Holocene conditions. This is inferred from the more negative δ18O ratios, increased dust content, decreased soluble aerosol concentrations, and reduced ice-crystal sizes, which characterize the LGS part of the cores. Total β radioactivity from shallow ice cores indicates that over the last 24 years the average accumulation rate has been ∼400 mm a−1 at the summit. The ice cores have been dated using a combination of annual layers in the insoluble dust and δ18O in the upper sections of core, visible dust layers which are annual, and ice-flow modeling. The oxygen-isotope record which serves as a temperature proxy indicates that the last 60 years have been the warmest in the entire record.

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References

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Glacial Stage Ice-Core Records from the Subtropical Dunde Ice Cap, China

  • L.G. Thompson (a1), E. Mosley-Thompson (a1), M.E. Davis (a1), J.F. Bolzan (a1), J. Dai (a1), L. Klein (a1), N. Gundestrup (a2), T. Yao (a3), X. Wu (a3) and Z. Xie (a3)...

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