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A glacio-chemical characterization of the new EPICA deep-drilling site on Amundsenisen, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

  • Fidan Göktas (a1), Hubertus Fischer (a1), Hans Oerter (a1), Rolf Weller (a1), Stefan Sommer (a2) and Heinz Miller (a1)...

Abstract

In the framework of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) a glacio-chemical pre-site survey was carried out in Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica, to investigate seasonal and spatial variations. All ion species show pronounced seasonal cycles with the exception of nitrate, which is subject to post-depositional alterations. Sea salt reaches maximum concentrations in late winter/spring, while sulphate, being mainly of marine biogenic origin, shows a double peak with high concentrations both in autumn and in late spring/summer. Methanesulphonate (MSA) also shows a strong autumn peak but only slight indications of a second peak in late spring/summer, as seen for sulphate. Due to post-depositional changes, the seasonal cycle of MSA vanishes further down in the firn. These changes are also reflected in the spatial distribution of MSA. While surface MSA concentrations decline with altitude and higher accumulation rates, concentrations of aged snow show a strong increase with higher accumulation rates in our ice cores. Non-sea-salt sulphate shows a 40% decrease with an increase in snow accumulation of about 80% in recent and aged snow. While the geographical variation is negligible for average nitrate concentrations, sea salt shows an exponential decline with altitude. the outcome of this study confirms that the data of the new EPICA deep drilling site in DML (75˚00.10’ S, 0˚04.07’ E) will be representative for this region, and high-resolution analytical methods will allow accurate stratigraphic dating of a deep ice core.

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References

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