This paper presents new data, derived from an analysis of 16 firn cores, on the distribution of the accumulation rate and 18O content of near-surface layers in the eastern part of the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The firn cores were drilled along the traverse route of the Filchner-V-Campaign in 1995. The traverse followed an ice flowline of the Foundation Ice Stream and reached the margin of the inland ice, an area which has not yet been investigated. On the ice shelf the accumulation rates decrease with distance from the coast. Ascending to the inland ice the accumulation rates again reach almost coastal values. This regional distribution is in agreement with the temperature gradient along the traverse. The 18 content of the near-surface layers is closely related to the 10 m firn temperature. They strongly decrease from the grounding line towards the inland ice. At the southernmost site at 1100 ma.s.l, the mean δ18O value of the firn decreases to –40‰. Ice with that isotopic signature was found in cores from the central part of the Ronne Ice Shelf just above the marine ice layer, indicating that it originates from this area. All ice deposited as snow further south was melted beneath the ice shelf after passing the grounding-line area. The time series of accumulation rate and 18O content reveal no climatic trend during the last 30-50 years.