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We developed a novel laser melting sampler (LMS) for ice cores to measure the stable water isotope ratios (δ18O and δD) as temperature proxies at sub-centimeter depth resolutions. In this LMS system, a 2 mm diameter movable evacuation nozzle holds an optical fiber through which a laser beam irradiates the ice core. The movable nozzle intrudes into the ice core, the laser radiation meanwhile melts the ice cylindrically, and the meltwater is pumped away simultaneously through the same nozzle and transferred to a vial for analysis. To avoid isotopic fractionation of the ice through vaporization, the laser power is adjusted to ensure that the temperature of the meltwater is always kept well below its boiling point. A segment of a Dome Fuji shallow ice core (Antarctica), using the LMS, was then demonstrated to have been discretely sampled with a depth resolution as small as 3 mm: subsequent analysis of δ18O, δD, and deuterium excess (d) was consistent with results obtained by hand segmentation within measurement uncertainties. With system software to control sampling resolution, the LMS will enable us to identify temperature variations that may be detectable only at sub-centimeter resolutions in ice cores.
The Japanese second deep ice coring project was carried out at Dome Fuji, Antarctica. Following the drilling of the pilot hole in 2001, deep ice core drilling led by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) was conducted over four austral summer seasons, beginning with the 2003/04 season and reached a depth of 3035.22 m near the bedrock in January 2007. The new drill was designed and developed with the goals of (1) solving the problems encountered during the first JARE deep coring drill and (2) achieving more efficient drilling. In particular, the maximum core length that can be drilled at one time was increased from 2.30 m to 3.84 m and the chip storage efficiency was enhanced by a special pipe with many small holes. This paper gives an outline of the improved drilling system, the progress of drilling and various drilling data.
In order to better understand the densification of polar firn, firn cores from the three sites within ~10 km of Dome Fuji, Antarctica, were investigated using surrogates of density: dielectric permittivities εv and εh at microwave frequencies with electrical fields in the vertical and horizontal planes respectively. Dielectric anisotropy Δε (=εv − εh) was then examined as a surrogate of the anisotropic geometry of firn. We find that layered densification is explained as a result of complex effects of two phenomena that commonly occur at the three sites. Basically, layers with initially smaller density and smaller geometrical anisotropy deform preferentially throughout the densification process due to textural effects. Second, layers having a higher concentration of Cl− ions deform preferentially during a limited period from the near surface depths until smoothing out of layered Cl− ions by diffusion. We hypothesize that Cl− ions dissociated from sea salts soften firn due to modulation of dislocation movement. Moreover, firn differs markedly across the three sites in terms of strength of geometrical anisotropy, mean rate of densification and density fluctuation. We hypothesize that these differences are caused by textural effects resulting from differences in depositional conditions within various spatial scales.
Dome Fuji on the Antarctic high plateau may be a good site for terahertz astronomy because of its high altitude of 3,810 m and low average temperature of −54°C. We have demonstrated that the opacity at 220 GHz from Dome Fuji in summer is very good and stable; τ = 0.045 ± 0.007. We have developed a transportable 30 cm telescope to map the Milky Way in the CO (J=4–3) and the [CI] (3P1–3P0) lines at Dome Fuji from 2014. It has a 9′ beam. Physical conditions such as density and temperature of molecular clouds could be derived from a direct comparison of CO (J=4–3) and [CI] (3P1–3P0) with CO (J=1–0) taken by the Columbia–CfA survey. We are also developing a 1.2 m sub-millimeter telescope. It will be equipped with a dual superconducting device (SIS) receiver for 500/800 GHz. The 1.2 m telescope produces a 2.2′ beam at 492 GHz and could map a molecular cloud entirely. It could also observe nearby galaxies in the CO (J=4–3), CO (J=7–6), [CI] (3P1–3P0), [CI] (3P2–3P1) and in continuum emission between 460–810 GHz.
We conducted a pit study in July 2009 at the NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling) deep ice-coring site in northwest Greenland. To examine the seasonal variations of snow chemistry and characteristics of the drill site, we collected snow/firn samples from the wall of a 2 m deep pit at intervals of 0.03 m and analyzed them for electric conductivity, pH, Cl–, NO3–, SO42–, CH3SO3– (MSA), Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and stable isotopes of water (δ18O and δD). Pronounced seasonal variations in the stable isotopes of water were observed, which indicated that the snow had accumulated regularly during the past 4 years. Concentrations of Na+, Cl– and Mg2+, which largely originate from sea salt, peaked in winter to early spring, while Ca2+, which mainly originates from mineral dust, peaked in late winter to spring, slightly later than Na+, Cl– and Mg2+. Concentrations of NO3– showed double peaks, one in summer and the other in winter to spring, whereas those of SO42– peaked in winter to spring. The winter-to-spring concentrations of NO3– and SO42– seem to have been strongly influenced by anthropogenic inputs. Concentrations of MSA showed double peaks, one in spring and the other in late summer to autumn. Our study confirms that the NEEM deep ice core can be absolutely dated to a certain depth by counting annual layers, using the seasonal variations of stable isotopes of water and those of ions. We calculated the annual surface mass balance for the years 2006–08. The mean annual balance was 176 mm w.e., and the balances for winter-to-summer and summer-to-winter halves of the year were 98 and 78 mm, respectively. Snow deposition during the winter-to-summer half of the year was greater than that during the summer-to-winter half by 10–20mm for all three years covered by this study.
In order to find environmental signals based on the dust and calcium-ion concentrations in ice cores, we determine the constituent elements of residue particles obtained after melting ice samples. We have designed a sublimating system that operates at −45°C, below the eutectic temperatures of major salts. This system permits us to obtain a great many non-volatile particles. After studying the non-volatile particles, we immersed them in water to remove soluble particles and compounds. We thereby analyzed a total of 1272 residue particles (from the melted sample), 2418 non-volatile particles (after sublimation) and 1463 insoluble particles taken from five sections of Last Glacial Maximum ice from the Dome Fuji (Antarctica) ice core. Their constituent elements were determined by scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS) and compared to the dust, calcium-ion and sodium-ion concentrations measured by ion chromatography. Our results indicate that >99.9% of the insoluble particles contain silicon but no sulfur, nitrogen or chlorine. A significant number of the non-volatile particles, however, contain sulfur and chlorine. We conclude that insoluble dust consists mostly of silicate, that almost all calcium ions originate from calcium sulfate and that almost all sodium ions originate from sodium sulfate and sodium chloride.
The surface mass balance (SMB) at Dome Fuji, East Antarctica, was estimated using 36 bamboo stakes (grid of 6 × 6, placed at 20 m intervals) from 1995 to 2006. The heights of the stake tops from the snow surface were measured at 0.5 cm resolution twice monthly in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2003, and once a year for the rest of the study period. To account for snow settling, the average snow density at the stake base during the measurements was used for converting the stake-height data to SMB. The annual SMB from 1995 to 2006 at Dome Fuji was 27.3 ± 1.5 kg m−2 a−1. This result agrees well with the annual SMB from AD 1260 to 1993 (26.4 kg m−2 a−1) estimated from volcanic signals in the Dome Fuji ice core. Over the period 1995–2006, there were 37 (8.6% of the measurements) negative or zero annual SMB results. Variation in the multi-year averages of annual SMB decreased with the square root of the number of observation years, and 10 years of observations of a single stake allowed the estimation of annual SMB at ±10% accuracy. The frequency distributions of annual and monthly SMB were examined. The findings clarify the complex behavior of the annual and monthly SMB at Dome Fuji, which will be common phenomena in areas of low snow accumulation of the interior of the Antarctic ice sheet.
In the mid-1990s, excellent results from the GRIP and GISP2 deep drilling projects in Greenland opened up funding for continued ice-coring efforts in Antarctica (EPICA) and Greenland (NorthGRIP). The Glaciology Group of the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, was assigned the task of providing drilling capability for these projects, as it had done for the GRIP project. The group decided to further simplify existing deep drill designs for better reliability and ease of handling. The drill design decided upon was successfully tested on Hans Tausen Ice Cap, Peary Land, Greenland, in 1995. The 5.0m long Hans Tausen (HT) drill was a prototype for the ~11m long EPICA and NorthGRIP versions of the drill which were mechanically identical to the HT drill except for a much longer core barrel and chips chamber. These drills could deliver up to 4m long ice cores after some design improvements had been introduced. The Berkner Island (Antarctica) drill is also an extended HT drill capable of drilling 2 m long cores. The success of the mechanical design of the HT drill is manifested by over 12 km of good-quality ice cores drilled by the HT drill and its derivatives since 1995.
In order to understand and solve the ‘warm-ice problem’ in deep ice-core drilling, we applied the metal-cutting theory to ice and estimated the heat generated during ice coring taking into account the mechanical and thermal properties of the ice and cutters. We found that (1) most of the heat in cutting is generated by shear deformation at the shear plane of ice, and the heat could increase the chip temperature by several degrees; (2) the rake angle of the cutter has more influence on the temperature increase in chips than the barrel rotation speed and penetration pitch; (3) if the cutter is made of a material with larger thermal conductivity, the temperature increase in the chips can be reduced; and (4) if the density of the liquid is less than the density of ice, the cutting chips sink to the bottom and the friction heat generated by the drill head and slush can raise the ambient temperature of the drill head by several degrees.
Laboratory experiments were done to better understand the electrical conduction mechanisms of impure, polycrystalline ice as represented by the 2503 m Dome Fuji (Antarctica) ice core. Also, two electrical measurement techniques for ice cores were compared and their usefulness for determining the acidity of ice cores was studied. We measured the electrical conductivity and complex permittivity of 167 slab-ice samples at frequencies from 20 Hz to 1 MHz. Measurements were performed at –21˚C for all samples, and at –110˚ to –20˚C for several samples, to examine the effects of temperature. We found linear relations between the AC loss factor and the molarity of sulfuric acid, and between the high-frequency-limit conductivity and the AC loss factor. Thus, the acidity levels can be determined from the AC loss factor. In contrast, the electrical conductivity measurement (ECM) current correlated weakly with the other parameters; furthermore, the correlation worsens at larger signal. In several samples containing high acidity, the dielectric properties had distinct changes near –81˚C. We argue that these changes were caused by a change from a liquid-vein-mediated conduction mechanism above the eutectic point of the solute/water/ ice system to a solid-phase conduction mechanism at lower temperatures.
The 320 kyr climatic record from the 2503 m Dome Fuji (Antarctica) ice core was analyzed using two electrical methods: AC-ECM and ECM (electrical conductivity measurements). AC-ECM is a method to detect the complex admittance between electrodes dragged on the ice surface with mm-scale resolution and uses 1V and 1 MHz. the ratio of the real to imaginary part of the admittance is the AC loss factor, which responds linearly to the amount of sulfuric acid and hydrogen ions. Both the AC loss factor and the ECM current respond to acid, but the ECM signal tends to saturate at high acidities. Dome Fuji ice was measured to be highly acidic, with background values of 2–7 μM, and had 4500 major peaks with acidities of up to 90 μM. This ice-core evidence and earlier snow-chemistry survey around the dome region indicates that Dome F may have a better connection to the stratosphere than have sites at lower altitude, which allows more stratospheric aerosol and gases to reach the snow surface. Acidity tends to be high in interglacial periods, but correlation between acidity and δ18O is not straightforward. Electrical signals decreased and smoothed out with increasing depth; the diffusion coefficients deduced from this smoothing were 10–102 times greater than in solid ice. the ice core exhibited electromechanical effects and expelling effects from sulfate peaks.
To determine annual layers for reconstructing the past environment at annual resolution from ice cores, we employed snow-stake data back to 1972, tritium content, solid electrical conductivity measurements (ECM) and stratigraphic properties for the 73m ice core at the H72 site, east Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. the average annual surface mass balance at H72 is 307 mma–1w.e. during the last 27 years from continuous accumulation data, 317 mma–1 w.e. according to the densification model and 311 mma–1 w.e. according to the average surface mass balance for 167 years based on annual-layer counting. the ECM age is closely coincident with tritium age, and corresponds with the snow-stake record back to AD 1972 from the surface to 15 m depth. the H72 ice core is dated as AD 1831by ECMat 73.16 mdepth.The time series of yearly surface mass balance at H72 shows an almost constant 311 mm a–1 w.e. for the last 167 years. the oxygen-isotope records indicate a significant trend to lower values, with negative gradient of 1.7% (100 years)–1.
Snowpack and ice-core samples were collected from the dome of Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard, in the spring of both 1998 and 1999. The samples were analyzed for anions, cations, pH, liquid electrical conductivity and oxygen isotopes. Concentrations of chemical components in snowpack with a history of melting were much lower than those in unmelted snowpack. There was a clear difference between Mg2+/Na+ ratios previously in melted snowpack (0.03 ± 0.02) and in unmelted snowpack (0.11 ± 0.02). We propose that the Mg2+/Na+ ratio can be used as an indicator of whether or not firn or bubbly ice in the Austfonna ice core has experienced melt percolation. The Mg2+/Na+ ratio indicates that firn or bubbly ice prior to AD 1920 was much less affected by melt percolation than firn or bubbly ice formed after 1920.
The Antarctic ice sheet preserves paleoclimate information in the form of physical and chemical stratigraphy. A deep ice core down to 2503 m depth was drilled at Dome Fuji station, East Antarctica, during the 1993-96 Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition inland operations. Oxygen isotope measurements were conducted on 50 cm long samples selected from the entire core length. A palco-temperature profile was obtained for the past 340 ka by assuming the same conversion factors for the past relation as exist today between isotope ratio and both surface temperature and accumulation rate, in the inland region of Dronning Maud Land. The environmental-index profiles such as major chemical and dust contents coincide quite well withVostok ice-core data in general but not in detail. Detailed analysis of these climatic and environmental signals is in progress.
The melting rate of the bottom of a snow cover during the winter and its variation with time were studied in relation to heat exchange at the ground-snow interface. Continuous observations were made of bottom-melt, using a lysimeter, during the past four winters beginning December 1980, at our test field in Moshiri, Hokkaido, which is known for severe coldness and deep snow.
During the four months in this area the amount of bottom-melt ranged from 45 - 70 mm in total and from 0.4 - 0.6 mm per day on average. In winters with much snow the daily amount of bottom-melt decreased gradually from a maximum of about 1.5 mm.d-1 in early December, reached its minimum of 0.2 - 0.3 mm d-1 day in February, and then increased again. In a winter with a smaller amount of snow it varied greatly with time during the early period of the winter and became zero temporarily. Such variations of the melting rate could be explained by conductive heat fluxes observed in the ground and snow. The daily average of the former was about 5 W.m-2 at a depth of 0.1 m in early December and decreased to about 2.5 W.m-2 in early April.
A large scale study on the dependence of time lag of runoff on snow depth and stratigraphy was carried out in a watershed. The time lag in peak runoff was found to be increased by 1.5 - 4 h per I m increment in snow depth. Although the data were widely scattered, it was found that the time lag series converged in a line every year and that discrete layers in the snow cover composed in a warm winter, accelerated meltwater flow.
Subtracting the time of propagation through a snowcover from the total time lag, the effect of size of a watershed on a delay in runoff was rearranged, as follows:
where Tf is the time lag in min after discharge from a snow cover, A the area of a watershed in km2, Re the effective snowmelt in mm/hr. The time lag Tf increases only by 1.5 times when an area of a watershed is increased by a factor of ten.
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