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We measured the N2/O2 ratios in clathrate hydrate crystals from Vostok Antarctic ice cores using Raman spectroscopy in order to investigate the spatial distribution of air molecules within a crystal. The results showed that the pattern of the spatial distribution of air molecules in clathrate hydrate depends on the crystal. Some clathrate hydrates have inhomogeneous distributions of the N2/O2 ratio within the crystals, while others are practically homogeneous. The spatial distribution of air molecules within an individual clathrate hydrate changes with time due to three processes: (1) the initial selective enclathration caused by the difference between the dissociation pressures of pure N2- and O2–clathrate hydrates, (2) the diffusive mass transfer of air molecules from surrounding air bubbles through the ice matrix, and (3) diffusion of air molecules in the clathrate hydrate crystal. The dissociation pressures and the diffusion rates of air molecules in ice and clathrate hydrate strongly depend on temperature. Therefore, it is concluded that the pattern of the spatial distribution of air molecules in clathrate hydrate is mainly determined by the depth at which they formed and the temperature in the ice sheet.
In order to investigate the temperature dependence of vibrational spectra of ice, we measured the Raman spectra of artificial ice Ih in the temperature range 198–270 K. The frequency of translational lattice vibrations decreases with increases in the measurement temperature, and the rate of decrease discontinuously changes at 237 K. The discontinuous change of the rate of decrease is consistent with the phase transition from a proton-disordered arrangement to a proton-ordered arrangement at the ice temperature Ti = 237 K in polar ice sheets, as proposed by Fukazawa and others (1998b). We then compared the Raman spectra of translational lattice vibrations in ice Ih and Antarctic ice and examined the possible effects of the phase transition on the geophysical properties of Antarctic ice. We also report preliminary results of the neutron powder diffraction of Dome Fuji (DF) Antarctic ice, and discuss arrangements of protons in DF ice.
Air bubbles trapped near the surface of an ice sheet are transformed into air hydrates below a certain depth Their volume and number varies partly with environment and climate. Air bubbles and hydrates at 120-2200 m depth in the Dome Fuji (Dome F) ice core were examined with a microscope. This depth range covers the Holocene/Last Glacial/Last Interglacial/Previous Glacial periods. No air bubbles were seen below about 1100 m depth, and air hydrates began to appear from about 600 m. The observed number of air bubbles and hydrates was similar to that found in the Vostok ice core. For the ice covering the Last Glacial Maximum period, however the hydrate concentration in the Dome F core is about half that of the Vostok core. Reference to snow metamorphism and packing does not explain this finding.
Evidence of changing basal and internal ice properties near the grounding line was derived from airborne radio-echo-sounder observations of the ice sheet around the Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica. From the trailing figure of the bottom-echo signal, the roughness of the ice bottom near the grounding line was inferred. Results show that the specular components of scattering begin to appear on the ice-shelf side of the grounding line. Furthermore, double-trip echoes were observed with a strong scattering in the shelf area, and their boundary of occurrence was very close to the grounding line. This is evidence of interaction between ice and sea water at the bottom of the ice shelf. We also examined the occurrence of internal layered echoes. In most of the area around the mountains, internal echoes were observed continously, but they were not found at or close to the ice shelf. The boundary between the appearance and disappearance of internal-layer echoes is distinct, and occurs 20–30 km inland from the grounding line. These results suggest that some major change may occur in the internal ice on the inland side of the grounding line.
The causes and nature of ice-sheet radio-echo internal reflections at deep layers in polar ice sheets are discussed, based on the dielectric properties of ice that have been measured at microwave frequency and radio frequency. The reflection coefficients of electromagnetic waves in ice sheets due to two causes the change in permittivity induced by changes in crystal-orientation fabrics with depth, and changes in conductivity induced by changes in acidity with depth - were derived respectively as a function of the frequency used in radar sounding and the temperature of ice, and both were compared quantitatively. It is shown that at single-plane boundaries the reflection coefficients due to the former cause are independent of frequency and temperature and that they are large enough to produce dominant internal reflections. In contrast, reflection coefficients due to the latter cause strongly depend on frequency and temperature. Since they are inversely proportional to the frequency, the latter cause can be dominant only when frequencies below about 60 MHz are used. Examination of previous observational data has suggested that not only changes in acidity but also changes in crystal-orientation fabrics exist at depths corresponding to the dates of earlier volcanic eruptions.
Experimental investigations on the formation and growth processes of air-hydrate crystals were carried out to determine the transformation process of air bubbles into air-hydrate crystals in deep ice sheets. The microscopic observations revealed that the transformation began at the boundary between a bubble and ice. Faster transformation occurred along the boundary and, subsequently, the transformation progressed towards the center of the bubble at a lower rate. Each transformation rate increased with pressure and also with temperature. The activation energy of the transformation was about 0.52 eV for the primary transformation process and about 0.90 eV for subsequent processes. These results indicate that the rate determining the process of transformation is mainly supplementation of water molecules to the transformation site. An estimation of the transformation period of an air bubble into an air-hydrate crystal in a deep ice sheet reveals that it is about one thousandth of the time period of the transition zone, where both air-hydrates and air bubbles exist
The relationship between ice fabric and the internal radio-echo reflections was investigated using observation data collected at Mizuho Station, Antarctica. The data were obtained by 179 MHz radio-echo sounding and the ice fabric was measured from 700 m Mizuho ice core. The dielectric permittivity tensor at given depths in the ice sheet was calculated from the ice fabric.
The calculated dielectric permittivity tensor showed that the ice sheet at Mizuho Station is a uniaxially birefringent medium. The symmetrical axis of rotation was the same as the flow line. In such a medium, theory predicts that the electric field vectors are allowed only in the two directions parallel and perpendicular to the flow line. The prediction coincided well with the observation: a strong signal was observed only when the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna, kept parallel to one another, were oriented parallel or perpendicular to the flow line. However, the observed signal strength in these two directions differed from one another at each depth.
It is also shown that the power reflection coefficient due to the variation of ice fabric with depth is of approximately the same order as that due to the density change and is large enough to produce the predominant internal radio-echo reflections.
Dielectric anisotropy in ice Ih was investigated at 9.7 GHz with the waveguide method. The measurement of dielectric permittivity was made using single crystals collected from Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska. The result of the measurement shows that ϵ′‖c, the real part of dielectric permittivity parallel to the c axis, is larger than ϵ′⊥c the real part of dielectric permittivity perpendicular to the c axis. This tendency is similar to that at low frequencies in the region of the Debye relaxation dispersion. It can be proposed that ϵ′‖c>ϵ′⊥c in the HF, VHF and microwave frequency range. ϵ′‖c and ϵ′‖c depend slightly upon temperature but the dielectric anisotropy, ∆ϵ′=ϵ′‖c-ϵ′⊥c, is constant and becomes 0.037 (±0.007). Based on the present results, a simple caculation indicates that the maximum power reflection coefficient caused by the dielectric anisotropy is about −50 ∼ −80 dB, which is significantly larger than the power reflection coefficient observed in the ice sheet by radio-echo sounding, about −70 ∼ −80 dB. This leads to a conclusion that dielectric anisotropy is one of the dominant causes of internal reflections.
A linear relation between total gas content in ice and the elevation of ice formation (i.e. pore close-off) was obtained from seven shallow ice cores in Mizuho Plateau, Antarctica. The derived relation was applied to the vertical profile of total gas content in a 700 m long ice core at Mizuho Station. A general trend of gradual increase in total gas content was observed from 600 to 200 m in depth, from which toward the upper layer it showed a steep increase. After eliminating the effect of down-slope flow of ice around Mizuho Station, it was estimated that the thickness of the ice sheet decreased by about 350 m at maximum during the last 2000 years. This tendency also appears in the δ18O profile of the same ice core.
A large part of the area of the Shirase Glacier drainage basin has been surveyed by airborne (operating frequency: 179 MHz) and ground-based (60 MHz) radio echo-sounding to define the bedrock topography and to investigate the condition of bed/ice interface since 1982.
It is shown that the reflection intensity from the bed, which is corrected for attenuation in the ice sheet, has a higher value for reflection intensity in the down-stream area of Shirase Glacier than in the up-stream area. The area of strongest intensity of reflection from the bed coincides with the area for which the calculated temperature at the bed is above −1°C. The boundary area between the highest and lowest values of corrected reflected intensity corresponds to the area of decreasing basal shear stress. It is found that the distribution of high corrected reflection intensity corresponds to the area of thinning of the ice sheet, which has been measured by ice-flow observation in the Shirase Glacier drainage basin.
The horizontal divergence of drifting snow was estimated from the ice-sheet topography on Mizuho Plateau, East Antarctica. The calculation was made by using a relationship between the snow-drift transport rate and wind speed estimated from the surface slope. The divergence thus estimated for Mizuho Station (70°42′S, 44°20′E) was consistent with observations of surface net mass balance, precipitation and sublimation. Around the southern region of the Yamato Mountains, a large divergence was predicted and this is believed to be the principal cause of the bare ice field. Other factors in the formation and preservation of the bare-ice area are discussed.
Measurements of density, total gas content, δ18O, and electrical conductivity were carried out along a core 100 m long. A profile of in-situ bubble pressure was obtained from the data on density and total gas content, taking into account the volume relaxation of the core in the period between core recovery and density determination. The bubble pressure was appreciably higher than the overburden pressure at corresponding depths. It was considered that the pressure difference was caused by the continuous lifting of the ice, since ice flow was obstructed in the blue-ice area. From the profile of the pressure difference, the vertical distribution of the upward velocity was calculated, which provided a time-scale for the core. It was found that the 100 m long core represented a record of about 104–105a. Since the surface ice was considered to represent a few tens of thousand years B.P., the data obtained on total gas content, δ18O, and electrical conductivity would describe the variations in the climate as well as in the ice sheet during the last glacial period.
The Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) has conducted glaciological studies on Mizuho Plateau since 1981. We have already reported that the ice sheet flowing from Mizuho Plateau into Shirase Glacier is thinning at a rate of about 70 cm/year and that the profile of the distribution of basal shear stress is similar to that of surging glaciers.
A 5 year glaciological programme on Mizuho Plateau and in east Queen Maud Land is now being carried out and we have obtained the following new results:
(1) The ice sheet in the down-stream region (where ice elevation is lower than about 2400 m) is thinning, based on measurements of horizontal and vertical flow velocity, strain-rate, the slope of the ice surface, the accumulation rate and densification of snow.
(2) δ18O analysis of deep ice cores obtained at Mizuho Station (2240 m a.s.l.) and point G2 (1730 m a.s.l.) shows that δ18O increased about 200 years ago at Mizuho Station and about 400 years ago at point G2. If we can assume that the increase in δ18O is caused by the thinning of the ice sheet, then this result means that this thinning propagates to up-stream areas.
(3) Radio-echo-sounding measurements on Mizuho Plateau show that the ice base in the down-stream region is wet. This supports the result described in (1), since the basal sliding due to a wet base causes ice-sheet thinning, as proposed in our previous studies.
In summary, a possible explanation of ice-sheet variation on Mizuho Plateau is as follows: the thinning of the ice sheet, caused by the basal sliding due to basal ice melting, started at Shirase Glacier and has been propagating up-stream to reach its present position. A simple calculation, using flow velocities, shows that the thinning started at Shirase Glacier about 1500–2000 years ago.
Air-hydrate inclusions have been found in deep ice cores from Dye 3, Greenland, which were taken in August 1981. Although the concentration of the air-hydrate crystals decreased with time, when the core was stored at a temperature of −50 °C, they still existed to an appreciable extent in 1985.
An ice specimen was cut out from the Dye 3 core at a depth of 1500 m, where the volume fraction of the hydrate crystals was about 10−3 by volume. Its dielectric properties were measured in September 1985, in a frequency range of 30-20 × 103 Hz and temperature range of −20° to −90°C. The activation energy obtained for the relaxation time of the Debye dispersion was about 0.2 eV, which is much smaller than that of pure ice.
The measurement was repeated once a month for about a year, and the sample was stored at a temperature of −10 °C between measurements. The time variation of the dielectric properties has been discussed in relation to the deterioration of the air-hydrate crystals.
Extensive echo-sounding was carried out in east Dronning Maud Land during the 1984 field season. A 179 MHz radar with separate transmitting and receiving antennae was used and the echoes were recorded by a digital system to detect minute reflections. The results gave cross-sections of the ice sheet along traverse routes from lat. 69 °S. to 75°S, Detailed observations on the ground at Mizuho station showed that there was elliptical polarization in the internally reflected echoes when two antennae, kept in parallel with each other, were rotated horizontally. The internal echoes were most clearly distinguished when the antenna azimuth was oriented perpendicular to the flow line of the ice sheet. The internal echoes with a high reflection coefficient were detected at depths of 500–700 m and 1000–1500 m at Mizuho station. Since a distinct internal echo at a depth of 500 m coincides with a 5 cm thick volcanic ash-laden ice layer found in the 700 m ice core taken near the observation site, these echoes may correspond to the acidic ice layers formed by past volcanic events in east Dronning Maud Land.
Radiation budget measurements were made at Mizuho station (70°42'S, 44"20'E, 2 230 m a. s.1.), East Antarctica, in 1979, within the framework of the Japanese POLEX-South programme. Global, and reflected short-wave and downward and upward long-wave radiat i on fluxes were measured at the snow surface and at the top of a 30 m tower. Direct solar radiation was also measured at the snow surface.
Seasonal variations of net radiation and net short-wave and net long-wave radiation are presented. Daily variation of net radiation is also presented with the daily value of meteorological elements. The monthly amounts of net radiation in winter months had very large negative values of about -80 MJ m−2 month−1. (-2 kly month−1). Daily totals of net radiation for clear skies were negative even i n summer, and were always smaller than those for cloudy skies. Monthly amounts of net radiation in summer months (about -1 MJ m−2 month−1 in December) were the smallest among the several Antarctic stations compared, and whether the balance was negative or positive depended on the ratio of clear and cloudy days. Comparison of seasonal variations of radiation components was made and the dominant cause of the radiation balance was discussed.
In 1979, the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) developed a 179 MHz airborne radio echo-sounder (NIPR-A), and installed it in a Pilatus Porter PC-6 aircraft. The peak power of the sounder is about lkW and the pulse width is 0.3 ys. Soundings were carried out in Antarctica on Shirase Glacier and the Yamato Mountains in January 1980. The total flight distance over the Shirase Glacier was about 500 km in six flights, while, on the Yamato Mountains area, about 80 km long, two north-south flights and three eastwest flights were carried out.
In spite of poor wave penetration, the presence of many sub-glacial uplands (1 000 to 2 000 m a.s.l.) near the Yamato Mountains area was revealed. Discussion is concentrated on the bedrock and surface topography of the bare ice area near Motoi Nunatak in the southeast Yamato Mountains, because the previous traverse party covered this area and many meteorites have been discovered here.
A high sub-ice ridge with three peaks extends east of Motoi Nunatak, and from 22 to 28 km east of Motoi Nunatak there is a short ridge with two peaks. From 12 to 20 km up-glacier from Motoi Nunatak, a long but comparatively low ridge surrounds Motoi Nunatak ridge like an arc. Finally, the sub-ice flow lines near Motoi Nunatak are deduced from new and earlier data.
The Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition observed the thinning of the ice sheet, about 70 cm/year, in Mizuho Plateau. The thinning observed is analysed using an equation of mass continuity. The result of the analysis indicates that the thinning is predominantly caused by the basal sliding and the basal sliding velocity is about 10 m/year. This sliding velocity is compared with the basal sliding velocity obtained by the calculation of the velocity due to internal deformation of ice sheet.
Wavy perturbations formed on disc-shaped internal melting figures in ice were observed. It was found that a minimum wavelength of the perturbations was approximately 100 μm and a critical thickness of the figures for the formation of the perturbations was 10 μ.m. The critical thickness did not depend on the radius and growth rate of the figures. A minimum wave number of the perturbation was 6 and the axis of its sixfold symmetry was parallel to the <1120> direction, The perturbations with large wave number were formed on the inclined side faces of internal melting figures of which the shape was like a truncated cone. Therefore, it was concluded that the perturbations were nucleated at the sharp edge where the side face and the larger plane of the figures intersected. This conclusion was supported by the observation of internal melting figures at grain boundaries where their periphery was always sharp.