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Refreezing of meltwater in firn is a major component of Greenland ice-sheet's mass budget, but in situ observations are rare. Here, we compare the firn density and total ice layer thickness in the upper 15 m of 19 new and 27 previously published firn cores drilled at 15 locations in southwest Greenland (1850–2360 m a.s.l.) between 1989 and 2019. At all sites, ice layer thickness covaries with density over time and space. At the two sites with the earliest observations (1989 and 1998), bulk density increased by 15–18%, in the top 15 m over 28 and 21 years, respectively. However, following the extreme melt in 2012, elevation-detrended density using 30 cores from all sites decreased by 15 kg m−3 a−1 in the top 3.75 m between 2013 and 2019. In contrast, the lowest elevation site's density shows no trend. Thus, temporary build-up in firn pore space and meltwater infiltration capacity is possible despite the long-term increase in Greenland ice-sheet melting.
A water-developable sugar-based negative resist material was developed. This material enables the use of pure water in the development process of electron beam (EB) green lithography instead of conventionally used aqueous alkaline developers and organic solvents. The sugar-based negative resist material was developed by replacing the hydroxyl groups in alpha-linked disaccharides with EB-sensitive 2-methacryloyloxyethyl groups. The sugar-based negative resist material features highly efficient crosslinking and low film thickness shrinkage under EB irradiation. It is demonstrated to be applicable to green lithography with a 100– 500 nm line-and-space pattern and an EB exposure dose of 18 μC/cm2.
Many curious white spots of 1–10 cm diameter were found on wet snow (~10 mm thick) on the morning of 1 November 2009 in Kitami and Oketo in Hokkaido, Japan. At first glance, the white spots appeared to be made of spherically gathered snow; however, they had actually been formed by the scattering of sunlight over wet snow. Thin air bubbles enclosed in the wet snow caused a diffuse reflection of sunlight and formed the white spots. We refer to this phenomenon as white spotted wet snow. Although this type of snow has been briefly described previously, the formation process, meteorological conditions that lead to its formation, its vertical structure and the horizontal distribution of the white spots are unknown. Our study addresses these issues. In addition, three independent methods (a nearest-neighbour method, Voronoi diagram and two-dimensional correlation function) demonstrate that the white spots are not randomly distributed but tend to be surrounded by six other spots.
Following an International Geophysical Year project, we conducted meteorological observations during 2004–07 around the Suntar–Khayata range in eastern Siberia, where a strong temperature inversion exists throughout the winter. The temperature on the flat plain around Oymyakon (~700ma.s.l.) was ~20°C lower than that in a glaciated area located at ~2000ma.s.l. The inversion remained stable from October to April due to the Siberian high. Snowfall was limited to the beginning and end of winter. The stable conditions prevented atmospheric disturbances and inhibited snowfall during midwinter. From 1945 to 2003, glaciers in the Suntar–Khayata range retreated, with an area reduction of 19.3%. To assess this retreat, we estimated the response of the glaciers to climate change. According to US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) data, the temperature in this region increased by ~1.9°C over 60 years. By calculating snow accumulation and ablation, the sensitivity of the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) to the temperature shift was evaluated. We estimated snow precipitation based on precipitation at <0°C and ablation using the degree-day method. By these estimates, the ELA of Glacier No. 31, assumed 2350 m at present, could rise ~150m if temperature rises an average of 1°C. Furthermore, a 1.8°C temperature rise could cause the ELA to rise to 2600ma.s.l., removing the accumulation zone. With no accumulation zone, the glacier body would decrease, roughly halving in volume after ~400 years.
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.
An assessment of the glaciological and meteorological characteristics of Dome A, the summit of the East Antarctic ice sheet, is made based on field investigations during the austral summer of 2004/05. Knowledge of these characteristics is critical for future international studies such as deep ice-core drilling. The assessment shows that: (1) Dome A is characterized by a very low 10m depth firn temperature, –58.3˚C (nearly 3˚C lower than at EPICA Dome C and 1˚C lower than at Vostok). (2) Automatic weather station (AWS) measurements of snow surface height and reference layers in a snow pit indicate the present-day snow accumulation rate at Dome A is within the range 1–3cmw.e. a–1. Densification models suggest a range of 1–2cmw.e. a–1. This is lower than at other sites along the ice divide of East Antarctica (IDEA). Annual layers at Dome A are thus potentially thinner than at other sites, so that a longer record is preserved in a given ice thickness. (3) The average wind speed observed at Dome A (<4ms–1) is lower than at other sites along IDEA. Together, these parameters, combined with radio-echo sounding data and information on the subglacial drainage distribution beneath Dome A, suggest Dome A as a candidate site for obtaining the oldest ice core.
A measure of snow density is required to estimate water equivalent ice-sheet surface mass balance (SMB) from stake measurements. Previous studies have utilized the snow density at different depths within the snow. By considering the snow densification process in the time interval between stake height measurements, we find that use of the snow density at the base of the stake is more appropriate. We assume the stakes are firmly anchored at the bottom and that Sorge’s law holds, i.e. the density–depth profile does not change with time. Applying this method to the data for 36 snow stakes on Dome Fuji, the SMB in 2003 was 36.5 kg m-2 a−1, 27% larger than the previous estimate, which used surface snow density. Correct selection of the snow density for SMB estimations is important, especially for Antarctic inland areas where accumulation is low (e.g. Dome Fuji, Vostok, Dome C and South Pole) and where the snow density near the surface varies markedly.
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.
A glacier at the summit of Ushkovsky volcano, Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, was studied in order to obtain information about the physical characteristics of a glacier that fills a volcanic crater. The glacier has a gentle surface and a concave basal profile with a maximum measured depth of 240 m at site K2. The annual accumulation rate was 0.54 m a−1 w.e., and the 10 m depth temperature was −15.8°C. A 211.70 m long ice core drilled at K2 indicates that (1) the site is categorized as a percolation zone, (2) the stress field in the glacier changes at 180 m depth from vertical and longitudinal compression with transversal extension, which is divergent flow, to a shear-dominated stress field, and (3) the frequent occurrence of ash layers can be a good tool for dating the ice core. The borehole temperature profiles were considered to be non-stationary, but the linear profile made it possible to estimate the basal temperature and the geothermal heat flux at K2. Assuming constant surface and the basal boundary conditions, we constructed two depth–age relationships at K2. These predicted that the bottom ages of the ice core were about 511 or 603 years.
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.
A 2.2 m deep pit and the top 42.5 m of an ice core recovered at Snøfjellafonna, northwestern Spitsbergen, were continuously analyzed for Na+, Cl−, NO3−, SO42− and pH. Seasonal variations in ionic concentrations seem to have remained in the pit and the core, in spite of the relatively severe summer melting. We dated the core by counting annual peaks of Na+ and made an adjustment with the use of a tritium peak in 1963 as a reference horizon. It turned out that the depth of 42.5 m went back to the early 1930s or late 1920s. The 60–70 year record of snow chemistry showed that the concentrations of both NO3− and SO42− had increased in the 1950s and had decreased in the late 1970s and the 1980s. The increase would be explained in terms of anthropogenic inputs from the industrial areas. The later decrease of the same ions may have been caused by a combination of the reduction of the atmospheric precursors due to pollution controls and the meltwater-associated processes.
Two empirical equations for firn densification have been obtained,considering firn porosity as a function of overburden pressure. In the first equation, thereduction ratio of porosity in firn is assumed to be proportional to the increasing ratioof overburden pressure and the mth power of the porosity. The porosity exponent m should be close to -2, so as to have a best-fit with 14 depth-density profiles fromGreenland and Antarctica. In the second equation, the reduction ratio of porosity wasassumed to increase proportionally to the increment of overburden pressure and thenth power of the porosity. The most satisfactory values of the exponent range from -1 to 1. It has been suggested that firn density, determined primarily by overburdenpressure and firn temperature, contribute to a lesser degree.
The air-bubble formation process has been studied experimentally by using five ice cores from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Bubble volumes in firn-ice samples were measured by a classical method based on Boyle Mariotte's law for an ideal gas. It was found that the bubble volume varies with depth as a function of bulk density in the firn-ice transition layer, which is represented by an exponential function of firn density. Air bubbles start to form rapidly at a bulk density of 0.763–0.797 Mg m-3. This density (ρib) seems to be correlated with the ice temperature in the ice sheets; ρib increases with a decrease in the ice temperature. Vb shows the maximum value in the density range 0.819–0.832 Mg m-3. The corresponding porosity of the density ranges between 0.110 and 0.097. This porosity does not seem to correlate with ice temperature or accumulation rate at the coring site. These characteristics of firn densities probably affect the amount of entrapped air in glacier ice (total air content) in polar ice sheets.
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.