Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2099-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2099-2016
Research article
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15 Sep 2016
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 15 Sep 2016

Dispersion in deep polar firn driven by synoptic-scale surface pressure variability

Christo Buizert and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus

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Short summary
The upper 50–100 m of the world's ice sheets consists of the firn layer, a porous layer of snow that is slowly compacted by overlying snow. Understanding air movement inside the firn is critical for ice core climate reconstructions. Buizert and Severinghaus identify and describe a new mechanism of firn air movement. High- and low-pressure systems force air movement in the firn that drives strong mixing, called dispersion. Dispersion is the main mechanism for air mixing in the deep firn.