Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Research article
05 Nov 2020
Research article |  | 05 Nov 2020

Representative surface snow density on the East Antarctic Plateau

Alexander H. Weinhart, Johannes Freitag, Maria Hörhold, Sepp Kipfstuhl, and Olaf Eisen

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Cited articles

Agosta, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Orsi, A., Favier, V., Gallée, H., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van Wessem, J. M., van de Berg, W. J., and Fettweis, X.: Estimation of the Antarctic surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR (1979–2015) and identification of dominant processes, The Cryosphere, 13, 281–296,, 2019. 
Alexander, P. M., Tedesco, M., Koenig, L., and Fettweis, X.: Evaluating a Regional Climate Model Simulation of Greenland Ice Sheet Snow and Firn Density for Improved Surface Mass Balance Estimates, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 12073–12082,, 2019. 
Anschütz, H., Muller, K., Isaksson, E., McConnell, J. R., Fischer, H., Miller, H., Albert, M., and Winther, J. G.: Revisiting sites of the South Pole Queen Maud Land Traverses in East Antarctica: Accumulation data from shallow firn cores, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 114, D24106,, 2009. 
Anschütz, H., Sinisalo, A., Isaksson, E., McConnell, J. R., Hamran, S. E., Bisiaux, M. M., Pasteris, D., Neumann, T. A., and Winther, J. G.: Variation of accumulation rates over the last eight centuries on the East Antarctic Plateau derived from volcanic signals in ice cores, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 116, D20103,, 2011. 
Arthern, R. J., Winebrenner, D. P., and Vaughan, D. G.: Antarctic snow accumulation mapped using polarization of 4.3-cm wavelength microwave emission, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 111, D06107,, 2006. 
Short summary
From 1 m snow profiles along a traverse on the East Antarctic Plateau, we calculated a representative surface snow density of 355 kg m−3 for this region with an error less than 1.5 %. This density is 10 % higher and density fluctuations seem to happen on smaller scales than climate model outputs suggest. Our study can help improve the parameterization of surface snow density in climate models to reduce the error in future sea level predictions.