Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Research article
22 May 2015
Research article |  | 22 May 2015

Constraints on the δ2H diffusion rate in firn from field measurements at Summit, Greenland

L. G. van der Wel, H. A. Been, R. S. W. van de Wal, C. J. P. P. Smeets, and H. A. J. Meijer

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Cited articles

Adolph, A. and Albert, M. R.: An improved technique to measure firn diffusivity, Int. J. Heat Mass. Trans., 61, 598–604,, 2013.
Adolph, A. C. and Albert, M. R.: Gas diffusivity and permeability through the firn column at Summit, Greenland: measurements and comparison to microstructural properties, The Cryosphere, 8, 319–328,, 2014.
Albert, M. R. and Shultz, E. F.: Snow and firn properties and air-snow transport processes at Summit, Greenland, Atmos. Environ., 36, 2789–2797,, 2002.
Andersen, K. K., Ditlevsen, P. D., Rasmussen, S. O., Clausen, H. B., Vinther, B. M., Johnsen, S. J., and Steffensen, J. P.: Retrieving a common accumulation record from Greenland ice cores for the past 1800 years, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 111, D15106,, 2006a.
Andersen, K. K., Svensson, A., Johnsen, S. J., Rasmussen, S. O., Bigler, M., Rothlisberger, R., Ruth, U., Siggaard-Andersen, M.-L., Steffensen, J. P., Dahl-Jensen, D., Vinther, B. M., and Clausen, H. B.: The Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005, 15–42 ka, Part 1: constructing the time scale, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 25, 3246–3257,, 2006b.
Short summary
We performed 2H isotope diffusion measurements in the upper 3 metres of firn at Summit, Greenland, by following over a 4-year period isotope-enriched snow that we deposited. We found that the diffusion process was much less rapid than in the most commonly used model. We discuss several aspects of the diffusion process that are still poorly constrained and might lead to this discrepancy. Quantitative knowledge of diffusion is necessary for use of the diffusion process itself as a climate proxy.