Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
Research article
04 Aug 2015
Research article |  | 04 Aug 2015

Numerical simulations and observations of the role of katabatic winds in the creation and maintenance of Scharffenbergbotnen blue ice area, Antarctica

T. Zwinger, T. Malm, M. Schäfer, R. Stenberg, and J. C. Moore

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Cited articles

Axelsen, S. L. and van Dop, H.: Large-Eddy Simulation of Katabatic Winds. Part1: Comparison with Observations, Acta Geophys., 57, 803–836,, 2009.
Bazilevs, Y., Michler, C., Calo, V. M., and Hughes, T. J. R.: Turbulence without Tears: Residual-Based VMS, Weak Boundary Conditions, and Isogeometric Analysis of Wall-Bounded Flows, ICES Report No. 08-07, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, 2008.
Bintanja, R.: On the glaciological, meteorological, and climatological significance of Antarctic blue ice areas, Rev. Geophys., 37, 337–359,, 1999.
Bintanja, R. and Reijmer, C. H.: Meteorological conditions over Antarctic blue-ice areas and their influence on the local surface mass balance, J. Glaciol., 47, 37–50, 2001.
Bromwich, D. H., Du, Y., and Parish, T. H.: Numerical simulation of winter katabatic winds from west Antarctica crossing Siple Coast and the Ross Ice Shelf, Mon. Weather Rev., 122, 1417–1435, 1994.
Short summary
By deploying a large-scale high-resolution turbulent CFD simulation using the present-day topography of the Scharffenbergbotnen (SBB) valley, we show how the surrounding topography redirects incoming easterly katabatic storm fronts to impact the blue ice areas (BIA) inside the valley, where the snow cover frequently is removed. A further simulation of a reconstructed topography at the Late Glacial Maximum further reveals that the BIA at SBB must have formed after this period.