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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-110
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-110
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Jun 2020

24 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Physical properties of shallow ice cores from Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands

Elizabeth Ruth Thomas1, Guisella Gacitúa2, Joel B. Pedro3,4, Amy Constance Faith King1, Bradley Markle5, Mariusz Potocki6,7, and Dorothea Elizabeth Moser1,8 Elizabeth Ruth Thomas et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
  • 2Centro de Investigación Gaia Antártica, Universidad de Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile
  • 3Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, 7050, Australia
  • 4Australian Antarctic Programme Partnership, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 Australia
  • 5California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 91125, USA
  • 6Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
  • 7School of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
  • 8Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany

Abstract. The sub-Antarctic is one of the most data sparse regions on earth. A number of glaciated Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands have the potential to provide unique ice core records of past climate, atmospheric circulation and sea ice. However, very little is known about the glaciology of these remote islands or their vulnerability to warming atmospheric temperatures. Here we present ground penetrating radar (GPR), melt histories and density profiles from shallow ice cores (14 to 24 m) drilled on three sub-Antarctic islands and two Antarctic coastal domes. This includes the first ever ice cores from Bouvet Island (54°26’0 S, 3°25’0 E) in the South Atlantic, from Peter 1st Island (68°50’0 S, 90°35’0 W) in the Bellingshausen Sea and from Young Island (66°17′ S, 162°25′ E) in the Ross Sea sector’s Balleny Islands chain. Despite their sub-Antarctic location, surface melt is low at most sites (melt layers account for ∼10 % of total core), with undisturbed ice layers in the upper ∼40 m, suggesting minimal impact of melt water percolation. The exception is Young Island, where melt layers account for 47 % of the ice core. Surface snow densities range from 0.47 to 0.52 kg m3, with close-off depths ranging from 21 to 51 m. Based on the measured density, we estimate that the bottom ages of a 100 m ice core drilled on Peter 1st Island would reach ~1836 AD and ~1743 AD at Young Island.

Elizabeth Ruth Thomas et al.

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Elizabeth Ruth Thomas et al.

Elizabeth Ruth Thomas et al.

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Short summary
Here we present radar and ice core data from the sub-Antarctic islands of Bouvet Island, Peter 1st Island and Young Island. These islands have the potential to record past climate in one of the most data sparse regions on earth. Despite their northerly location, surface melting is generally low and the upper layer of the ice at most sites is undisturbed. We estimate that a 100 m ice core drilled on these islands could capture climate over the past 100-200 years.
Here we present radar and ice core data from the sub-Antarctic islands of Bouvet Island, Peter...
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