Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-115
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-115

  26 May 2021

26 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

A new method of resolving annual precipitation for the past millennia from Tibetan ice cores

Wangbin Zhang1, Shugui Hou1,2,3, Shuang-Ye Wu4, Hongxi Pang1,2, Sharon B. Sneed5, Elena V. Korotkikh5, Paul A. Mayewski5, Theo M. Jenk6,7, and Margit Schwikowski6,7 Wangbin Zhang et al.
  • 1School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, China
  • 3School of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
  • 4Department of Geology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469, USA
  • 5Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
  • 6Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 7Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Net accumulation records derived from ice cores provide the most direct measurement of past precipitation. However, quantitative reconstruction of accumulation for past millennia remains challenging due to the difficulty in identifying annual layers in the deeper sections of ice cores. In this study, we propose a new method to quantify annual accumulation from ice cores for past millennia, using as an example an ice core drilled at the Chongce ice cap in the northwestern Tibetan Plateau (TP). First, we used the Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) technology to develop an ultra-high-resolution trace element records in three sections of the ice core and identified annual layers in each section based on seasonality of these elements. Second, based on nine 14C ages determined for this ice core, we developed a two-parameter flow model to established the thinning parameter of this ice core. Finally, we converted the thickness of annual layers in the three sample sections to past accumulation rates based on the thinning parameter derived from the ice-flow model. Our results show that the mean annual accumulation rate for the three sample sections are 102 mm/year (2511–2541 a B.P.), 76 mm/year (1682–1697 a B.P.) and 84 mm/year (781–789 a B.P.). For comparison, the Holocene mean precipitation is 103 mm/year. This method has the potential to reconstruct continuous high-resolution precipitation records covering millennia or even longer time periods.

Wangbin Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 21 Jul 2021)

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Wangbin Zhang et al.

Wangbin Zhang et al.

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Short summary
We propose a new method to quantify annual accumulation from ice cores for past millennia, using as an example an ice core drilled at the Chongce ice cap in the northwestern Tibetan Plateau.