Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-294
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-294

  05 Oct 2021

05 Oct 2021

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

Chronostratigraphy of blue ice at the Larsen Glacier in Northern Victoria Land, East Antarctica

Giyoon Lee1, Jinho Ahn1, Hyeontae Ju2, Florian Ritterbusch3, Ikumi Oyabu4, Songyi Kim2, Jangil Moon2, Christo Buizert7, Sambit Ghosh1, Kenji Kawamura4,5,6, Zheng-Tian Lu3, Sangbum Hong2, Chang Hee Han2, Soon Do Hur2, Wei Jiang3, and Guo-Min Yang3 Giyoon Lee et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, South Korea
  • 3Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, CAS Center for Excellence in Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 4National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 5Department of Polar Science, School of Multidisciplinary Sciences, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 6Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka, Japan
  • 7College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, OR, USA

Abstract. Blue ice areas (BIAs) allow for the collection of large-sized old ice samples in a cost-effective way because deep ice outcrops and make old ice samples available close to the surface. However, most chronostratigraphy studies on blue ice are complicated due to fold and fault structures. Here, we report a simple stratigraphy of ice from the Larsen BIA, Antarctica, making the area valuable for paleoclimate studies. Ice layers defined by dust bands and ground penetration radar (GPR) surveys indicate a monotonic increase in age along the ice flow direction on the downstream side, while the upstream ice exhibits a potential repetition of ages on scales of tens of meters, as shown in the complicated fold structure. Stable water isotopes (δ18Oice and δ2Hice) and components of the occluded air (i.e., CO2, N2O, CH4, δ15N-N2, δ18Oatm (= δ18O-O2), δO2/N2, δAr/N2, 81Kr and 85Kr) were analyzed for surface ice and shallow ice core samples. Correlating δ18Oice, δ18Oatm, and CH4 records of Larsen ice with existing ice core records indicates that the gas age at shallow coring sites ranges between 9.2–23.4 ka BP and ice age for entire surface sampling sites between 5.6–24.7 ka BP. Absolute radiometric 81Kr dating for the two cores confirms the ages within acceptable levels of analytical uncertainty. Our study demonstrates that BIA in northern Victoria Land may help researchers obtain high-quality records for paleoclimate and atmospheric greenhouse gas compositions through the last deglaciation.

Giyoon Lee et al.

Status: open (until 30 Nov 2021)

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Giyoon Lee et al.

Giyoon Lee et al.

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Short summary
Blue ice areas (BIAs) have several advantages for reconstructing past climate. However, the complicated ice flow in the areas hinders constraining the age. We applied state-of-the-art techniques and found that the ages cover the last deglaciation period. Our study demonstrates that BIA in Northern Victoria Land may help reconstruct the past climate during the termination of the last glacial period.