WorldWideScience

Sample records for antarctic peninsula ice

  1. Speedup and fracturing of George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    T. O. Holt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available George VI Ice Shelf (GVIIS is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, a region where several ice shelves have undergone rapid breakup in response to atmospheric and oceanic warming. We use a combination of optical (Landsat, radar (ERS 1/2 SAR and laser altimetry (GLAS datasets to examine the response of GVIIS to environmental change and to offer an assessment on its future stability. The spatial and structural changes of GVIIS (ca. 1973 to ca. 2010 are mapped and surface velocities are calculated at different time periods (InSAR and optical feature tracking from 1989 to 2009 to document changes in the ice shelf's flow regime. Surface elevation changes are recorded between 2003 and 2008 using repeat track ICESat acquisitions. We note an increase in fracture extent and distribution at the south ice front, ice-shelf acceleration towards both the north and south ice fronts and spatially varied negative surface elevation change throughout, with greater variations observed towards the central and southern regions of the ice shelf. We propose that whilst GVIIS is in no imminent danger of collapse, it is vulnerable to ongoing atmospheric and oceanic warming and is more susceptible to breakup along its southern margin in ice preconditioned for further retreat.

  2. Impacts of the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean on the Antarctic Peninsula and sea ice.

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    Li, Xichen; Holland, David M; Gerber, Edwin P; Yoo, Changhyun

    2014-01-23

    In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climate changes. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice. Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexing redistribution. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among other factors, changes in radiative forcing and remote Pacific climate variability, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsula warming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, in the north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that sea surface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation reduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributes to the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Ross and Amundsen-Bellingshausen-Weddell seas and to the Antarctic Peninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysis of observational and reanalysis data, and independently from both comprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections of future climate change in Antarctica, and has the potential to affect the global thermohaline circulation and sea-level change. PMID:24451542

  3. Detailed ice loss pattern in the northern Antarctic Peninsula: widespread decline driven by ice front retreats

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    T. A. Scambos

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, 3 a−1 and 24.9 ± 7.8 Gt a−1. This mass loss is compatible with recent gravimetric assessments, but it implies that almost all the gravimetry-inferred loss lies in the nAP sector. Mass loss is highest for eastern glaciers affected by major ice shelf collapses in 1995 and 2002, where twelve glaciers account for 60% of the total imbalance. However, losses at smaller rates occur throughout the nAP, and at high and low elevation, despite increased snow accumulation along the western coast and at high elevations. We interpret the widespread mass loss to be driven by decades of ice front retreats on both sides of the nAP, and by the propagation of kinematic waves triggered at the fronts into the interior.

  4. Exposure-age record of Holocene ice sheet and ice shelf change in the northeast Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Balco, G.; Schaefer, J. M.; LARISSA group

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes glacial–geologic observations and cosmogenic-nuclide exposure ages from ice-free areas adjacent to the Sjögren, Boydell, and Drygalski Glaciers of the northeast Antarctic Peninsula. These provide a record of Holocene glacier and ice shelf change in this region. Early Holocene ice surface elevation near the present coastline was locally at least 500 m above present sea level, but our observations do not constrain the maximum thickness of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice or t...

  5. Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nield, Grace A.; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Bordoni, Andrea;

    2014-01-01

    ×1017–2×1018 Pas – much lower than previously suggested for this region. Combining the LARISSA time series with the Palmer cGPS time series offers a rare opportunity to study the time-evolution of the low-viscosity solid Earth response to a well-captured ice unloading event.......Since 1995 several ice shelves in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed and triggered ice-mass unloading, invoking a solid Earth response that has been recorded at continuous GPS (cGPS) stations. A previous attempt to model the observation of rapid uplift following the 2002 breakup...... of the Palmer cGPS station since 2002 cannot be explained by elastic deformation alone. We apply a viscoelastic model with linear Maxwell rheology to predict uplift since 1995 and test the fit to the Palmer cGPS time series, finding a well constrained upper mantle viscosity but less sensitivity to lithospheric...

  6. In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf

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    D. P. Grosvenor

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In-situ aircraft observations of ice crystal concentrations in Antarctic clouds are presented for the first time. Orographic, layer and wave clouds around the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice shelf regions were penetrated by the British Antarctic Survey's Twin Otter aircraft, which was equipped with modern cloud physics probes. The clouds studied were mostly in the free troposphere and hence ice crystals blown from the surface are unlikely to have been a major source for the ice phase. The temperature range covered by the experiments was 0 to −21 °C. The clouds were found to contain supercooled liquid water in most regions and at heterogeneous ice formation temperatures ice crystal concentrations (60 s averages were often less than 0.07 l−1, although values up to 0.22 l−1 were observed. Estimates of observed aerosol concentrations were used as input into the DeMott et al. (2010 ice nuclei (IN parameterisation. The observed ice crystal number concentrations were generally in broad agreement with the IN predictions, although on the whole the predicted values were higher. Possible reasons for this are discussed and include the lack of IN observations in this region with which to characterise the parameterisation, and/or problems in relating ice concentration measurements to IN concentrations. Other IN parameterisations significantly overestimated the number of ice particles. Generally ice particle concentrations were much lower than found in clouds in middle latitudes for a given temperature.

    Higher ice crystal concentrations were sometimes observed at temperatures warmer than −9 °C, with values of several per litre reached. These were attributable to secondary ice particle production by the Hallett Mossop process. Even in this temperature range it was observed that there were regions with little or no ice that were dominated by supercooled liquid water. It is likely that in some cases this was due to a

  7. Glacier dynamics after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    Wendt, Anja; Bown, Francisca; Rivera, Andrés.; Wendt, Jens; Zamora, Rodrigo; Bravo, Claudio; Zenteno, Pablo; Casassa, Gino; Carrasco, Jorge; Quintana, Juan

    2010-05-01

    The retreat of Wordie Ice Shelf in the 1980s was the first recent episode in a series of ice-shelf collapse events which culminated in a substantial break-up of Wilkins Ice Shelf in April 2009. This widespread behaviour of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula has been attributed to atmospheric and oceanic warming. While atmospheric warming leads to a prolonged melt season and increased melt ponding, oceanic warming increases bottom melting eroding ice shelves from below. Glaciers feeding into these ice shelves are known to accelerate because of the loss of the buttressing force the ice shelf exerted. Although the loss of the ice shelf itself does not contribute to sea level rise, the increased glacier outflow results in a surface lowering of the grounded glaciers associated with a mass loss and a positive contribution to sea level. Based on remote sensing, airborne and in-situ data collected during 3 recent field campaigns, we study the behaviour of glaciers flowing into Wordie Bay and its relationship to ice-shelf history and local meteorological conditions. Satellite images from different optical and radar sensors (ASTER, Landsat, ERS, and Envisat) were used to map the ice-shelf extent throughout recent years and show an almost complete disappearance of Wordie Ice Shelf. The comparison of surface elevations acquired by airborne laser scanning on Fleming Glacier in 2004 and 2008 reveals a surface elevation decrease of up to 4 m/yr at the grounding line. GPS measurements at sites first surveyed in the 1970s show that the glacier maintains higher ice flow velocities than before the retreat of Wordie Ice Shelf. A continuous GPS station deployed at the upper reaches of Fleming Glacier for one year allows studying changes in ice flow velocity throughout the year. In summary, high ice flow velocities together with the marked surface elevation at the grounding line indicate that the glaciers in Wordie Bay are still losing mass and have not attained a new equilibrium

  8. Continued rapid glacier recession following the 1995 collapse of the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

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    Glasser, N. F.; Scambos, T. A.

    2009-12-01

    We use optical satellite imagery (ASTER and Landsat) to document changes in the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf (PGIS) and its tributary glaciers before and after its 1995 collapse. Interpretation of a pre-collapse Landsat 4-5 TM image acquired in February 1988 shows that the ice shelf was fed primarily by Sjogren Glacier from the Antarctic Peninsula and by Rhoss Glacier from James Ross Island (JRI). In 1988, the PGIS contained numerous structural discontinuities (rifts and crevasses), which collectively indicate that ice-shelf break-up had commenced at least seven years before collapse. Meltwater ponds and streams were also common across its surface. After the ice shelf collapsed, Rhoss Glacier became a tidewater glacier and has since experienced rapid and continued recession. Between January 2001 and December 2006 (six to eleven years after the collapse of the PGIS), the front of Rhoss Glacier receded a total of 13.6 km. We conclude that where tributary glaciers become tidewater glaciers they react to ice-shelf removal by rapid and continued recession and that the response time of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula to ice-shelf removal is measured on annual to decadal timescales. This rapid recession, coupled with previously documented tributary glacier thinning and acceleration, indicates that Antarctic Peninsula glaciers are extremely sensitive to ice-shelf collapse.

  9. Late Pleistocene ice-shelf, valley-glacier and ice-sheet interactions on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula: implications for climatic and ice-volume changes

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    Davies, Bethan; Hambrey, Michael; Glasser, Neil; Smellie, John; Carrivick, Jonathan; Bentley, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Recent rapid warming across the Antarctic Peninsula has resulted in ice-sheet thinning, dramatic ice-shelf collapse, acceleration of ice-flow velocities and widespread glacier recession. Reconstructing past rates, volumes and magnitudes of cryospheric change, particularly with respect to the former configuration of ice sheets and ice shelves, and their response to changing oceanic and climatic regimes, is vital in providing a context for this change, in order to improve predictions of future ice-sheet behaviour, and to provide glacio-isostatic adjustment corrections for gravimetric measurements of contemporary ice loss. This research aimed to investigate valley glacier and ice-shelf interactions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Holocene Epoch across George VI Sound and Alexander Island, western Antarctic Peninsula, an area with a well-preserved but poorly dated record. We identify four principal stratigraphic units: (1) a high-elevation drift with Alexander Island erratics only (interpreted as recording older advances of ice from the interior of the island), (2) a lower-elevation drift with exotic Palmer Land erratics (interpreted as ice-shelf moraine, representing incursions of George VI Ice Shelf onto Ablation Point Massif), (3) multiple overlapping sequences of valley glacier moraine and ice-shelf moraine, presumed to be Holocene in age, and (4) more recent processes and units, including frozen epishelf lakes, slope processes and alluvial fans. On-going cosmogenic nuclide dating on these sediments (in progress; 25 10Be exposure ages) has the potential to unlock the complex history and interactions of ice streams, valley glaciers and ice shelves in this area. This work will also provide the first long-term record of sea-level indicators, allowing the first estimates of glacial unloading, rates of uplift and ice-sheet thinning to be calculated. The Holocene record of the ice shelf, preserved in the younger ice-shelf moraines and in the overlapping

  10. Integration of airborne altimetry and in situ radar measurements to estimate marine ice thickness beneath the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    McGrath, D.; Steffen, K.; Rodriguez Lagos, J.

    2010-12-01

    Observed atmospheric and oceanic warming is driving significant retreat and / or collapse of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula totaling over 25,000 km2 in the past five decades. Basal melting of meteoric ice can occur near the grounding line of deep glacier inflows if the ocean water is above the pressure melting point. Buoyant meltwater will develop thermohaline circulation, rising beneath the ice shelf, where it may become supercooled and subsequently refreeze in ice draft minima. Marine ice, due to its warm and thus relatively viscous nature, is hypothesized to suture parallel flow bands, increasing ice shelf stability by arresting fracture propagation and controlling iceberg calving dimensions. Thus efforts to model ice shelf stability require accurate estimates of marine ice location and thickness. Ice thickness of a floating ice shelf can be determined in two manners: (1) from measurements of ice elevation above sea level and the calculation of ice thickness from assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium, and (2) from radar echo measurements of the ice-water interface. Marine ice can confound the latter because its high dielectric constant and strong absorptive properties attenuate the radar energy, often preventing a return signal from the bottom of the ice shelf. These two methods are complementary for determining the marine ice component though because positive anomalies in (1) relative to (2) suggest regions of marine ice accretion. Nearly 350 km of ice penetrating radar (25 MHz) surveys were collected on the Larsen C ice shelf, in conjunction with kinematic GPS measurements and collocated with surface elevation data from the NASA Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) as part of the ICE Bridge mission in 2009. Basal ice topography and total ice thickness is accurately mapped along the survey lines and compared with calculated ice thickness from both the kinematic GPS and ATM elevation data. Positive anomalies are discussed in light of visible imagery and

  11. Ice-Core Study of the Link between Sea-Salt Aerosol, Sea-Ice Cover and Climate in the Antarctic Peninsula Area

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    Aristarain, A.J. [Laboratorio de Estratigrafia Glaciar y Geoquimica del Agua y de la Nieve LEGAN, Instituto Antartico Argentino, Mendoza (Argentina); Delmas, R.J. [Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement LGGE, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, BP 96, 38402 St. Martin d' Heres Cedex (France); Stievenard, M. [Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l' Environnement LSCE, Centre d' Etudes de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, Cedex (France)

    2004-11-01

    Three ice cores and a set of snow pit samples collected on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 1979, 1981 and 1991 have been analyzed for water stable isotope content D or 18O (isotopic temperature) and major chemical species. A reliable and detailed chronological scale has been established first for the upper 24.5 m of water equivalent (1990-1943) where various data sets can be compared, then extended down to 59.5 m of water equivalent (1847) with the aid of seasonal variations and the sulphate peak reflecting the 1883 Krakatoa volcanic eruption. At James Ross Island, sea-salt aerosol is generally produced by ice-free marine surfaces during the summer months, although some winter sea-salt events have been observed. For the upper part of the core (1990-1943), correlations (positive or negative) were calculated between isotopic temperature, chloride content (a sea-salt indicator), sea-ice extent, regional atmospheric temperature changes and atmospheric circulation. The D and chloride content correlation was then extended back to 1847, making it possible to estimate decadal sea-ice cover fluctuations over the study period. Our findings suggest that ice-core records from James Ross Island reflect the recent warming and sea-ice decrease trends observed in the Antarctic Peninsula area from the mid-1940s.

  12. Seasonality of blue and fin whale calls and the influence of sea ice in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

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    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean M.; McDonald, Mark A.; Moore, Sue E.; Thiele, Deborah

    2004-08-01

    The calling seasonality of blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) and fin ( B. physalus) whales was assessed using acoustic data recorded on seven autonomous acoustic recording packages (ARPs) deployed from March 2001 to February 2003 in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Automatic detection and acoustic power analysis methods were used for determining presence and absence of whale calls. Blue whale calls were detected year round, on average 177 days per year, with peak calling in March and April, and a secondary peak in October and November. Lowest calling rates occurred between June and September, and in December. Fin whale calling rates were seasonal with calls detected between February and June (on average 51 days/year), and peak calling in May. Sea ice formed a month later and retreated a month earlier in 2001 than in 2002 over all recording sites. During the entire deployment period, detected calls of both species of whales showed negative correlation with sea ice concentrations at all sites, suggesting an absence of blue and fin whales in areas covered with sea ice. A conservative density estimate of calling whales from the acoustic data yields 0.43 calling blue whales per 1000 n mi 2 and 1.30 calling fin whales per 1000 n mi 2, which is about one-third higher than the density of blue whales and approximately equal to the density of fin whales estimated from the visual surveys.

  13. Downslope föhn winds over the Antarctic Peninsula and their effect on the Larsen Ice Shelves

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    Grosvenor, D. P.; King, J. C.; Choularton, T. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T.

    2014-03-01

    Mesoscale model simulations are presented of a westerly föhn event over the Antarctic Peninsula mountain ridge and onto the Larsen C Ice Shelf, just south of the recently collapsed Larsen B Ice Shelf. Aircraft observations showed the presence of föhn jets descending near to the ice shelf surface with maximum wind speeds at 250-350 m in height. Surface flux measurements suggested that melting was occurring. Simulated profiles of wind speed, temperature and wind direction were very similar to the observations. However, the good match only occurred at a model time corresponding to ˜9 h before the aircraft observations were made since the model föhn jets died down after this. Through comparison to an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) on the ice shelf surface (east side of the ridge) this was attributed to problems with the time evolution of the large scale meteorology of the analysis used to nudge the upper levels of the model. Timing issues aside, the otherwise good comparison between the model and observations gave confidence that the model flow structure was similar to that in reality. Details of the model jet structure are explored and discussed and are found to have ramifications for the placement of AWS stations on the ice shelf in order to detect föhn flow. Cross sections of the flow are also examined and were found to compare well to the aircraft measurements. Gravity wave breaking above the mountain crest likely created a situation similar to hydraulic flow and allowed föhn flow and ice shelf surface warming to occur despite strong upwind blocking, which in previous studies of this region has generally not been considered. The surface energy budget of the model during the melting periods showed that the net downwelling shortwave surface flux was the largest contributor to the melting energy, indicating that the cloud clearing effect of föhn events is likely to be the most important factor for increased melting relative to non-föhn days. The results also

  14. Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudon, E.; Moore, J.C.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.A.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Kohler, J.; Isaksson, E.

    2013-01-01

    An ice core extracted from Holtedahlfonna ice cap, western Spitsbergen, record spanning the period 1700–2005, was analyzed for major ions. The leading empirical orthogonal function (EOF) component is correlated with an index of summer melt (log([Na+]/[Mg2+]) from 1850 and shows that almost 50% of th

  15. The imbalance of glaciers after disintegration of Larsen-B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    H. Rott

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The outlet glaciers to the embayment of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf started to accelerate soon after the ice shelf disintegrated in March 2002. We analyse high resolution radar images of the TerraSAR-X satellite, launched in June 2007, to map the motion of outlet glaciers in detail. The frontal velocities are used to estimate the calving fluxes for 2008/2009. As reference for pre-collapse conditions, when the glaciers were in balanced state, the ice fluxes through the same gates are computed using ice motion maps derived from interferometric data of the ERS-1/ERS-2 satellites in 1995 and 1999. Profiles of satellite laser altimetry from ICESat, crossing the terminus of several glaciers, indicate considerable glacier thinning between 2003 and 2007/2008. This is taken into account for defining the calving cross sections. The difference between the pre- and post-collapse fluxes provides an estimate on the mass imbalance. For the Larsen-B embayment the 2008 mass deficit is estimated at 4.34 ± 1.64 Gt a−1, significantly lower than previously published values. The ice flow acceleration follows a similar pattern on the various glaciers, gradually decreasing in magnitude with distance upstream from the calving front. This suggests stress perturbation at the glacier front being the main factor for acceleration. So far there are no signs of slow-down indicating that dynamic thinning and frontal retreat will go on.

  16. Evaluation of high-resolution MetUM and AMPS forecasts of near-surface meteorological variables over Larsen C ice shelf and northern Antarctic Peninsula

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    Orr, Andrew; Kirchgaessner, Amelie; King, John; Weeks, Mark; Gadian, Alan; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; van den Broeke, Michiel; Steffen, Konrad

    2016-04-01

    High-resolution weather forecasts are an important tool for understanding the detailed patterns of surface melt on the Larsen C ice shelf (LCIS), Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the skill of UK Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) and Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) forecasts with horizontal grid spacing of 4-5 km for a 1 month period during January-February 2011 by comparing near-surface model output to automatic weather station measurements at 5 sites on the LCIS and 3 on the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Forecasts for the range 12-24 h showed a fairly homogeneous performance over the LCIS. The 2 m temperature simulated by AMPS has a correlation with observations of 0.5-0.6 and a systematic cold bias of around -1 degrees centigrade. By comparison, the MetUM had a higher correlation and was less negatively biased. The simulated surface pressure has a correlation of 0.99 and small biases in both models. AMPS yielded better results than the MetUM for 10 m wind speed, being able to capture particularly well synoptically-driven high wind speeds which the MetUM systematically underestimated. Both models struggle to simulate the 10 m wind direction when the wind conditions are highly variable. The simulation of specific humidity by both models was poor. Both models showed a general reduction in performance over the northern Antarctic Peninsula compared to the LCIS. Extending the analysis to consider the 12-36 h forecast range demonstrated a relatively weak dependence of model skill to the length of the forecast. The study focuses particularly on the representation of foehn wind events, which are an important contributor to surface melt over the LCIS, by examining additional ~1 km scale forecasts using the MetUM.

  17. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by insolation and ENSO variability changes

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    J. Etourneau

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkenes for sea ice and TEXL86 for temperature and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages. The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~ 7000–3000 yr BP, local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~ 3000 yr was characterized by more variable temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The stepwise increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation despite an increasing summer insolation. We postulate that in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO. However, between 4000 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between

  18. Holocene climate variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula: evidence for sea ice extent predominantly controlled by changes in insolation and ENSO variability

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    J. Etourneau

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The West Antarctic ice sheet is particularly sensitive to global warming and its evolution and impact on global climate over the next few decades remains difficult to predict. In this context, investigating past sea ice conditions around Antarctica is of primary importance. Here, we document changes in sea ice presence, upper water column temperatures (0–200 m and primary productivity over the last 9000 yr BP (before present in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP margin from a sedimentary core collected in the Palmer Deep Basin. Employing a multi-proxy approach, based on the combination of two biomarkers proxies (highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkenes for sea ice and TEX86L for temperature and micropaleontological data (diatom assemblages, we derived new Holocene records of sea ice conditions and upper water column temperatures. The early Holocene (9000–7000 yr BP was characterized by a cooling phase with a short sea ice season. During the mid-Holocene (~7000–3800 yr BP, local climate evolved towards slightly colder conditions and a prominent extension of the sea ice season occurred, promoting a favorable environment for intensive diatom growth. The late Holocene (the last ~2100 yr was characterized by warmer temperatures and increased sea ice presence, accompanied by reduced local primary productivity, likely in response to a shorter growing season compared to the early or mid-Holocene. The gradual increase in annual sea ice duration over the last 7000 yr might have been influenced by decreasing mean annual and spring insolation, despite increasing summer insolation. We postulate that, in addition to precessional changes in insolation, seasonal variability, via changes in the strength of the circumpolar Westerlies and upwelling activity, was further amplified by the increasing frequency/amplitude of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO. However, between 3800 and 2100 yr BP, the lack of correlation between ENSO and climate

  19. Why does the Antarctic Peninsula Warm in climate simulations?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qu, Xin; Hall, Alex [University of California, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, PO BOX 951565, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Boe, Julien [University of California, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, PO BOX 951565, Los Angeles, CA (United States); CNRS/CERFACS, URA 1875, Toulouse (France)

    2012-03-15

    The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed significantly since the 1950s. This pronounced and isolated warming trend is collectively captured by 29 twentieth-century climate hindcasts participating in the version 3 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. To understand the factors driving warming trends in the hindcasts, we examine trends in Peninsula region's atmospheric heat budget in every simulation. We find that atmospheric latent heat release increases in nearly all hindcasts. These increases are generally anthropogenic in origin, and account for about 60% of the ensemble-mean warming trend in the Peninsula. They are driven primarily by well-understood features of the anthropogenic intensification of global hydrological cycle. As sea surface temperature increases, moisture contained in atmospheric flows increases. When such flows are forced to ascend the Peninsula's topography, enhanced local latent heat release results. The mechanism driving the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is therefore clear in the models. Evidence for a similar mechanism operating in the real world is seen in the increasing snow accumulation rates inferred from ice cores drilled in the Peninsula. However, the relative importance of this mechanism and other processes previously identified as potentially causing the observed warming, such as the recent sea ice retreat in the Bellingshausen Sea, is difficult to assess. Thus the relevance of the simulated warming mechanism to the observed warming is unclear, in spite of its robustness in the models. (orig.)

  20. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model (Shaffer 2014) is forced by reconstructed time series of Antarctic temperature, global sea level and ocean subsurface temperature over the last two glacial cycles. In this talk a modelling work of the Antarctic ice sheet over most of the Cenozoic era using the......The Antarctic ice sheet is a major player in the Earth’s climate system and is by far the largest depository of fresh water on the planet. Ice stored in the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) contains enough water to raise sea level by about 58 m, and ice loss from Antarctica contributed significantly to...... DAIS model will be presented. G. Shaffer (2014) Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1803‐1818...

  1. Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

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    Vaughan, D. G.; Marshall, G. J.; Connolley, W. M.; Parkinson, C.; Mulvaney, R.; Hodgson, D. A.; King, J. C.; Pudsey, C. J.; Turner, J.

    2002-12-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming was 0.6 ñ 0.2 degrees C during the 20th Century and cited increases in greenhouse gases as a likely contributor. But this average conceals the complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally biased, decadally variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming ? substantially more rapid than the global mean. We discuss the spatial and temporal significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. New analyses of station records show no ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming but significant RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the likelihood that this could be amplification of a global warming, and use climate-proxy data to indicate that this RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia and unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. We can show a strong connection between RRR warming and reduced sea-ice duration in an area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process causes the RRR warming, and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining it is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  2. Age, geographical distribution and taphonomy of an unusual occurrence of mummified crabeater seals on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Nelson, A. E.; Smellie, J. L.; Williams, M.; Moreton, S.

    2008-01-01

    An unusually dense collection of some 150 dead crabeater seals (Family Phocidae), in various stages of decay, occurs in the Brandy Bay hinterland, north-western James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula. Throughout the past 100 years, the presence of shelf ice (no longer present today) and sea ice in Prince Gustav Channel, between James Ross Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, has prevented seals from readily accessing the western side of James Ross Island. However, open water pools, so...

  3. The bedrock topography of Starbuck Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula, as determined by radio-echo soundings and flow modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Farinotti, Daniel; King, Edward C.; AlbrechtL, Anika; Huss, Matthias; Gudmundsson, G. Hilmar

    2014-01-01

    A glacier-wide ice-thickness distribution and bedrock topography is presented for Starbuck Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula. The results are based on 90 km of ground-based radio-echo sounding lines collected during the 2012/13 field season. Cross-validation with ice-thickness measurements provided by NASA's IceBridge project reveals excellent agreement. Glacier-wide estimates are derived using a model that calculates distributed ice thickness, calibrated with the radio-echo soundings. Additional ...

  4. Holocene Southern Ocean surface temperature variability west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevenell, A E; Ingalls, A E; Domack, E W; Kelly, C

    2011-02-10

    The disintegration of ice shelves, reduced sea-ice and glacier extent, and shifting ecological zones observed around Antarctica highlight the impact of recent atmospheric and oceanic warming on the cryosphere. Observations and models suggest that oceanic and atmospheric temperature variations at Antarctica's margins affect global cryosphere stability, ocean circulation, sea levels and carbon cycling. In particular, recent climate changes on the Antarctic Peninsula have been dramatic, yet the Holocene climate variability of this region is largely unknown, limiting our ability to evaluate ongoing changes within the context of historical variability and underlying forcing mechanisms. Here we show that surface ocean temperatures at the continental margin of the western Antarctic Peninsula cooled by 3-4 °C over the past 12,000 years, tracking the Holocene decline of local (65° S) spring insolation. Our results, based on TEX(86) sea surface temperature (SST) proxy evidence from a marine sediment core, indicate the importance of regional summer duration as a driver of Antarctic seasonal sea-ice fluctuations. On millennial timescales, abrupt SST fluctuations of 2-4 °C coincide with globally recognized climate variability. Similarities between our SSTs, Southern Hemisphere westerly wind reconstructions and El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability indicate that present climate teleconnections between the tropical Pacific Ocean and the western Antarctic Peninsula strengthened late in the Holocene epoch. We conclude that during the Holocene, Southern Ocean temperatures at the western Antarctic Peninsula margin were tied to changes in the position of the westerlies, which have a critical role in global carbon cycling. PMID:21307939

  5. The seasonal cycle of ocean-atmosphere CO2 Flux in Ryder Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula.

    OpenAIRE

    Legge, Oliver J.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Johnson, Martin T.; Meredith, Michael P.; Venables, Hugh J.; Brown, Peter J.; Lee, Gareth A.

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 15 million km2 of the Southern Ocean is seasonally ice covered, yet the processes affecting carbon cycling and gas exchange in this climatically important region remain inadequately understood. Here, 3 years of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) measurements and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes from Ryder Bay on the west Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) are presented. During spring and summer, primary production in the surface ocean promotes atmospheric CO2 uptake. In winter, higher DIC, caus...

  6. Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Davies

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly classifies the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island in 2009 AD. Secondly, this paper documents glacier change 1988–2009. In 2009, the glacierised area was 8140±262 km2. From 1988–2001, 90% of glaciers receded, and from 2001–2009, 79% receded. This equates to an area change of −4.4% for Trinity Peninsula eastern coast glaciers, −0.6% for western coast glaciers, and −35.0% for ice-shelf tributary glaciers from 1988–2001. Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest shrinkage from 1988–2001, with limited frontal change after 2001. Glaciers on the western Trinity Peninsula shrank less than those on the east. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island shrank fastest in the period 1988–2001. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula, with warming temperatures affecting the precipitation-starved glaciers on the eastern coast more than on the western coast. Reduced shrinkage on the western Peninsula may be a result of higher snowfall, perhaps in conjunction with the fact that these glaciers are mostly grounded. Rates of area loss on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing, which we attribute to the floating ice tongues receding into the fjords and reaching a new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid shrinkage of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and

  7. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Raphael, Marilyn; Rousset, Clément; Vivier, Frédéric; Moreau, Sébastien; Delille, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ~10°C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3°C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated.

  8. Impact of the El Nino on the Variability of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈锦年; 褚健婷; 徐兰英

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the spreading way in the southern hemisphere that anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is analysed and then impact of El Nino on the variability of the Antarctic sea ice extent is investigated by using a dataset from 1970 to 2002. The analysis result show that in El Nino event the anomalous warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific is poleward propagation yet the westward propagation along southern equator current hasn 't been discovered . The poleward propagation time of the anomalous warm water is about 1 year or so. El Nino event has a close relationship with the sea ice extent in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula. After El Nino appears , there is a lag of two years that the sea ice in the Amundsen sea , Bellingshausea sea, especially in the Antarctic peninsula decreases obviously. The processes that El Nino has influence with Antarctic sea ice extent is the warm water piled in tropical eastern Pacific poleward propagation along off the coast of southern America and cause the anomalous temperature raise in near pole and then lead the sea ice in Amundsen sea , Bellingshausen sea and Antarctic peninsula to decrease where the obvious decrease of the sea ice since 80 'decade has close relation to the frequently appearance of El Nino.

  9. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  10. Tephrochronology : Methodology and correlations, Antarctic Peninsula Area

    OpenAIRE

    Molén, Mats

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Methods for tephrochronology are evaluated, in the following way: Lake sediments <500 years old from three small Antarctic lakes were analysed for identification of tephras. Subsamples were analysed for a) grain size, and identification and concentration of volcanogenic grains, b) identification of tephra horizons, c) element abundance by EPMA WDS/EDS and LA-ICP-MS, and d) possible correlations between lakes and volcanoes. Volcanogenic minerals and shards were found all through th...

  11. Blue and fin whale acoustics and ecology off Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Sirovic, Ana

    2006-01-01

    Blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin whales (B. physalus) in the Southern Ocean were subjects of extensive whaling industry during the twentieth century. Their current population numbers remain low, making population monitoring using traditional visual surveys difficult. Both blue and fin whales produce low frequency, regularly repeated calls and are suitable for acoustic monitoring. Eight, continuously recording acoustic recorders were deployed off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) betwe...

  12. Impacts of unusually high sea ice cover on Antarctic coastal benthic food web structure

    OpenAIRE

    Michel, Loïc; Dubois, Philippe; Eleaume,Marc; Fournier, Jérôme; Gallut, Cyril; Jane, Philip; Lepoint, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica currently undergoes strong and contrasted impacts linked with climate change. While the West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions in the world, resulting in sea ice cover decrease, the sea ice cover of East Antarctica unexpectedly tends to increase, possibly in relation with changes in atmospheric circulation. Changes in sea ice cover are likely to influence benthic food web structure through modifications of benthic-pelagic coupling, disruption of benthic...

  13. Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    Gutt, J.; Barratt, I.; Domack, E.; d'Acoz, C. D.; Dimmler, W.; Gremare, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Isla, E.; Janussen, D.; E. ; Jorgensen; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L. S.; Lopez-Gonzales, P.; Langner, S; Linse, K

    2011-01-01

    The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosyst...

  14. Sediment fluxes of an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Kelly; Larter, Robert; Smith, James; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter

    2016-04-01

    New marine-geophysical data (multibeam bathymetry, high-resolution acoustic profiles) acquired in 2014 have been integrated with heritage multichannel seismic-reflection and deep-tow boomer profiles from Anvers-Hugo Trough, western Antarctic Peninsula. From these datasets we have identified seismic facies relating to ice-stream advance and flow, ice-stream retreat, and post-glacial sedimentation processes. We identify multiple subglacial seismic units forming MSGL and other streamlined landforms at a variety of size scales. This may be indicative of multiple generations of ice-flow through the confluent ice-stream system. We also calculate the sediment volumes of a series of grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) located on the outer and mid-shelf that were produced during several stillstands in the trough as the grounded ice margin retreated through the system during deglaciation around c. 15-13 ka (from published core chronologies). Based on these volumes we consider the likely rates of subglacial sediment delivery by the Anvers Trough palaeo-ice stream and compare these to inferred flux rates from other palaeo- and modern Antarctic ice streams. In addition, we map the post-glacial glacimarine sediment package in the trough. Large mapped sediment thicknesses of this unit across the trough are consistent with high post-glacial sediment accumulation rates reported from cores acquired in the Anvers-Hugo Trough system. Previous authors have attributed this to exceptionally high primary productivity in a calving-bay re-entrant settings produced as ice retreated across the shelf on this part of the Antarctic margin.

  15. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the little ice age: The Antarctic ice core record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recently, ice core records from both hemispheres, in conjunction with other proxy records (e.g., tree rings, speleothems and corals), have shown that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was spatially extensive, extending to the Antarctic. This paper examines the temporal and spatial characteristics of the dust and δ18O information from Antarctic ice cores. Substantial differences exist in the records. For example, a 550- year record of δ18O and dust concentrations from Siple Station, Antarctica suggests that warmer, less dusty conditions prevailed from A.D. 1600 to 1830. Alternately, dust and δ118O data from South Pole Station indicate that opposite conditions (e.g., cooler and more dusty) were prevalent during the LIA. Three additional Antarctic δ18O records are integrated with the Siple and South Pole histories for a more comprehensive picture of LIA conditions. The records provide additional support for the LIA temperature opposition between the Antarctic Peninsula region and East Antarctica. In addition, periods of strongest LIA cooling are not temporally synchronous over East Antarctica. These strong regional differences demonstrate that a suite of spatially distributed, high resolution ice core records will be necessary to characterize the LIA in Antarctica

  16. Distributions of surface sediments surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula and its environmental significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Chunjuan; CHEN Zhihua; LI Chunshun; DU Dewen; YAN Shijuan; ZHU Zhiwei

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed grain size composition to provide information on the types and distributions as well as depositional varieties of marine surface sediments from the area surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula. The samples retrieved from the study area contain gravel, sand, silt and clay. As suggested by bathymetry and morphology, the study area is characterized by neritic, hemipelagic and pelagic deposits. The glacial-marine sediments can be divided into two types, residual paratill and compound paratill, which are primarily transported by glaciers and as ice-rafted debris. Ocean current effects on deposition are more obvious, and the deposit types are distributed consistently with terrain variations.

  17. Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John; Lu, Hua; White, Ian; King, John C; Phillips, Tony; Hosking, J Scott; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Marshall, Gareth J; Mulvaney, Robert; Deb, Pranab

    2016-07-21

    Since the 1950s, research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula have recorded some of the largest increases in near-surface air temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. This warming has contributed to the regional retreat of glaciers, disintegration of floating ice shelves and a 'greening' through the expansion in range of various flora. Several interlinked processes have been suggested as contributing to the warming, including stratospheric ozone depletion, local sea-ice loss, an increase in westerly winds, and changes in the strength and location of low-high-latitude atmospheric teleconnections. Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet. These circulation changes have also increased the advection of sea ice towards the east coast of the peninsula, amplifying their effects. Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation. PMID:27443743

  18. Photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms

    OpenAIRE

    Mock, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    This thesis was conducted to apply new techniques for measuring photosynthesis in Antarctic sea ice diatoms. A systematic approach of investigations was applied to obtain precise measurements of photosynthesis under natural conditions in the field from which questions were derived for further analysis in the laboratory. In situ measurements with the tracer 14C through the entire thickness of a young sea ice floe revealed that algae are able to actively assimilate dissolved inorganic carbon un...

  19. The safety band of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürst, Johannes Jakob; Durand, Gaël; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Tavard, Laure; Rankl, Melanie; Braun, Matthias; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2016-05-01

    The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint. Here we delineate frontal areas that we label as `passive shelf ice’ and that can be removed without major dynamic implications, with contrasting results across the continent. The ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no `passive’ portion, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will yield important dynamic consequences. This region is particularly vulnerable as ice shelves have been thinning at high rates for two decades and as upstream grounded ice rests on a backward sloping bed, a precondition to marine ice-sheet instability. In contrast to these ice shelves, Larsen C Ice Shelf, in the Weddell Sea, exhibits a large `passive’ frontal area, suggesting that the imminent calving of a vast tabular iceberg will be unlikely to instantly produce much dynamic change.

  20. Changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet that flows into the Ross Sea is thinning in some places and thickening in others. These changes are not caused by any current climatic change, but by the combination of a delayed response to the end of the last global glacial cycle and an internal instability. The near-future impact of the ice sheet on global sea level is largely due to processes internal to the movement of the ice sheet, and not so much to the threat of a possible greenhouse warming. Thus the near-term future of the ice sheet is already determined. However, too little of the ice sheet has been surveyed to predict its overall future behavior

  1. Land Ice: Greenland & Antarctic ice mass anomaly

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica (left chart) has been...

  2. Distribution of clay minerals in drift sediments on the continental rise west of the Antarctic Peninsula, ODP Leg 178, Sites 1095 and 1096

    OpenAIRE

    Hillenbrand, C.-D.; W. Ehrmann

    2001-01-01

    The clay mineral compositions of upper Miocene to Quaternary sediments recovered at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 178, Sites 1095 and 1096, from the continental rise west of the Antarctic Peninsula were analyzed in order to reconstruct the Neogene and Quaternary Antarctic paleoclimate and ice dynamics. The clay mineral assemblages are dominated by smectite, illite, and chlorite. Kaolinite occurs only in trace amounts. Analysis of a surface-sample data set facilitates the assignment of thes...

  3. Foraging habitats of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, from the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muelbert, Monica M. C.; de Souza, Ronald B.; Lewis, Mirtha N.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-04-01

    Elephant Island (EI) is uniquely placed to provide southern elephant seals (SES) breeding there with potential access to foraging grounds in the Weddell Sea, the frontal zones of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Patagonian shelf and the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Quantifying where seals from EI forage therefore provides insights into the types of important habitats available, and which are of particular importance to elephant seals. Twenty nine SES (5 sub-adult males—SAM and 24 adult females—AF) were equipped with SMRU CTD-SLDRs during the post-breeding (PB 2008, 2009) and post-moulting (PM 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) trips to sea. There were striking intra-annual and inter-sex differences in foraging areas, with most of the PB females remaining within 150 km of EI. One PB AF travelled down the WAP as did 16 out of the 20 PM females and foraged near the winter ice-edge. Most PM sub-adult males remained close to EI, in areas similar to those used by adult females several months earlier, although one SAM spent the early part of the winter foraging on the Patagonian Shelf. The waters of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP) contain abundant resources to support the majority of the Islands' SES for the summer and early winter, such that the animals from this population have shorter migrations than those from most other populations. Sub-adult males and PB females are certainly taking advantage of these resources. However, PM females did not remain there over the winter months, instead they used the same waters at the ice-edge in the southern WAP that females from both King George Island and South Georgia used. Females made more benthic dives than sub-adult males—again this contrasts with other sites where SAMs do more benthic diving. Unlike most other populations studied to date EI is a relatively southerly breeding colony located on the Antarctic continental shelf. EI seals are using shelf habitats more than other SES populations but some individuals still

  4. Spatial complexity of ice flow across the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Felix S. L.

    2015-11-01

    Fast-flowing ice streams carry ice from the interior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet towards the coast. Understanding how ice-stream tributaries operate and how networks of them evolve is essential for developing reliable models of the ice sheet’s response to climate change. A particular challenge is to unravel the spatial complexity of flow within and across tributary networks. Here I define a measure of planimetric flow convergence, which can be calculated from satellite measurements of the ice sheet’s surface velocity, to explore this complexity. The convergence map of Antarctica clarifies how tributaries draw ice from its interior. The map also reveals curvilinear zones of convergence along lateral shear margins of streaming, and abundant ripples associated with nonlinear ice rheology and changes in bed topography and friction. Convergence on ice-stream tributaries and their feeding zones is uneven and interspersed with divergence. For individual drainage basins, as well as the ice sheet as a whole, fast flow cannot converge or diverge as much as slow flow. I therefore deduce that flow in the ice-stream networks is subject to mechanical regulation that limits flow-orthonormal strain rates. These findings provide targets for ice-sheet simulations and motivate more research into the origin and dynamics of tributarization.

  5. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry 1992 to 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Giovinetto, Mario; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2003-01-01

    A major uncertainty in understanding the causes of the current rate of sea level rise is the potential contributions from mass imbalances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates of the current mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet are derived from surface- elevation changes obtained from 9 years of ERS - 1 & 2 radar altimeter data. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 S. The time series are fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt). On the major Rome-Filchner, Ross, and Amery ice shelves, the W d t are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm per year surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm per year decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. On the grounded ice, significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica and inland of Law Dome in East Antarctica. Significant elevation increases are observed within about 200 km of the coast around much of the rest of the ice sheet. Farther inland, the changes are a mixed pattern of increases and decreases with increases of a few centimeters per year at the highest elevations of the East Antarctic plateau. The derived elevation changes are combined with estimates of the bedrock uplift from several models to provide maps of ice thickness change. The ice thickness changes enable estimates of the ice mass balances for the major drainage basins, the overall mass balance, and the current contribution of the ice sheet to global sea level change.

  6. Ocean forcing of glacier retreat in the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, A J; Holland, P R; Meredith, M P; Murray, T; Luckman, A; Vaughan, D G

    2016-07-15

    In recent decades, hundreds of glaciers draining the Antarctic Peninsula (63° to 70°S) have undergone systematic and progressive change. These changes are widely attributed to rapid increases in regional surface air temperature, but it is now clear that this cannot be the sole driver. Here, we identify a strong correspondence between mid-depth ocean temperatures and glacier-front changes along the ~1000-kilometer western coastline. In the south, glaciers that terminate in warm Circumpolar Deep Water have undergone considerable retreat, whereas those in the far northwest, which terminate in cooler waters, have not. Furthermore, a mid-ocean warming since the 1990s in the south is coincident with widespread acceleration of glacier retreat. We conclude that changes in ocean-induced melting are the primary cause of retreat for glaciers in this region. PMID:27418507

  7. Late Holocene tephrochronology of the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björck, Svante; Sandgren, Per; Zale, Rolf

    1991-11-01

    Andesitic and basaltic andesitic tephra layers are abundant in Holocene deposits from the Antarctic Peninsula. Visually discernible tephra horizons occur in three lakes on Livingston Island. Tephra in two other lakes and in a moss bank on Elephant Island, with very low ash concentrations, were detected magnetically. Deception Island is the most likely volcanic source for the tephra. With direct 14C dating, age/depth curves, and cross-correlations at least 14 tephra horizons dating to between ca. 4700 and 250 yr B.P. were identified and now form the basis for a preliminary regional tephrochronology that will be a valuable dating tool for investigating the Holocene climatic history of Antarctica.

  8. Metatranscriptomes reveal functional variation in diatom communities from the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Gareth A; Lago-Leston, Asuncion; Cánovas, Fernando; Cox, Cymon J; Verret, Frederic; Lasternas, Sebastian; Duarte, Carlos M; Agusti, Susana; Serrão, Ester A

    2015-10-01

    Functional genomics of diatom-dominated communities from the Antarctic Peninsula was studied using comparative metatranscriptomics. Samples obtained from diatom-rich communities in the Bransfield Strait, the western Weddell Sea and sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea/Wilkins Ice Shelf yielded more than 500K pyrosequencing reads that were combined to produce a global metatranscriptome assembly. Multi-gene phylogenies recovered three distinct communities, and diatom-assigned contigs further indicated little read-sharing between communities, validating an assembly-based annotation and analysis approach. Although functional analysis recovered a core of abundant shared annotations that were expressed across the three diatom communities, over 40% of annotations (but accounting for photorespiration, and NO3(-) uptake and utilization all pointed to irradiance stress and/or inorganic carbon limitation within sea ice. Ice-binding proteins and cold-shock transcription factors were also enriched in sea ice diatoms. Surprisingly, the abundance of gene transcripts for the translational machinery tracked decreasing environmental temperature across only a 4 °C range, possibly reflecting constraints on translational efficiency and protein production in cold environments. PMID:25871931

  9. Transformations of landscape and peat-forming ecosystems in response to late Holocene climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zicheng; Beilman, David W.; Loisel, Julie

    2016-07-01

    We used subfossil mosses and peats to document changes in regional climate, cryosphere, and terrestrial ecosystems in the western Antarctic Peninsula at ~65°S latitude. We find that most peat forming ecosystems have initiated since 2800 cal B.P., in response to warmer summers and increasing summer insolation. The period at 900-600 cal B.P. was coldest as indicated by ice advance, abundance of kill ages from ice-entombed mosses exposed recently from retreating glacial ice, and apparent gap in peatbank initiation. Furthermore, the discovery of a novel Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica) peatland at 2300-1200 cal B.P. from the mainland Antarctic Peninsula suggests a much warmer climate than the present. A warming and wetting climate in the 1980s caused very high carbon accumulation in a Polytrichum strictum moss peatbank. Our results document dramatic transformations of landscape and ecosystems in response to past warmer climate, providing a telltale sign for what may come in the future.

  10. Multichannel Seismic Investigations of Sediment Drifts off West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula: Preliminary Results from Research Cruise JR298

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, R. D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Hernandez-Molina, J.; Channell, J. E. T.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Hogan, K. A.; Uenzelmann-Neben, G.; Gohl, K.; Rebesco, M.; Hodell, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (APIS) have exhibited significant changes over recent decades but there is still great uncertainty about how rapidly and how far they will retreat in a warmer climate. For example, it remains unclear whether or not the marine-based WAIS "collapsed" during the last interglacial period, resulting in a global sea-level rise contribution of more than 3 m. Previous studies, including Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 178, have shown that sediment drifts on the continental rise west of the Antarctic Peninsula contain a rich high-resolution archive of Antarctic margin paleoceanography and APIS history that extends back to at least the Late Miocene. The potential of existing ODP cores from the drifts is, however, compromised by the fact that composite sections are incomplete and lack of precise chronological control. A new drilling proposal (732-Full2) has been scientifically approved and is with the JOIDES Resolution Facilities Board of the International Ocean Discovery Program for scheduling. The main aims of the proposal are to obtain continuous, high-resolution records from sites on sediment drifts off both the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica (southern Bellingshausen Sea) and to achieve good chronological control on them using a range of techniques. We present preliminary results from a recent site survey investigation cruise on RRS James Clark Ross (JR298) that obtained high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection data over the proposed sites and adjacent working areas. The new data provide a basis for interpretation of (i) sedimentary processes that operated during the development of the drifts, and (ii) links between depositional systems on the continental rise, paleo-ice-sheet dynamics and paleoceanographic processes. Through further analyses of seismic and other geophysical data, in combination with marine sediment cores retrieved from the proposed sites, we aim to provide insight into

  11. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula - 1985, SDLS CD-ROM vol 16

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1985 field season along the north side of the Antarctic-Peninsula by the British...

  12. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula 1987-88, SDLS CD-ROM vol 24

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1987-88 in the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, by the Japan National Oil...

  13. Multichannel Seismic Reflection Data - SCAR - Antarctic Peninsula - 1988-1989, SDLS CD-ROM vol 25

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are stacked multichannel marine seismic reflection data recorded during 1988-89 in the Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica, by the Japan National Oil...

  14. Paleomagnetism and tectonics of the South Shetland Islands and the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Poblete, F.; Arriagada, C.; Roperch, Pierrich; Astudillo, N.; Herve, F; Kraus, S.; J. P. Le Roux

    2011-01-01

    New paleomagnetic data presented here from 61 sites in Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic igneous and sedimentary rocks from the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands constrain the relative motion of the Antarctic Peninsula since the mid-Cretaceous and allow the quantification of tectonic rotation between the different blocks recognized within the area. Paleozoic and Jurassic results failed the fold test and suggest an important remagnetization in the area. The similarity between t...

  15. A new glacier inventory for 2009 reveals spatial and temporal variability in glacier response to atmospheric warming in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    OpenAIRE

    M. J. Hambrey; N. F. Glasser; Carrivick, J. L.; Davies, B.J.; Smellie, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    The Northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse published data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly uses ASTER images from 2009 and a SPIRIT DEM from 2006 to classify the area, length, altitude, slop...

  16. Snow chemistry measurements on James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) showing sea-salt aerosol modifications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aristarain, A.J. [Instituto Antartico Argentino (Argentina). Lab. de Estratigrafia Glaciar y Geoquimica de la Nieve; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, Mendoza (Argentina); Delmas, R.J. [Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement du CNRS, St Martin d' Heres (France)

    2002-07-01

    The fractionation of atmospheric sea-salt has been investigated by glaciochemical analysis of the sea-salt deposited on the snow covering the small ice cap of James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, at an elevation of 1640m. The data show that, generally, but not always, the sea-salt deposited at this location most likely originates directly from seawater, as is the case at lower latitudes. It is found that the original chemical composition of the sea-salt aerosol is significantly modified, in particular by the reaction of sea-salt particles in the atmosphere with acid species. A ternary diagram (sodium, chloride, sulfate) is used to enlighten the involved modification processes. The study points out the frequent formation of HCl in the regional atmosphere. (Author)

  17. Long-term (1993-2013) changes in macrozooplankton off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Deborah K.; Ruck, Kate E.; Gleiber, Miram R.; Garzio, Lori M.; Cope, Joseph S.; Bernard, Kim S.; Stammerjohn, Sharon E.; Schofield, Oscar M. E.; Quetin, Langdon B.; Ross, Robin M.

    2015-07-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and where a high apex predator biomass is supported in large part by macrozooplankton. We examined trends in summer (January-February) abundance of major taxa of macrozooplankton along the WAP over two decades (1993-2013) and their relationship with environmental parameters (sea ice, atmospheric climate indices, sea surface temperature, and phytoplankton biomass and productivity). Macrozooplankton were collected from the top 120 m of the water column in a mid-Peninsula study region divided into latitudinal (North, South, and Far South) and cross-shelf (coastal, shelf, slope) sub-regions. Trends for krill species included a 5-year cycle in abundance peaks (positive anomalies) for Euphausia superba, but no directional long-term trend, and an increase in Thysanoessa macrura in the North; variability in both species was strongly influenced by primary production 2-years prior. E. crystallorophias abundance was best explained by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (MEI), and was more abundant in higher ice conditions. The salp Salpa thompsoni and thecosome pteropod Limacina helicina cycled between negative and positive anomalies in the North, but showed increasing positive anomalies in the South over time. Variation in salp and pteropod abundance was best explained by SAM and the MEI, respectively, and both species were more abundant in lower ice conditions. There was a long-term increase in some carnivorous gelatinous zooplankton (polychaete worm Tomopteris spp.) and amphipods. Abundance of Pseudosagitta spp. chaetognaths was closely related to SAM, with higher abundance tied to lower ice conditions. Long-term changes and sub-decadal cycles of WAP macrozooplankton community composition may affect energy transfer to higher trophic levels, and alter biogeochemical cycling in this seasonally productive and sensitive polar ecosystem.

  18. The Marine Record of Holocene Deglaciation and Paleoclimate Change, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minzoni, R. L.; Anderson, J. B.; Kirshner, A. E.; Wellner, J. S.; Fernandez-Vasquez, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula Ice Cap (APIC) has undergone significant retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Several recent studies, including those of Lallemand Fjord (Shevenell, et al., 1996), Palmer Deep (Domack, et al., 2001), Bransfield Basin (Heroy, et al., 2008), Firth of Tay (Michalchuck, et al., 2009), Maxwell Bay (Milliken, et al., 2009), and Neny Fjord (Allen, et al., 2010), have applied multiple proxies to reconstruct glacial history from sediment cores. The regional trend of post-LGM retreat from marine and onshore records (e.g. Hjort et al., 1997; Ingolfsson et al., 1998) is characterized by deglaciation of the outer and mid-shelf areas mainly before 12 ka, with significant landward steps at ~14 and 11 ka that were most likely caused by rapid sea-level rise (Heroy and Anderson, 2007). This was followed by highly diachronous retreat from the rugged inner-shelf and inland areas after ~10 ka. This marks the demise of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet. Subsequently, the glacial systems became more isolated, and factors such as latitudinal climate variability, orographic effects, oceanographic effects, the size and altitude of glacial drainage basins, as well as bathymetry of individual bays and fjords, became more influential on glacial dynamics. For example, Firth of Tay, the northern-most fjord on the eastern side of Antarctic Peninsula (AP), became ice-free ~9 ka, but Herbert Sound, just to the south, was not ice-free until ~7.4 ka. On the western side of AP, however, Maxwell Bay, located in the South Shetland Islands just north of the APIC, was free of grounded ice ~14 ka, whereas Marguerite Bay, on the southwestern-most edge of the APIC, experienced rapid grounding line and ice shelf retreat ~9 ka. These records suggest a north to south component in the timing of retreat. The lag in retreat from west to east APIC indicates that a strong orographic effect insulated the eastern AP, but also implies that other influencing factors such as oceanographic

  19. Evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula lithosphere: Evidence from Mesozoic mafic rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, T. R.; Curtis, M. L.; Flowerdew, M. J.; Whitehouse, M. J.

    2016-02-01

    New geochronology from a thick (> 800 m) basaltic succession along the eastern margin of the Antarctic Peninsula confirm a Middle Jurassic age (178 ± 1 Ma). This marginally postdates the adjacent Ferrar large igneous province of the Transantarctic Mountains and predates the extensive silicic volcanism of the Mapple Formation (~ 170 Ma) of the Antarctic Peninsula. The geochemistry of other rare, but broadly contemporaneous, basaltic successions of the Antarctic Peninsula, along with Cretaceous-age mafic dykes, are used to interpret the influences of lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle sources during the Mesozoic. Two significant high magmatic addition rate events occurred along the Antarctic Peninsula continental margin at 170 and 110 Ma and can be correlated to events along the South American Cordillera. These 'flare-up' events are characterised by extensive silicic (mostly ignimbrite) volcanism of the Chon Aike Province (V2 event: 170 Ma) and significant granitoid batholith emplacement of the Lassiter Coast intrusive suite (110 Ma). The 170 Ma event is exposed across large parts of the northern Antarctic Peninsula, whilst the 110 Ma event is more widespread across the southern Antarctic Peninsula. The basaltic volcanism described here precedes the 'flare-up' event at 170 Ma and has geochemical characteristics that indicate a thickened lithosphere prevailed. A major dyke swarm that followed the 170 Ma event indicates that extensive lithospheric thinning had occurred, which allowed the ascent of depleted mafic melts. The thinning was the direct result of widespread lower crustal/upper lithospheric melting associated with the silicic volcanism. In the southern Antarctic Peninsula, the lithosphere remained over thickened until the emplacement of the major batholiths of the Lassiter Coast intrusive suite at 110 Ma and was then immediately followed by the emplacement of more asthenosphere-like melts indicating extensive lithospheric thinning.

  20. Metatranscriptomes reveal functional variation in diatom communities from the Antarctic Peninsula

    KAUST Repository

    Pearson, Gareth A

    2015-04-14

    Functional genomics of diatom-dominated communities fromthe Antarctic Peninsula was studied using comparative metatranscriptomics. Samples obtained from diatom-rich communities in the Bransfield Strait, the western Weddell Sea and sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea/Wilkins Ice Shelf yielded more than 500K pyrosequencing reads that were combined to produce a global metatranscriptome assembly. Multi-gene phylogenies recovered three distinct communities, and diatom-assigned contigs further indicated little read-sharing between communities, validating an assembly-based annotation and analysis approach. Although functional analysis recovered a core of abundant shared annotations that were expressed across the three diatom communities, over 40% of annotations (but accounting for <10% of sequences) were community-specific. The two pelagic communities differed in their expression of N-metabolism and acquisition genes, which was almost absent in post-bloom conditions in the Weddell Sea community, while enrichment of transporters for ammonia and urea in Bransfield Strait diatoms suggests a physiological stance towards acquisition of reduced N-sources. The depletion of carbohydrate and energy metabolism pathways in sea ice relative to pelagic communities, together with increased light energy dissipation (via LHCSR proteins), photorespiration, and NO3 - uptake and utilization all pointed to irradiance stress and/or inorganic carbon limitation within sea ice. Ice-binding proteins and cold-shock transcription factors were also enriched in sea ice diatoms. Surprisingly, the abundance of gene transcripts for the translational machinery tracked decreasing environmental temperature across only a 4 °C range, possibly reflecting constraints on translational efficiency and protein production in cold environments. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

  1. Interpretation of ground and aeromagnetic surveys of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. N. Masolov

    2000-06-01

    activities during the geological evolution of Palmer Land have been a more important process than what is apparent from rock outcrops. Magmatic activity abruptly diminished westward from the Behrendt Mountains apparently due to a modification of the crustal structure of the Antarctic Peninsula. The area between the Evans Ice Stream and the Behrendt Mountains is possibly underlain by the non-magnetic equivalent of the Haag Nunataks basement, similar to that which has been inferred for the Ellsworth Mountains.

  2. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    OpenAIRE

    Naish, T.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; Powell, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Levy, R.; ANDRILL Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA; Wilson, G.; University of Otago, Department of Geology, PO Box 56, Leith Street, Dunedin, Otago 9001, New Zealand; Scherer, R.; Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115, USA.; Talarico, F.; Universita` di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze delle Terra, Via Laterina 8, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Krissek, L.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Niessen, F.; Alfred Wegener Institute, Department of Geosciences, Postfach 12 01 6, Am Alten Hafen 26, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany; Pompilio, M.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione Pisa, Pisa, Italia; Wilson, T.; Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, 275 Mendenhall Lab, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Carter, L.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, PO Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand; DeConto, R.; Department of Geosciences, 233 Morrell Science Centre, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9297, USA; Huybers, P.; Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Massachusetts 02138, USA; McKay, R.; Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington - New Zealand; Pollard, D.; Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, 2217 Earth-Engineering Science Bldg, University Park, PA 16802, USA

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records frommicrofossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth’s orbital geometry control the ice ages1, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles2. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the ‘warmer-than- present’ early-Pliocene epoch (̃5–3Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possibl...

  3. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasso, Rebecka L., E-mail: rlb1196@uncw.edu [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Polito, Michael J. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States); Lynch, Heather J. [Ecology and Evolution Department, 640 Life Sciences Bldg., Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (United States); Naveen, R. [Oceanites Inc., PO Box 15259, Chevy Chase, MD 20825 (United States); Emslie, Steven D. [University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adelie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell {delta}{sup 15}N or {delta}{sup 13}C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Three species of Pygoscelis

  4. Penguin eggshell membranes reflect homogeneity of mercury in the marine food web surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Remote regions such as the Antarctic have become increasingly important for investigations into far-reaching anthropogenic impacts on the environment, most recently in regard to the global mercury cycle. Spatial patterns of mercury availability in four regions of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated using three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshells with intact membranes from Adélie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins were collected at 24 breeding colonies in the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and western Antarctic Peninsula during the 2006/2007 austral summer. In addition, we compared eggshell membrane mercury concentrations with eggshell stable isotope values (δ15N and δ13C) to determine if species-specific trophic or foraging habitat preferences influenced female mercury exposure prior to breeding. With few exceptions, mercury concentrations were found to be fairly homogeneous throughout the Antarctic Peninsula suggesting little spatial variation in the risk of exposure to dietary mercury in this food web. Mercury concentrations in Gentoo and Adélie penguins were similar while Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher eggshell membrane mercury concentrations than their congeners. However, inter and intra-specific differences in eggshell membrane mercury concentration were not related to eggshell δ15N or δ13C values, a likely result of all three species foraging at similar trophic positions. The lack of regional-scale differences in mercury availability in this marine ecosystem may be a reflection of generally uniform atmospheric deposition and upwelling of regionally homogeneous deep water rather than from geographically distinct point sources. -- Highlights: ► We examined regional patterns of mercury availability in the Antarctic Peninsula. ► Three species of Pygoscelis penguins were used as biomonitors. ► Chinstrap penguins tended to have higher mercury than Ad

  5. Super-aggregations of krill and humpback whales in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas P Nowacek

    Full Text Available Ecological relationships of krill and whales have not been explored in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP, and have only rarely been studied elsewhere in the Southern Ocean. In the austral autumn we observed an extremely high density (5.1 whales per km(2 of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae feeding on a super-aggregation of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba in Wilhelmina Bay. The krill biomass was approximately 2 million tons, distributed over an area of 100 km(2 at densities of up to 2000 individuals m(-3; reports of such 'super-aggregations' of krill have been absent in the scientific literature for >20 years. Retentive circulation patterns in the Bay entrained phytoplankton and meso-zooplankton that were grazed by the krill. Tagged whales rested during daylight hours and fed intensively throughout the night as krill migrated toward the surface. We infer that the previously unstudied WAP embayments are important foraging areas for whales during autumn and, furthermore, that meso-scale variation in the distribution of whales and their prey are important features of this system. Recent decreases in the abundance of Antarctic krill around the WAP have been linked to reductions in sea ice, mediated by rapid climate change in this area. At the same time, baleen whale populations in the Southern Ocean, which feed primarily on krill, are recovering from past exploitation. Consideration of these features and the effects of climate change on krill dynamics are critical to managing both krill harvests and the recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean.

  6. A new glacier inventory for 2009 reveals spatial and temporal variability in glacier response to atmospheric warming in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Hambrey

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse published data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly uses ASTER images from 2009 and a SPIRIT DEM from 2006 to classify the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island. Secondly, this paper uses LANDSAT-4 and ASTER images from 1988 and 2001 and data from the Antarctic Digital Database (ADD from 1997 to document glacier change 1988–2009. From 1988–2001, 90 % of glaciers receded, and from 2001–2009, 79 % receded. Glaciers on the western side of Trinity Peninsula retreated relatively little. On the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula, the rate of recession of ice-shelf tributary glaciers has slowed from 12.9 km2 a−1 (1988–2001 to 2.4 km2 a−1 (2001–2009. Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler Eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest recession from 1988–2001, with limited frontal retreat after 2001. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island also retreated fastest in the period 1988–2001. Large tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island are now declining in areal extent at rates of up to 0.04 km2 a−1. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula. Strong variability in tidewater glacier recession rates may result from the influence of glacier length, altitude, slope and hypsometry on glacier mass balance. High snowfall means that the glaciers on the Western Peninsula are not currently rapidly receding. Recession rates on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing as the floating ice tongues retreat into

  7. The Influence of Platelet Ice and Snow on Antarctic Landfast Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Hoppmann, Mario; Nicolaus, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Sea ice fastened to coasts, icebergs and ice shelves is of crucial importance for climate- and ecosystems. Near Antarctic ice shelves, this land-fast sea ice exhibits two unique characteristics: a significant fraction of incorporated ice platelets and a thick snow cover, leading to surface flooding and snow-ice formation. In order to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of sea-ice and snow thicknesses, we have initiated a regular observation program on the land-fast sea ice of ...

  8. A Comparative Study of Antarctic Arctic and Himalayan Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Pathak

    1989-07-01

    Full Text Available Arctic, Antarctic and inaccessible lofty regions of Himalayas,which are geographically diverse areas and have been a constant source of inspiration, envisages a challenging field of study 'by early adventurers and scientists of the world. Characteristics of ice obtained at Arctic and Antarctic do not possess similar properties. Even thesalient properties of snow and ice of western and central Himalayas vary due to its differing free water content. A study has been carriedout based on recent Antarctic Expedition by Indian scientists and the data gathered along litha-tectonic regions of Himalayas and their characteristics have been compared, wkich brings out stratigraphic and metamorphic characteristics of the ice and snow. In the present paper,an analysis of the ice and snow properties of Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan regions has been presented.

  9. Stable water isotopes of precipitation and firn cores from the northern Antarctic Peninsula region as a proxy for climate reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Fernandoy

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to investigate the climate variability in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region, this paper focuses on the relationship between stable isotope content of precipitation and firn, and main meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, sea surface temperature, and sea ice extent. Between 2008 and 2010, we collected precipitation samples and retrieved firn cores from several key sites in this region. We conclude that the deuterium excess oscillation represents a robust indicator of the meteorological variability on a seasonal to sub-seasonal scale. Low absolute deuterium excess values and the synchronous variation of both deuterium excess and air temperature imply that the evaporation of moisture occurs in the adjacent Southern Ocean. The δ18O-air temperature relationship is complicated and significant only at a (multiseasonal scale. Backward trajectory calculations show that air-parcels arriving at the region during precipitation events predominantly originate at the South Pacific Ocean and Bellingshausen Sea. These investigations will be used as a calibration for ongoing and future research in the area, suggesting that appropriate locations for future ice core research are located above 600 m a.s.l. We selected the Plateau Laclavere, Antarctic Peninsula as the most promising site for a deeper drilling campaign.

  10. Antarctic sea ice: Its development and basic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The author reports investigations on sea ice properties carried out during a number of expeditions into the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. The results provide important baseline data, against which possible changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover as induced by climatic changes can be compared. This paper concentrates on results dealing with the textural properties and the ice thickness distributions of Antarctic sea ice. In addition, the author looks at the contribution of meteoric ice (snow ice) to the sea ice cover by means of δ18O measurements. While changes in extent and thickness are to be expected as a result of possible climatic warming, they propose that the amount of snow ice will serve as an additional indicator of such changes

  11. 'Unlocking the archive': Using digital photogrammetry of modern and historic aerial photography to reconstruct 60 years of volumetric change on the Moider Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Lucy; Miller, Pauline; Ireland, Louise; Fox, Adrian; Mills, Jon; Fieber, Karolina

    2016-04-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is a mountain glacier system comprised of over 400 glaciers, and is an important contributor to historical and future sea level rise. Assessment and monitoring of AP glaciers is crucial for understanding sensitivity to climate change. Changes to glacier fronts and ice shelves and glacier acceleration are well documented, but there are almost no data on mass changes on the Antarctic Peninsula. Satellite data have been used to calculate change over the last 3 decades, but methods to quantify this over longer timescales have eluded researchers. However there is an archive of aerial photography dating back to the 1940s, this has been largely ignored due to the range of technical problems associated with deriving quantitative data from historic imagery and the lack of ground control data. This presentation demonstrates how advances in photogrammetric processing and capture of modern aerial photography has allowed this archive to be 'unlocked'. Accurate photogrammetric reconstruction from aerial photographs traditionally requires known ground control points acquired in the field; in remote and inaccessible areas, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, this is often impossible. A method for providing control for historic photos without fieldwork, by linking them to a newly acquired, highly accurate photogrammetric model adjusted through direct kinematic GPS positioning of the camera has been applied to a number of glaciers across the Antarctic Peninsula. This presentation will outline the photogrammetric workflow with focus on the Moider Glacier in the Marguerite Bay region of the western Antarctic Peninsula to investigate the quality of data that can be obtained. Volumetric changes on the glaciers from the 1950s to present day (2015) have been reconstructed and can be used to explore the spatial and temporal changes that have occurred on this glacier. In particular, there is near-annual data over the last 5 years recording a period when there has been

  12. Sources and levels of ambient ocean sound near the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziak, Robert P; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R; Stafford, Kathleen M; Matsumoto, Haruyoshi; Park, Minkyu; Lee, Won Sang; Fowler, Matt J; Lau, Tai-Kwan; Haxel, Joseph H; Mellinger, David K

    2015-01-01

    Arrays of hydrophones were deployed within the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea (Antarctic Peninsula region) from 2005 to 2009 to record ambient ocean sound at frequencies of up to 125 and 500 Hz. Icequakes, which are broadband, short duration signals derived from fracturing of large free-floating icebergs, are a prominent feature of the ocean soundscape. Icequake activity peaks during austral summer and is minimum during winter, likely following freeze-thaw cycles. Iceberg grounding and rapid disintegration also releases significant acoustic energy, equivalent to large-scale geophysical events. Overall ambient sound levels can be as much as ~10-20 dB higher in the open, deep ocean of the Scotia Sea compared to the relatively shallow Bransfield Strait. Noise levels become lowest during the austral winter, as sea-ice cover suppresses wind and wave noise. Ambient noise levels are highest during austral spring and summer, as surface noise, ice cracking and biological activity intensifies. Vocalizations of blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin (B. physalus) whales also dominate the long-term spectra records in the 15-28 and 89 Hz bands. Blue whale call energy is a maximum during austral summer-fall in the Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait when ambient noise levels are a maximum and sea-ice cover is a minimum. Fin whale vocalizations were also most common during austral summer-early fall months in both the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea. The hydrophone data overall do not show sustained anthropogenic sources (ships and airguns), likely due to low coastal traffic and the typically rough weather and sea conditions of the Southern Ocean. PMID:25875205

  13. Sources and levels of ambient ocean sound near the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert P Dziak

    Full Text Available Arrays of hydrophones were deployed within the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea (Antarctic Peninsula region from 2005 to 2009 to record ambient ocean sound at frequencies of up to 125 and 500 Hz. Icequakes, which are broadband, short duration signals derived from fracturing of large free-floating icebergs, are a prominent feature of the ocean soundscape. Icequake activity peaks during austral summer and is minimum during winter, likely following freeze-thaw cycles. Iceberg grounding and rapid disintegration also releases significant acoustic energy, equivalent to large-scale geophysical events. Overall ambient sound levels can be as much as ~10-20 dB higher in the open, deep ocean of the Scotia Sea compared to the relatively shallow Bransfield Strait. Noise levels become lowest during the austral winter, as sea-ice cover suppresses wind and wave noise. Ambient noise levels are highest during austral spring and summer, as surface noise, ice cracking and biological activity intensifies. Vocalizations of blue (Balaenoptera musculus and fin (B. physalus whales also dominate the long-term spectra records in the 15-28 and 89 Hz bands. Blue whale call energy is a maximum during austral summer-fall in the Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait when ambient noise levels are a maximum and sea-ice cover is a minimum. Fin whale vocalizations were also most common during austral summer-early fall months in both the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea. The hydrophone data overall do not show sustained anthropogenic sources (ships and airguns, likely due to low coastal traffic and the typically rough weather and sea conditions of the Southern Ocean.

  14. Mercury accumulation in sediments and seabird feathers from the Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • We assessed mercury bioaccumulation in seabirds in the Antarctic Peninsula. • Levels of Hg were higher in gentoo penguins & brown skuas than chinstrap penguins. • Mercury BMF in the brown skua/penguins relationship was higher than 1. • Long-range environmental transport is the likely mercury route in Antarctic. - Abstract: In an effort to assess the impact of mercury in the Antarctic Peninsula, we conducted ecotoxicological research in this region during the summer of 2012 and 2013. The objectives were to assess: (a) mercury levels in sediment samples; (b) mercury accumulation in Antarctic seabird feathers: Catharacta lonnbergi (brown skua), Pygoscelis papua (gentoo penguin) and Pygoscelis antarctica (chinstrap penguin); and (c) biomagnification (BMF predator/prey) and biota sediment accumulation (BSAF skuas/sediment) factors. Mercury concentrations in sediment were relatively low. Mercury concentrations were significantly higher in brown skuas and gentoo penguins than in chinstrap penguins (2012), and significantly higher in brown skuas than in both penguins (2013). BMF indicated 2–7.5 times greater mercury levels in brown skuas than in penguins. BSAF values suggested an apparent temporal decrease of 18.2% of this ratio from 2012 to 2013. Long-range environmental transport is the likely route of entry of mercury into the Antarctic Peninsula

  15. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; DeConto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Laufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (???5-3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, ???40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ???3??C warmer than today and atmospheric CO 2 concentration was as high as ???400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO2. ??2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  16. Antarctic Ice Sheet and Radar Altimetry: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Frédérique Rémy; Soazig Parouty

    2009-01-01

    International audience Altimetry is probably one of the most powerful tools for ice sheet observation. Our vision of the Antarctic ice sheet has been deeply transformed since the launch of the ERS1 satellite in 1991. With the launch of ERS2 and Envisat, the series of altimetric observations now provides 19 years of continuous and homogeneous observations that allow monitoring of the shape and volume of ice sheets. The topography deduced from altimetry is one of the relevant parameters reve...

  17. Holocene accumulation and ice flow near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutnik, Michelle R.; Fudge, T. J.; Conway, Howard; Waddington, Edwin D.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Cuffey, Kurt M.; Buizert, Christo; Taylor, Kendrick C.

    2016-05-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Core (WDC) provided a high-resolution climate record from near the Ross-Amundsen Divide in Central West Antarctica. In addition, radar-detected internal layers in the vicinity of the WDC site have been dated directly from the ice core to provide spatial variations in the age structure of the region. Using these two data sets together, we first infer a high-resolution Holocene accumulation-rate history from 9.2 kyr of the ice-core timescale and then confirm that this climate history is consistent with internal layers upstream of the core site. Even though the WDC was drilled only 24 km from the modern ice divide, advection of ice from upstream must be taken into account. We evaluate histories of accumulation rate by using a flowband model to generate internal layers that we compare to observed layers. Results show that the centennially averaged accumulation rate was over 20% lower than modern at 9.2 kyr before present (B.P.), increased by 40% from 9.2 to 2.3 kyr B.P., and decreased by at least 10% over the past 2 kyr B.P. to the modern values; these Holocene accumulation-rate changes in Central West Antarctica are larger than changes inferred from East Antarctic ice-core records. Despite significant changes in accumulation rate, throughout the Holocene the regional accumulation pattern has likely remained similar to today, and the ice-divide position has likely remained on average within 5 km of its modern position. Continent-scale ice-sheet models used for reconstructions of West Antarctic ice volume should incorporate this accumulation history.

  18. How much snow falls on the Antarctic ice sheet?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Palerme

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate models predict Antarctic precipitation to increase during the 21st century, but their present day Antarctic precipitation differs. A fully model-independent climatology of the Antarctic precipitation characteristics, such as snowfall rates and frequency, is needed to assess the models, but was not available so far. Satellite observation of precipitation by active spaceborne sensors has been possible in the polar regions since the launch of CloudSat in 2006. Here we use CloudSat products to build the first multi-year model-independent climatology of Antarctic precipitation. The mean snowfall rate from August 2006 to April 2011 is 171 mm yr−1 over the Antarctic ice sheet north of 82° S. The ECMWF ERA Interim dataset agrees well with the new satellite climatology.

  19. Holocene climate variability along the Antarctic Peninsula and linkage with a terrestrial paleoclimate record from South America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The Antarctic Peninsula is highly sensitive to climate change and is currently experiencing rapid and unusual warming. Here we examine Holocene variability as seen in a multi-tracer stable isotopic study using a 50 m sedimentary section spanning the past 12,000 years from the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. In our synthesis, we make use of the Palmer Deep ODP site 1098 drill core. These sediments comprise the first high resolution, continuous, Late Pleistocene through Holocene sediment record from the Antarctic continental margin. We analyzed biogenic opal, organic C and N concentrations, and 13C/12C and 15N/14N isotopic ratios of sedimentary organic matter every 2.5 cm downcore (1600 samples, sample interval of about 7 years). We interpret the main changes in these downcore parameters as indicating substantial variability in productivity. We note that 1) that the lowest productivity of the Holocene occurred during the past 1.5 kyrs BP, 2) Holocene variability in productivity is large, about a factor of 3, 3) A mid-Holocene productivity maximum is coeval with many mid- and low-latitude Holocene paleoclimate records, and 4) evidence is strong for solar forcing via both total irradiance and precessional effects. Given the modern link between sea ice and net annual primary production along the Antarctic margin, it seems likely that episodes of enhanced productivity, both during the middle Holocene and during centennial productivity peaks were associated with reduced ice cover. We explore several mechanisms by which sea ice cover might respond in an fashion consistent with our observations: 1) reduced westerly winds (less evaporative cooling), 2) South Pacific gyre spin-up (less pole-equator T contrast), 3) more local warm deep water upwelling. It is possible that the basic ENSO dynamic we know from studies of interannual variability in the tropical and North Pacific also regulates climate change at decadal to millennial timescales in the South

  20. Holocene climate variability along the Antarctic Peninsula and linkage with a terrestrial paleoclimate record from South America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The Antarctic Peninsula is highly sensitive to climate change and is currently experiencing rapid and unusual warming. Here we examine Holocene variability as seen in a multi-tracer stable isotopic study using a 50 m sedimentary section spanning the past 12,000 years from the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. In our synthesis, we make use of the Palmer Deep ODP site 1098 drill core. These sediments comprise the first high resolution, continuous, Late Pleistocene through Holocene sediment record from the Antarctic continental margin. We analyzed biogenic opal, organic C and N concentrations, and 13C/12C and 15N/14N isotopic ratios of sedimentary organic matter every 2.5 cm downcore (1600 samples, sample interval of about 7 years). We interpret the main changes in these downcore parameters as indicating substantial variability in productivity. We note that 1) that the lowest productivity of the Holocene occurred during the past 1.5 kyrs BP; 2) Holocene variability in productivity is large, about a factor of 3; 3) A mid-Holocene productivity maximum is coeval with many mid- and low-latitude Holocene paleoclimate records; and 4) evidence is strong for solar forcing via both total irradiance and precessional effects. Given the modern link between sea ice and net annual primary production along the Antarctic margin, it seems likely that episodes of enhanced productivity, both during the middle Holocene and during centennial productivity peaks were associated with reduced ice cover. We explore several mechanisms by which sea ice cover might respond in an fashion consistent with our observations: 1) reduced westerly winds (less evaporative cooling); 2) South Pacific gyre spin- up (less pole-equator T contrast); 3) more local warm deep water upwelling. It is possible that the basic ENSO dynamic we know from studies of interannual variability in the tropical and North Pacific also regulates climate change at decadal to millennial timescales in the South

  1. A multivariate analysis of Antarctic sea ice since 1979

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magalhaes Neto, Newton de; Evangelista, Heitor [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Tanizaki-Fonseca, Kenny [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), LARAMG - Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Dept. Analise Geoambiental, Inst. de Geociencias, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Penello Meirelles, Margareth Simoes [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)/Geomatica, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Garcia, Carlos Eiras [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Laboratorio de Oceanografia Fisica, Rio Grande, RS (Brazil)

    2012-03-15

    Recent satellite observations have shown an increase in the total extent of Antarctic sea ice, during periods when the atmosphere and oceans tend to be warmer surrounding a significant part of the continent. Despite an increase in total sea ice, regional analyses depict negative trends in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea and positive trends in the Ross Sea. Although several climate parameters are believed to drive the formation of Antarctic sea ice and the local atmosphere, a descriptive mechanism that could trigger such differences in trends are still unknown. In this study we employed a multivariate analysis in order to identify the response of the Antarctic sea ice with respect to commonly utilized climate forcings/parameters, as follows: (1) The global air surface temperature, (2) The global sea surface temperature, (3) The atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration, (4) The South Annular Mode, (5) The Nino 3, (6) The Nino (3 + 4, 7) The Nino 4, (8) The Southern Oscillation Index, (9) The Multivariate ENSO Index, (10) the Total Solar Irradiance, (11) The maximum O{sub 3} depletion area, and (12) The minimum O{sub 3} concentration over Antarctica. Our results indicate that western Antarctic sea ice is simultaneously impacted by several parameters; and that the minimum, mean, and maximum sea ice extent may respond to a separate set of climatic/geochemical parameters. (orig.)

  2. Mapping and Assessing Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone, the Pack Ice and Coastal Polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, Julienne; Jenouvrier, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore mapping their spatial extent, seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biological active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of different ice types to the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent data record for assessing different ice types. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depends strongly on what sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Polynya area is also larger in the NASA Team algorithm, and the timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These differences lead to different relationships between sea ice characteristics and biological processes, as illustrated here with the breeding success of an Antarctic seabird.

  3. Measurements of 36Cl in Antarctic meteorites and Antarctic ice using a Van de Graaff accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray produced 36Cl(tsub(1/2) = 3.0 X 105 years) has been measured in four Antarctic meteorites and one sample of Antarctic ice using a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator as an ultrasensitive mass spectrometer with the extremely low background level of 36Cl/Cl -16. Results from this ion counting technique (applied here to extraterrestrial materials for the first time) are used to support a two-stage irradiation model for the Yamato-7301and Allan Hills-76008 meteorites and to show a long terrestrial age (0.7 +- 0.1 m.y.) for Allan Hills-77002. Yamato-7304 has a terrestrial age of less than 0.1 m.y. The 36Cl content of the Antarctic ice sample from the Yamato Mountain area implies that the age of the ice cap at this site is less than one 36Cl half-life. (Auth.)

  4. Mapping lichen distribution on the Antarctic Peninsula using remote sensing, lichen spectra and photographic documentation by citizen scientists

    OpenAIRE

    Casanovas, Paula; Black, Martin; Fretwell, Peter; Convey, Peter

    2015-01-01

    On the Antarctic Peninsula, lichens are the most diverse botanical component of the terrestrial ecosystem. However, detailed information on the distribution of lichens on the Antarctic Peninsula region is scarce, and the data available exhibit significant heterogeneity in sampling frequency and effort. Satellite remote sensing, in particular the use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), has facilitated determination of vegetation richness and cover distribution in some remote ...

  5. Regional Changes in the Sea Ice Cover and Ice Production in the Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal polynyas around the Antarctic continent have been regarded as sea ice factories because of high ice production rates in these regions. The observation of a positive trend in the extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite era has been intriguing in light of the observed rapid decline of the ice extent in the Arctic. The results of analysis of the time series of passive microwave data indicate large regional variability with the trends being strongly positive in the Ross Sea, strongly negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas and close to zero in the other regions. The atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is controlled mainly by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the marginal ice zone around the continent shows an alternating pattern of advance and retreat suggesting the presence of a propagating wave (called Antarctic Circumpolar Wave) around the circumpolar region. The results of analysis of the passive microwave data suggest that the positive trend in the Antarctic sea ice cover could be caused primarily by enhanced ice production in the Ross Sea that may be associated with more persistent and larger coastal polynyas in the region. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate-of-increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 km2 per year. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 km3/year, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. In addition to the possibility of changes in SAM, modeling studies have also indicated that the ozone hole may have a role in that it causes the deepening of the lows in the western Antarctic region thereby causing strong winds to occur offthe Ross-ice shelf.

  6. Validation of the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge Basal Stress Boundary in the South Eastern Region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C. B.; King, K.

    2015-12-01

    The largest ice shelf in Antarctic, Ross Ice Shelf, was investigated over the years of (1970-2015). Near the basal stress boundary between the ice shelf and the West Antarctic ice sheet, ice velocity ranges from a few meters per year to several hundred meters per year in ice streams. Most of the drainage from West Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf flows down two major ice streams, each of which discharges more than 20 km3 of ice each year. Along with velocity changes, the warmest water below parts of the Ross Ice Shelf resides in the lowest portion of the water column because of its high salinity. Vertical mixing caused by tidal stirring can thus induce ablation by lifting the warm water into contact with the ice shelf. This process can cause melting over a period of time and eventually cause breakup of ice shelf. With changes occurring over many years a validation is needed for the Antarctic Snow Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) basal stress boundary created in 2003. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rates in just one year. Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. During the research, the team completed study on the Ross Ice Shelf located on the south western coast of the Antarctic. The study included a validation of the ABSB vs. the natural basal stress boundary (NBSB) along the Ross Ice Shelf. The ASAID BSB was created in 2003 by a team of researchers headed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC), with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. The point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the

  7. Functional Diversity of Microbial Communities in Soils in the Vicinity of Wanda Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Pessi, Igor Stelmach; de Oliveira Elias, Susana; Simões, Felipe Lorenz; Simões, Jefferson Cardia; Macedo, Alexandre José

    2011-01-01

    Microbial functional diversity in four soils sampled in the vicinity of Wanda Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula, was determined using Biolog EcoPlates at 5°C and 25°C. Comparisons of the patterns of substrate utilization and the diversity index showed differences in community composition, reflecting the heterogeneous distribution of microorganisms in this environment. Differences in microbial diversity may be related to soil chemical properties. Higher incubation temperature influenced the overall...

  8. Sources and Levels of Ambient Ocean Sound near the Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Dziak, Robert P.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Stafford, Kathleen M.; Haruyoshi Matsumoto; Minkyu Park; Won Sang Lee; Fowler, Matt J.; Tai-Kwan Lau; Haxel, Joseph H.; Mellinger, David K.

    2015-01-01

    Arrays of hydrophones were deployed within the Bransfield Strait and Scotia Sea (Antarctic Peninsula region) from 2005 to 2009 to record ambient ocean sound at frequencies of up to 125 and 500 Hz. Icequakes, which are broadband, short duration signals derived from fracturing of large free-floating icebergs, are a prominent feature of the ocean soundscape. Icequake activity peaks during austral summer and is minimum during winter, likely following freeze-thaw cycles. Iceberg grounding and rapi...

  9. Comparative roles of upwelling and glacial iron sources in Ryder Bay, coastal western Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Annett, Amber; Skiba, Marta; Henley, Sian; Venables, Hugh J.; Meredith, Michael P.; Statham, Peter; Ganeshram, Raja

    2015-01-01

    Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for phytoplankton, and is scarce in many regions including the open Southern Ocean. The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), an important source region of Fe to the wider Southern Ocean, is also the fastest warming region of the Southern Hemisphere. The relative importance of glacial versus marine Fe sources is currently poorly constrained, hindering projections of how changing oceanic circulation, productivity, and glacial dynamics may affect the balance...

  10. On the Variability of Southern Ocean Front Locations Between Southern Brazil and the Antarctic Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Ikeda, Yoshimine; Siedler, Gerold; Zwierz, Marek

    1989-01-01

    A 4-year expendable bathythermograph data set (1984–1987) from the area between southern Brazil and the Antarctic Peninsula provides information on the interannual variability of front locations. Two boundaries of subtropical water at different depths are identified north and south of the Brazil Current-Falkland (Malvinas) Current confluence zone. The northern Subtropical Front is displaced over a large part of the Argentine Basin from one observational period to the other. The shallow southe...

  11. Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, M.; Stocchi, P.; van der Heydt, A.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2014-01-01

    During the Cenozoic the Antarctic continent experienced large fluctuations in ice-sheet volume. We investigate the effects of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) on Southern Ocean circulation for the first continental scale glaciation of Antarctica (~ 34 Myr) by combining solid Earth and ocean dynami

  12. Two decades of inorganic carbon dynamics along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Hauri

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We present 20 years of seawater inorganic carbon measurements collected along the western shelf and slope of the Antarctic Peninsula. Water column observations from summertime cruises and seasonal surface underway pCO2 measurements provide unique insights into the spatial, seasonal and interannual variability of the dynamic system. The discrete measurements from depths > 2000 m align well with World Ocean Circulation Experiment observations across the time-series and underline the consistency of the data set. Analysis shows large spatial gradients in surface alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon content, with a concomitant wide range of Ωarag from values arag despite glacial and sea-ice melt water input. In support of previous studies, we observed Redfield behavior of regional C / N nutrient utilization, while the C / P (80.5 ± 2.5 and N / P (11.7 ± 0.3 molar ratios were significantly lower than the Redfield elemental stoichiometric values. Seasonal predictions of Ωarag suggest that surface waters remained mostly supersaturated with regard to aragonite throughout the study. However, more than a third of the predictions for winters between 1999 and 2013 resulted in Ωarag arag may have implications for important organisms such as pteropods. Despite large interannual variability, surface pCO2 measurements indicate a statistically significant increasing trend of up to 23 μatm per decade in fall and spring and a concomitant decreasing pH, pointing towards first signs of ocean acidification in the region. The combination of ongoing ocean acidification and freshwater input may soon provoke more unfavorable conditions than what the ecosystem experiences today.

  13. Two decades of inorganic carbon dynamics along the West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauri, C.; Doney, S. C.; Takahashi, T.; Erickson, M.; Jiang, G.; Ducklow, H. W.

    2015-11-01

    We present 20 years of seawater inorganic carbon measurements collected along the western shelf and slope of the Antarctic Peninsula. Water column observations from summertime cruises and seasonal surface underway pCO2 measurements provide unique insights into the spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability in this dynamic system. Discrete measurements from depths > 2000 m align well with World Ocean Circulation Experiment observations across the time series and underline the consistency of the data set. Surface total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon data showed large spatial gradients, with a concomitant wide range of Ωarag (end of the sampling grid and meltwater input along the coast towards the northern end. Large inorganic carbon drawdown through biological production in summer caused high near-shore Ωarag despite glacial and sea-ice meltwater input. In support of previous studies, we observed Redfield behavior of regional C / N nutrient utilization, while the C / P (80.5 ± 2.5) and N / P (11.7 ± 0.3) molar ratios were significantly lower than the Redfield elemental stoichiometric values. Seasonal salinity-based predictions of Ωarag suggest that surface waters remained mostly supersaturated with regard to aragonite throughout the study. However, more than 20 % of the predictions for winters and springs between 1999 and 2013 resulted in Ωarag < 1.2. Such low levels of Ωarag may have implications for important organisms such as pteropods. Even though we did not detect any statistically significant long-term trends, the combination of on-going ocean acidification and freshwater input may soon induce more unfavorable conditions than the ecosystem experiences today.

  14. Particle flux on the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea Polynya and Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugh W. Ducklow

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We report results from a yearlong, moored sediment trap in the Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP, the first such time series in this remote and productive ecosystem. Results are compared to a long-term (1992–2013 time series from the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP. The ASP trap was deployed from December 2010 to December 2011 at 350 m depth. We observed two brief, but high flux events, peaking at 8 and 5 mmol C m−2 d−1 in January and December 2011, respectively, with a total annual capture of 315 mmol C m−2. Both peak fluxes and annual capture exceeded the comparable WAP observations. Like the overlying phytoplankton bloom observed during the cruise in the ASP (December 2010 to January 2011, particle flux was dominated by Phaeocystis antarctica, which produced phytodetrital aggregates. Particles at the start of the bloom were highly depleted in 13C, indicating their origin in the cold, CO2-rich winter waters exposed by retreating sea ice. As the bloom progressed, microscope visualization and stable isotopic composition provided evidence for an increasing contribution by zooplankton fecal material. Incubation experiments and zooplankton observations suggested that fecal pellet production likely contributed 10–40% of the total flux during the first flux event, and could be very high during episodic krill swarms. Independent estimates of export from the surface (100 m were about 5–10 times that captured in the trap at 350 m. Estimated bacterial respiration was sufficient to account for much of the decline in the flux between 50 and 350 m, whereas zooplankton respiration was much lower. The ASP system appears to export only a small fraction of its production deeper than 350 m within the polynya region. The export efficiency was comparable to other polar regions where phytoplankton blooms were not dominated by diatoms.

  15. Abundance and breeding distribution of seabirds in the northern part of the Danco Coast, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana A. Juáres

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Seabird abundances and breeding distribution have the potential to serve as ecological indicators. The western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the three sites in the world with the greatest increases in local temperature during the last 50 years. The aim of this study was to monitor the distribution and abundance of breeding populations of seabirds in the northern sector of the Danco Coast, north-west of the Antarctic Peninsula, during the breeding season 2010/11. The birds were the Wilson′s storm petrel (Oceanites oceanicus, South Polar skua (Stercorarius maccormicki, kelp gull (Larus dominicanus, Antarctic tern (Sterna vittata, snowy sheathbill (Chionis alba, chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica, southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus, gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, Cape petrel (Daption capense and Antarctic shag (Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis. Annual breeding population growth increased in pygoscelids, southern giant petrel and sheathbill, and for the remaining species, breeding population trends were stable. Given that seabird populations can provide valuable information on the conditions of their feeding and nesting environments, this study highlights the need to maintain basics monitoring studies.

  16. Thickening and Thinning of Antarctic Ice Shelves and Tongues and Mass Balance Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Giovinetto, Mario; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Previous analysis of elevation changes for 1992 to 2002 obtained from measurements by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2 showed that the shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of West Antarctica (WA), including the eastern part of the Ross Ice Shelf, were mostly thinning and losing mass whereas the Ronne Ice shelf also in WA was mostly thickening. The estimated total mass loss for the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining WA and the AP was 95 Gt/a. In contrast, the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining East Antarctica (EA), including the Filchner, Fimbul, Amery, and Western Ross, were mostly thickening with a total estimated mass gain of 142 Gt/a. Data from ICESat laser altimetry for 2003-2008 gives new surface elevation changes (dH/dt) with some similar values for the earlier and latter periods, including -27.6 and -26.9 cm a-Ion the West Getz ice shelf and -42.4 and - 27.2 cm/a on the East Getz ice shelf, and some values that indicate more thinning in the latter period, including -17.9 and -36.2 cm/a on the Larsen C ice shelf, -35.5 and -76.0 cm/a on the Pine Island Glacier floating, -60.5 and -125.7 .cm/a on the Smith Glacier floating, and -34.4 and -108.9 cm/a on the Thwaites Glacier floating. Maps of measured dH/dt and estimated thickness change are produced along with mass change estimates for 2003 - 2008.

  17. MT soundings in south Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula (Antarctica). Constraints to the crustal structure of the Bransfield strait conjugated continental margins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Complete text of publication follows. The South Shetland Block was separated from the Antarctic Peninsula during the opening of the Bransfield Strait since the Pliocene (about 3.3 Ma). The Bransfield basin is developed by the interaction of two tectonic processes that continue active up to Present: the back-arc extension related to the subduction of the former Phoenix plate oceanic crust along the South Shetland trench and the transtensional deformation associated to the western end of the sinistral Scotia-Antarctic plate boundary along the South Scotia Ridge fault zone. In this tectonic framework 12 MT broadband data (BBMT) were recorded along a NW-SE transect orthogonal to the Bransfield Strait, with Metronix ADU-06 equipments, during 2008 and 2009 International Polar Year field surveys. Due to the difficult access of the region and in order to compare the resistivity crustal features, MT soundings were grouped in three sectors representing the different tectonic settings. In the South Shetland Block 4 MT soundings were located in Livingston Island (3 in Byers Peninsula and one in Hurd Peninsula) and suggest the presence of conductive Cretaceous to Cenozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks above the resistive and heterogeneous metamorphic basement that outcrop in Hurd Peninsula. Southwards, 7 MT sounding were situated around the Quaternary volcanic caldera of Deception Island, formed on the fault system separating the South Shetland Block and the Bransfield basin. Conductive bodies highlight the location of the main magma chambers. Finally, in the Antarctic Peninsula northern margin a MT sounding was obtained in Isla Larga, near the O'Higgins base that constitutes one of the scarce islands of this region not covered by ice during the summer. This MT sounding suggest a 3D complex resistivity structure related to the metamorphic rocks intruded by basic dykes. These MT soundings may contribute to improve the scarce available data on the crustal structure of this

  18. Antarctic sea ice losses drive gains in benthic carbon drawdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D K A

    2015-09-21

    Climate forcing of sea-ice losses from the Arctic and West Antarctic are blueing the poles. These losses are accelerating, reducing Earth's albedo and increasing heat absorption. Subarctic forest (area expansion and increased growth) and ice-shelf losses (resulting in new phytoplankton blooms which are eaten by benthos) are the only significant described negative feedbacks acting to counteract the effects of increasing CO2 on a warming planet, together accounting for uptake of ∼10(7) tonnes of carbon per year. Most sea-ice loss to date has occurred over polar continental shelves, which are richly, but patchily, colonised by benthic animals. Most polar benthos feeds on microscopic algae (phytoplankton), which has shown increased blooms coincident with sea-ice losses. Here, growth responses of Antarctic shelf benthos to sea-ice losses and phytoplankton increases were investigated. Analysis of two decades of benthic collections showed strong increases in annual production of shelf seabed carbon in West Antarctic bryozoans. These were calculated to have nearly doubled to >2x10(5) tonnes of carbon per year since the 1980s. Annual production of bryozoans is median within wider Antarctic benthos, so upscaling to include other benthos (combined study species typically constitute ∼3% benthic biomass) suggests an increased drawdown of ∼2.9x10(6) tonnes of carbon per year. This drawdown could become sequestration because polar continental shelves are typically deeper than most modern iceberg scouring, bacterial breakdown rates are slow, and benthos is easily buried. To date, most sea-ice losses have been Arctic, so, if hyperboreal benthos shows a similar increase in drawdown, polar continental shelves would represent Earth's largest negative feedback to climate change. PMID:26394097

  19. Neogene kinematic history of Nazca-Antarctic-Phoenix slab windows beneath Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitsprecher, Katrin; Thorkelson, Derek J.

    2009-01-01

    The Patagonian slab window is a subsurface tectonic feature resulting from subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic spreading-ridge system (Chile Rise) beneath southern South America. The geometry of the slab window had not been rigorously defined, in part because of the complex nature of the history of ridge subduction in the southeast Pacific region, which includes four interrelated spreading-ridge systems since 20 Ma: first, the Nazca-Phoenix ridge beneath South America, then simultaneous subduction of the Nazca-Antarctic and the northern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge systems beneath South America, and the southern Phoenix-Antarctic spreading-ridge system beneath Antarctica. Spreading-ridge paleo-geographies and rotation poles for all relevant plate pairs (Nazca, Phoenix, Antarctic, South America) are available from 20 Ma onward, and form the mathematical basis of our kinematic reconstruction of the geometry of the Patagonia and Antarctic slab windows through Neogene time. At approximately 18 Ma, the Nazca-Phoenix-Antarctic oceanic (ridge-ridge-ridge) triple junction enters the South American trench; we recognize this condition as an unstable quadruple junction. Heat flow at this junction and for some distance beneath the forearc would be considerably higher than is generally recognized in cases of ridge subduction. From 16 Ma onward, the geometry of the Patagonia slab window developed from the subduction of the trailing arms of the former oceanic triple junction. The majority of the slab window's areal extent and geometry is controlled by the highly oblique (near-parallel) subduction angle of the Nazca-Antarctic ridge system, and by the high contrast in relative convergence rates between these two plates relative to South America. The very slow convergence rate of the Antarctic slab is manifested by the shallow levels achieved by the slab edge (< 45 km); thus no point on the Antarctic slab is sufficiently deep to generate "normal" mantle-derived arc-type magmas

  20. Variability of Antarctic Sea Ice 1979-1998

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Comiso, Josefino C.; Parkinson, Claire L.; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Gloersen, Per; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The principal characteristics of the variability of Antarctic sea ice cover as previously described from satellite passive-microwave observations are also evident in a systematically-calibrated and analyzed data set for 20.2 years (1979-1998). The total Antarctic sea ice extent (concentration > 15 %) increased by 13,440 +/- 4180 sq km/year (+1.18 +/- 0.37%/decade). The area of sea ice within the extent boundary increased by 16,960 +/- 3,840 sq km/year (+1.96 +/- 0.44%/decade). Regionally, the trends in extent are positive in the Weddell Sea (1.5 +/- 0.9%/decade), Pacific Ocean (2.4 +/- 1.4%/decade), and Ross (6.9 +/- 1.1 %/decade) sectors, slightly negative in the Indian Ocean (-1.5 +/- 1.8%/decade, and strongly negative in the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector (-9.5 +/- 1.5%/decade). For the entire ice pack, small ice increases occur in all seasons with the largest increase during autumn. On a regional basis, the trends differ season to season. During summer and fall, the trends are positive or near zero in all sectors except the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Seas sector. During winter and spring, the trends are negative or near zero in all sectors except the Ross Sea, which has positive trends in all seasons. Components of interannual variability with periods of about 3 to 5 years are regionally large, but tend to counterbalance each other in the total ice pack. The interannual variability of the annual mean sea-ice extent is only 1.6% overall, compared to 5% to 9% in each of five regional sectors. Analysis of the relation between regional sea ice extents and spatially-averaged surface temperatures over the ice pack gives an overall sensitivity between winter ice cover and temperature of -0.7% change in sea ice extent per K. For summer, some regional ice extents vary positively with temperature and others negatively. The observed increase in Antarctic sea ice cover is counter to the observed decreases in the Arctic. It is also qualitatively consistent with the

  1. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has, like the Arctic, instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and Western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but differences in the magnitudes of the two trends identify regions with overall increasing ice concentrations and others with overall decreasing ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  2. Remotely-Sensed Glacier Change Estimation: a Case Study at Lindblad Cove, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fieber, K. D.; Mills, J. P.; Miller, P. E.; Fox, A. J.

    2016-06-01

    This study builds on existing literature of glacier change estimation in polar regions and is a continuation of efforts aimed at unlocking the information encapsulated in archival aerial photography of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers. Historical aerial imagery acquired in 1957 over three marine-terminating glaciers at Lindblad Cove on the West Coast of Trinity Peninsula is processed to extract digital elevation models (DEMs) which are subsequently compared to DEMs generated from present day (2014) WorldView-2 satellite stereo-imagery. The new WorldView-2 images offer unprecedented sub-metre resolution of the Antarctic Peninsula and are explored here to facilitate improved registration and higher accuracy analysis of glacier changes. Unlike many studies, which focus on glacier fronts or only restricted regions of glaciers, this paper presents a complete coverage of elevation changes across the glacier surfaces for two of the studied glaciers. The study utilises a robust least squares matching technique to ensure precise registration of the archival and modern DEMs, which is applied due to lack of existing ground control in this remote region. This case study reveals that, while many glaciers in polar regions are reported as experiencing significant mass loss, some glaciers are stable or even demonstrate mass gain. All three glaciers reported here demonstrated overall mean increases in surface elevation, indicative of positive mass balance ranging from 0.6 to 5.8 metre water equivalent between 1957 and 2014.

  3. Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Cavalieri

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean. One region, that of the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas, has (like the Arctic instead experienced significant sea ice decreases, with an overall ice extent trend of −8200 ± 1200 km2 yr−1. When examined through the annual cycle over the 32-yr period 1979–2010, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover as a whole experienced positive ice extent trends in every month, ranging in magnitude from a low of 9100 ± 6300 km2 yr−1 in February to a high of 24 700 ± 10 000 km2 yr−1 in May. The Ross Sea and Indian Ocean also had positive trends in each month, while the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas had negative trends in each month, and the Weddell Sea and western Pacific Ocean had a mixture of positive and negative trends. Comparing ice-area results to ice-extent results, in each case the ice-area trend has the same sign as the ice-extent trend, but the magnitudes of the two trends differ, and in some cases these differences allow inferences about the corresponding changes in sea ice concentrations. The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation. This is a key topic for future research.

  4. Mass Balance Changes and Ice Dynamics of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B.; Schenk, T.

    2016-06-01

    During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat) and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC) method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  5. Phylogenetic analysis and in vitro culture of mosses from the Antarctic Fildes Peninsula

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Shenghao; ZHANG Zhaohui; WANG Nengfei; CONG Bailin; ZHANG Pengying; LIN Xuezheng; HUANG Xiaohang

    2014-01-01

    Molecular genetic techniques have proven very useful for initial analysis of the extent of genetic variation and dispersal in several Antarctic moss species. In the present study, the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rDNA) and internal transcribed spacers of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS rDNA) were sequenced in nine individuals of different mosses from the Fildes Peninsula of Antarctica. Sequence alignment showed that the extreme environment tended to increase the genetic diversity of Antarctic mosses. In addition, in our phylogenetic analysis, one previously unidentiifed Antarctic moss species was characterized by comparison with SSU and ITS rDNA sequences of known moss species. Moreover, the optimal culture medium and conditions for surface explant sterilization and protonemata induction in tissue culture of Pohlia nutans were investigated. The successful establishment of a tissue culture protocol together with the phylogenetic analysis of Antarctic mosses will provide technological support to establish an effective resource regeneration method for discovering new functional genes and gaining novel insights into the mechanisms of stress acclimation.

  6. Ecological niche modeling of sympatric krill predators around Marguerite Bay, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Fraser, William R.; Burns, Jennifer; Halpin, Patrick N.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2011-07-01

    Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae), carabeater seals ( Lobodon carcinophagus), humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae), and minke whales ( Balaenoptera bonaernsis) are found in the waters surrounding the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Each species relies primarily on Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) and has physiological constraints and foraging behaviors that dictate their ecological niches. Understanding the degree of ecological overlap between sympatric krill predators is critical to understanding and predicting the impacts on climate-driven changes to the Antarctic marine ecosystem. To explore ecological relationships amongst sympatric krill predators, we developed ecological niche models using a maximum entropy modeling approach (Maxent) that allows the integration of data collected by a variety of means (e.g. satellite-based locations and visual observations). We created spatially explicit probability distributions for the four krill predators in fall 2001 and 2002 in conjunction with a suite of environmental variables. We find areas within Marguerite Bay with high krill predator occurrence rates or biological hot spots. We find the modeled ecological niches for Adélie penguins and crabeater seals may be affected by their physiological needs to haul-out on substrate. Thus, their distributions may be less dictated by proximity to prey and more so by physical features that over time provide adequate access to prey. Humpback and minke whales, being fully marine and having greater energetic demands, occupy ecological niches more directly proximate to prey. We also find evidence to suggest that the amount of overlap between modeled niches is relatively low, even for species with similar energetic requirements. In a rapidly changing and variable environment, our modeling work shows little indication that krill predators maintain similar ecological niches across years around Marguerite Bay. Given the amount of variability in the marine environment around the

  7. A Maturing Tephra Record in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    Tephra layers found in many Antarctic ice cores range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). A well-defined ash layer is found at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WAIS Divide core, containing 20 um ash shards that are chemically correlated to the the Pleaides volcanoes, in northern Victoria Land. This tephra layer correlates to one found in a Siple Dome (B) ice core (97.2 to 97.7 m depth) and in the Taylor Dome ice core (79.2 m depth). Deeper parts of the WAIS Divide ice core correspond to a time interval of abundant regional volcanism, represented by the large number of visible dust bands and cloudy layers in the core (A. Orsi, pers. comm., 2010). A distinct "visible brown layer" at a depth of 1586.363 m. (8.279 Ky BP preliminary age) is very likely to be from a major eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe (8.2±5.4 , Wilch et al., 1999). This layer is found at a depth of 503.58-503.87 m in the Siple Dome A core (SMDA) corresponding to 8.167-8.181 Ky before 1950, and almost certainly to a visible layer identified and analyzed in the Byrd ice core at 788 m (Palais et al., 1988). A visible double layer at 1741.246 m (9.57 KyBP preliminary age) may correspond to a very distinct tephra layer in the SDMA core at a depth of around 550 m (corresponding to an age of around 9.7 Ky before 1950). This layer is derived from the West Antarctic stratovolcano, Mt. Berlin. In the segment of WAIS Divide ice core between 2251 and 2557 m depth (15.2 to 20.6 preliminary age), numerous dust bands and cloudy layers are reported in the ice. This corresponds to the age of ice in the Byrd Core that contained many volcanic layers (Gow and Williamson, 1971), and also an interval in the SDMA where numerous distinct tephra layers associated with highly explosive eruptions of Mt. Berlin were found. Detailed

  8. Geochemical evolution of Pliocene-Recent post-subduction alkalic basalts from Seal Nunataks, Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following more than 200 Ma of subduction of Pacific oceanic crust beneath the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, subduction ceased by a series of ridge crest-trench collisions. However, magmatism continued after the cessation of subduction with basaltic rocks of the intraplate alkalic association being erupted from centres scattered along the whole length of the peninsula. In the northeast, at Seal Nunataks, a suite of intraplate basalts ranging in composition from tholeiite to alkali basalt was erupted less than 4 Ma ago, almost synchronously with the cessation of subduction in that area (4-6 Ma). LREE-enrichment [(La/Yb)n 4.7-11.5] but consistency of HREE abundances for all the basalts suggest they were generated by partial melting in the garnet stability field of the mantle. A number of trace-element ratios [e.g. Zr/Nb (4.9-8.4), Hf/Ta (1.5-3.3), Sr/Nb (15-26), Ti/Nb (390-800)] are likely to have been fractionated during partial melting/melt extraction, although they do exhibit some correlation with isotope ratios, suggesting variations in these ratios may have been controlled by both partial melting and source heterogeneity. However, Th/Ta (0.87-2.31), La/Th (5.4-10.5) and K/Rb (275-1330) ratios also exhibit considerable variations within the suite and show strong correlations with 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7028-0.7033). These trace-element-isotope covariations are explained by a model involving mixing of a LILE-, 87Sr-depleted end-member, broadly similar to the source for non-Dupal OIB and N-type MORB, and upper-mantle material with high LILE/HFSE and 87Sr/86Sr ratios. This high-LILE/HFSE, high-87Sr component may represent mantle material which was enriched during the previous 200 Ma of subduction-related magmatism within the Antarctic Peninsula. Post-subduction high-Mg andesites (''bajaites''), which are associated with the cessation of subduction long other continental margins, are apparently absent within the Antarctic Peninsula. (orig./WB)

  9. Observationally constrained projections of Antarctic ice sheet instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Tamsin; Ritz, Catherine; Durand, Gael; Payne, Anthony; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lie on bedrock below sea level and may be vulnerable to a positive feedback known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica, induced by circulation of warm Circumpolar Deep Water. If this retreat is sustained the region could contribute up to 1-2 m to global mean sea level, and if triggered in other areas the potential contribution to sea level on centennial to millennial timescales could be two to three times greater. However, physically plausible projections of Antarctic MISI are challenging: numerical ice sheet models are too low in spatial resolution to resolve grounding line processes or else too computationally expensive to assess modelling uncertainties, and no dynamical models exist of the ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet system. Furthermore, previous numerical ice sheet model projections for Antarctica have not been calibrated with observations, which can reduce uncertainties. Here we estimate the probability of dynamic mass loss in the event of MISI under a medium climate scenario, assessing 16 modelling uncertainties and calibrating the projections with observed mass losses in the ASE from 1992-2011. We project losses of up to 30 cm sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100 and 72 cm SLE by 2200 (95% credibility interval: CI). Our results are substantially lower than previous estimates. The ASE sustains substantial losses, 83% of the continental total by 2100 and 67% by 2200 (95% CI), but in other regions losses are limited by ice dynamical theory, observations, or a lack of projected triggers.

  10. Synchronicity between ice retreat and phytoplankton bloom in circum-Antarctic polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yun; Ji, Rubao; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Jin, Meibing; Stroeve, Julienne

    2016-03-01

    Phytoplankton in Antarctic coastal polynyas has a temporally short yet spatially variant growth window constrained by ice cover and day length. Using 18-year satellite measurements (1997-2015) of sea ice and chlorophyll concentrations, we assessed the synchronicity between the spring phytoplankton bloom and light availability, taking into account the ice cover and the incident solar irradiance, for 50 circum-Antarctic coastal polynyas. The synchronicity was strong (i.e., earlier ice-adjusted light onset leads to earlier bloom and vice versa) in most of the western Antarctic polynyas but weak in a majority of the eastern Antarctic polynyas. The west-east asymmetry is related to sea ice production rate: the formation of many eastern Antarctic polynyas is associated with strong katabatic wind and high sea ice production rate, leading to stronger water column mixing that could damp phytoplankton blooms and weaken the synchronicity.

  11. Commitments to future retreat of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert; Pollard, David

    2016-04-01

    The agreement reached at the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change is aimed at limiting future increases in global mean temperature below 2°C. Here, we use a continental ice sheet/shelf model with new treatments of meltwater-enhanced calving (hydrofracturing) and marine terminating ice-cliffs, to explore future commitments to sea-level rise given limits of global mean warming between 1 and 3°C. In this case, ice-sheet model physics are calibrated against past ice-sheet response to temperatures warmer than today. The ice-sheet model is coupled to highly resolved atmosphere and ocean-model components, with imposed limits on future warming designed to mimic the idealized limits discussed at COP21. Both the short and long-term potential rise in global mean sea level are discussed in light of the range of allowances agreed in Paris. We also explore the sensitivity of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to plausible ranges of atmospheric versus ocean warming consistent with global mean temperatures between 1 and 3°C; and the resulting long-term commitments to sea-level rise over the coming centuries and millennia.

  12. Satellite Observations of Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness and Volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, Nathan; Markus, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    We utilize satellite laser altimetry data from ICESat combined with passive microwave measurements to analyze basin-wide changes in Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume over a 5 year period from 2003-2008. Sea ice thickness exhibits a small negative trend while area increases in the summer and fall balanced losses in thickness leading to small overall volume changes. Using a five year time-series, we show that only small ice thickness changes of less than -0.03 m/yr and volume changes of -266 cu km/yr and 160 cu km/yr occurred for the spring and summer periods, respectively. The calculated thickness and volume trends are small compared to the observational time period and interannual variability which masks the determination of long-term trend or cyclical variability in the sea ice cover. These results are in stark contrast to the much greater observed losses in Arctic sea ice volume and illustrate the different hemispheric changes of the polar sea ice covers in recent years.

  13. Antarctic ice sheet GLIMMER model test and its simplified model on 2-dimensional ice flow

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xueyuan Tang; Zhanhai Zhang; Bo Sun; Yuansheng Li; Na Li; Bangbing Wang; Xiangpei Zhang

    2008-01-01

    The 3-dimensional finite difference thermodynamic coupled model on Antarctic ice sheet, GLIMMER model, is described. An ide-alized ice sheet numerical test was conducted under the EISMINT-I benchmark, and the characteristic curves of ice sheets under steady state were obtained. Based on this, this model was simplified from a 3-dimensional one to 2-dimensional one. Improvement of the dif-ference method and coordinate system was proposed. Evolution of the 2-dimensional ice flow was simulated under coupled temperature field conditions. The results showed that the characteristic curves deriving from the conservation of the mass, momentum and energy agree with the results of ice sheet profile simulated with GLIMMER model and with the theoretical results. The application prospect of the simplified 2-dimensional ice flow model to simulate the relation of age-depth-accumulation in Dome A region was discussed.

  14. The Mendel Formation: Evidence for Late Miocene climatic cyclicity at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nývlt, D.; Košler, J.; Mlčoch, B.; Mixa, P.; Lisá, Lenka; Bubík, M.; Hendriks, B. W. H.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 299, 1/2 (2011), s. 363-384. ISSN 0031-0182 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Mendel Formation * Late Miocene * chmate * Antarctic Peninsula Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.392, year: 2011

  15. Reducing uncertainties in projections of Antarctic ice mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, G.; Pattyn, F.

    2015-11-01

    Climate model projections are often aggregated into multi-model averages of all models participating in an intercomparison project, such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The "multi-model" approach provides a sensitivity test to the models' structural choices and implicitly assumes that multiple models provide additional and more reliable information than a single model, with higher confidence being placed on results that are common to an ensemble. A first initiative of the ice sheet modeling community, SeaRISE, provided such multi-model average projections of polar ice sheets' contribution to sea-level rise. The SeaRISE Antarctic numerical experiments aggregated results from all models devoid of a priori selection, based on the capacity of such models to represent key ice-dynamical processes. Here, using the experimental setup proposed in SeaRISE, we demonstrate that correctly representing grounding line dynamics is essential to infer future Antarctic mass change. We further illustrate the significant impact on the ensemble mean and deviation of adding one model with a known bias in its ability of modeling grounding line dynamics. We show that this biased model can hardly be identified from the ensemble only based on its estimation of volume change, as ad hoc and untrustworthy parametrizations can force any modeled grounding line to retreat. However, tools are available to test parts of the response of marine ice sheet models to perturbations of climatic and/or oceanic origin (MISMIP, MISMIP3d). Based on recent projections of Pine Island Glacier mass loss, we further show that excluding ice sheet models that do not pass the MISMIP benchmarks decreases the mean contribution and standard deviation of the multi-model ensemble projection by an order of magnitude for that particular drainage basin.

  16. Evaluation of soil bioremediation techniques in an aged diesel spill at the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jesus, Hugo E; Peixoto, Raquel S; Cury, Juliano C; van Elsas, Jan D; Rosado, Alexandre S

    2015-12-01

    Many areas on the Antarctic continent already suffer from the direct and indirect influences of human activities. The main cause of contamination is petroleum hydrocarbons because this compound is used as a source of energy at the many research stations around the continent. Thus, the current study aims to evaluate treatments for bioremediation (biostimulation, bioaugmentation, and bioaugmentation + biostimulation) using soils from around the Brazilian Antarctic Station "Comandante Ferraz" (EACF), King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula. The experiment lasted for 45 days, and at the end of this period, chemical and molecular analyses were performed. Those analyses included the quantification of carbon and nitrogen, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis (with gradient denaturation), real-time PCR, and quantification of total hydrocarbons and polyaromatics. Molecular tests evaluated changes in the profile and quantity of the rrs genes of archaea and bacteria and also the alkB gene. The influence of the treatments tested was directly related to the type of soil used. The work confirmed that despite the extreme conditions found in Antarctic soils, the bacterial strains degraded hydrocarbons and bioremediation treatments directly influenced the microbial communities present in these soils even in short periods. Although the majority of the previous studies demonstrate that the addition of fertilizer seems to be most effective at promoting bioremediation, our results show that for some conditions, autochthonous bioaugmentation (ABA) treatment is indicated. This work highlights the importance of understanding the processes of recovery of contaminated environments in polar regions because time is crucial to the soil recovery and to choosing the appropriate treatment. PMID:26286513

  17. Variability in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone and Pack Ice in Observations and NCAR CESM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Campbell, G. G.; Holland, M. M.; Landrum, L.

    2015-12-01

    Sea ice around Antarctica reached another record high extent in September 2014, recording a maximum extent of more than 20 million km2 for the first time since the modern satellite data record began in October 1978. This follows previous record maxima in 2012 and 2013, resulting in an overall increase in Antarctic September sea ice extent of 1.3% per decade since 1979. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the increasing trends, such as anomalous short-term wind patterns that both grow and spread out the ice, and freshening of the surface ocean layer from increased melting of floating ice from the continent. These positive trends in Antarctic sea ice are at odds with climate model forecasts that suggest the sea ice should be declining in response to increasing greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion. While the reasons for the increases in total extent remain poorly understood, it is likely that these changes are not just impacting the total ice extent, but also the distribution of pack ice, the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas, with important ramifications for phytoplankton productivity that in turn impact zooplankton, fish, sea birds and marine mammals. This study evaluates changes in the distribution of the pack ice, polynyas and the marginal ice zone around Antarctica from two sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and the Bootstrap. These results are further compared with climate model simulations from the CESM large ensemble output. Seasonal analysis of the different ice types using NASA Team and Bootstrap shows that during ice advance, the ice advances as pack ice, with a seasonal peak in September (broader peak for Bootstrap), and as the pack ice begins to retreat, it first converts to a wide area of MIZ, that reaches its peak around November (NASA Team) or December (Bootstrap). CESM also shows a similar seasonal cycle, with a peak in the pack ice in August, and a December/January peak in the MIZ. Seasonal variability and trends are

  18. A geoelectrical survey above an Antarctic ice shelf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pavan

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available A geoelectrical survey was performed on the Hells Gate ice shelf (Victoria Land-Antarctic within the framework of an integrated geophysical and glaciological research program. The resistivity profiles show a similar trend, with resistivity values ranging from about 25000 W · m to 500000 W · m. These results have been interpreted as the effect of a sharp transition from "marine ice" to "continental" ice an interpretation that is consistent with the results of surface mapping. Interpreting the Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES is a complex process. In fact, the alternating layers of ice with different compositions and salt content generate great uncertainty relative to the corresponding electric stratigraphies. To solve these problems of equivalency, all the available constraints were used including the drilling thickness, seismic reflection profiles as well as radar profiles. The results were used to provide what is mainly a qualitative overview that is coherent with the glaciological hypotheses relative to the evolution and structure proposed by some researchers for this ice shelf.

  19. Decadal trends in the Antarctic sea ice extent ultimately controlled by ice-ocean feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Goosse

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The large natural variability of the Antarctic sea ice is a key characteristic of the system that might be responsible for the small positive trend in sea ice extent observed since 1979. In order to gain insight in the processes responsible for this variability, we have analysed in a control simulation performed with a coupled climate model a strong positive ice-ocean feedback that amplifies sea ice variations. When sea ice concentration increases in a region, in particular close to the ice edge, the mixed layer depth tends to decrease. This can be caused by a net inflow of ice and thus of freshwater that stabilizes the water column. Another stabilizing mechanism at interannual time scales that appears more widespread in our simulation is associated with the downward salt transport due to the seasonal cycle of ice formation: brine is released in winter when ice is formed and mixed over a deep layer while the freshwater flux caused by ice melting is included in a shallow layer, resulting in a net vertical transport of salt. Because of this stronger stratification due to the presence of sea ice, more heat is stored at depth in the ocean and the vertical oceanic heat flux is reduced, which contributes to maintain a higher ice extent. This positive feedback is not associated with a particular spatial pattern. Consequently, the spatial distribution of the trend in ice concentration is largely imposed by the wind changes that can provide the initial perturbation. A positive freshwater flux could alternatively be the initial trigger but the amplitude of the final response of the sea ice extent is finally set up by the amplification related to ice-ocean feedback. Initial conditions have also an influence as the chance to have a large increase in ice extent is higher if starting from a state characterized by a low value.

  20. Microwave emissivity of fresh water ice--Lake ice and Antarctic ice pack--Radiative transfer simulations versus satellite radiances

    CERN Document Server

    Mills, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Microwave emissivity models of sea ice are poorly validated empirically. Typical validation studies involve using averaged or stereotyped profiles of ice parameters against averaged radiance measurements. Measurement sites are rarely matched and even less often point-by-point. Because of saline content, complex permittivity of sea ice is highly variable and difficult to predict. Therefore, to check the validity of a typical, plane-parallel, radiative-transfer-based ice emissivity model, we apply it to fresh water ice instead of salt-water ice. Radiance simulations for lake ice are compared with measurements over Lake Superior from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on EOS (AMSR-E). AMSR-E measurements are also collected over Antarctic icepack. For each pixel, a thermodynamic model is driven by four years of European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis data and the resulting temperature profiles used to drive the emissivity model. The results suggest that the relatively simple ...

  1. Antarctic winter mercury and ozone depletion events over sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerentorp Mastromonaco, M.; Gårdfeldt, K.; Jourdain, B.; Abrahamsson, K.; Granfors, A.; Ahnoff, M.; Dommergue, A.; Méjean, G.; Jacobi, H.-W.

    2016-03-01

    During atmospheric mercury and ozone depletion events in the springtime in polar regions gaseous elemental mercury and ozone undergo rapid declines. Mercury is quickly transformed into oxidation products, which are subsequently removed by deposition. Here we show that such events also occur during Antarctic winter over sea ice areas, leading to additional deposition of mercury. Over four months in the Weddell Sea we measured gaseous elemental, oxidized, and particulate-bound mercury, as well as ozone in the troposphere and total and elemental mercury concentrations in snow, demonstrating a series of depletion and deposition events between July and September. The winter depletions in July were characterized by stronger correlations between mercury and ozone and larger formation of particulate-bound mercury in air compared to later spring events. It appears that light at large solar zenith angles is sufficient to initiate the photolytic formation of halogen radicals. We also propose a dark mechanism that could explain observed events in air masses coming from dark regions. Br2 that could be the main actor in dark conditions was possibly formed in high concentrations in the marine boundary layer in the dark. These high concentrations may also have caused the formation of high concentrations of CHBr3 and CH2I2 in the top layers of the Antarctic sea ice observed during winter. These new findings show that the extent of depletion events is larger than previously believed and that winter depletions result in additional deposition of mercury that could be transferred to marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  2. Metagenomic analysis of lacustrine viral diversity along a latitudinal transect of the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre de Cárcer, Daniel; López-Bueno, Alberto; Alonso-Lobo, Juan M; Quesada, Antonio; Alcamí, Antonio

    2016-06-01

    Environmental viruses constitute the most abundant biological entities on earth, and harbor an enormous genetic diversity. While their strong influence on the ecosystem is widely acknowledged, current knowledge about their diversity and distribution remains limited. Here we present the metagenomic study of viral communities from freshwater bodies located along a transect of the Antarctic Peninsula. These ecosystems were chosen on the basis of environmental and biogeographical variation. The results obtained indicate that the virus assemblages were diverse, and that the larger fraction represented viruses with no close relatives in the databases. Comparisons to existing metaviromes showed that the communities studied were dissimilar to other freshwater viromes including those from the Arctic. Finally, we observed no indication of there being a reduction in either viral richness or diversity estimates with increasing latitude along the studied transect, further adding to the controversy regarding the possible existence of latitudinal gradients of diversity in the microbial world. PMID:27059864

  3. Determination of trace elements in aerosols from the antarctic peninsula by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this work the neutron activation method was applied to carry out multielemental analysis in aerosols collected in the Brazilian Station 'Comandante Ferraz', located on King George Island, at the Antarctic Peninsula, during 1986 and 1987. The aerosols were collected on 0.45 μum Millipore-MF filter paper, type HA. The analytical method was based on the simultaneous irradiations of filters and synthetic standards in the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor under a thermal neutron flux of about 1012 n cm-2 s-1. The induced radioactivity was measured in a gamma ray spectrometer after suitable cooling times. Samples were irradiated twice, with irradiation times varying from 5 minutes to 24 hours. The elements Na, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Sc, V, Mn, Fe, Zn, Br, Sb, La, Au and Th were determined with concentration levels from ng/m3 to pg/m3

  4. PHOTOPROTECTION OF SEA-ICE MICROALGAL COMMUNITIES FROM THE EAST ANTARCTIC PACK ICE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrou, Katherina; Hill, Ross; Doblin, Martina A; McMinn, Andrew; Johnson, Robert; Wright, Simon W; Ralph, Peter J

    2011-02-01

    All photosynthetic organisms endeavor to balance energy supply with demand. For sea-ice diatoms, as with all marine photoautotrophs, light is the most important factor for determining growth and carbon-fixation rates. Light varies from extremely low to often relatively high irradiances within the sea-ice environment, meaning that sea-ice algae require moderate physiological plasticity that is necessary for rapid light acclimation and photoprotection. This study investigated photoprotective mechanisms employed by bottom Antarctic sea-ice algae in response to relatively high irradiances to understand how they acclimate to the environmental conditions presented during early spring, as the light climate begins to intensify and snow and sea-ice thinning commences. The sea-ice microalgae displayed high photosynthetic plasticity to increased irradiance, with a rapid decline in photochemical efficiency that was completely reversible when placed under low light. Similarly, the photoprotective xanthophyll pigment diatoxanthin (Dt) was immediately activated but reversed during recovery under low light. The xanthophyll inhibitor dithiothreitol (DTT) and state transition inhibitor sodium fluoride (NaF) were used in under-ice in situ incubations and revealed that nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) via xanthophyll-cycle activation was the preferred method for light acclimation and photoprotection by bottom sea-ice algae. This study showed that bottom sea-ice algae from the east Antarctic possess a high level of plasticity in their light-acclimation capabilities and identified the xanthophyll cycle as a critical mechanism in photoprotection and the preferred means by which sea-ice diatoms regulate energy flow to PSII. PMID:27021712

  5. Stable isotope and sea-level data from New Guinea supports Antarctic ice-surge theory of ice ages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two theories of glaciation which have received considerable attention, the Milankovitch orbital theory and the Antarctic surge hypothesis, are discussed. Oxygen-18 and sea-level data obtained from the coral reefs of Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea which contain a particularly good record of the interval 140-105 kyr, are presented. These seem to require an Antarctic surge at 120 kyr and also have a bearing on the role of the Milankovitch factor. (UK)

  6. Change Analysis of Antarctic Ice Shelves Based on Multiple Remote Sensing Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yixiang; Weng, Hexia; Lv, Da; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is well known as the most sensitive and key issue in the global climate change research and is playing a more and more important role for the global sea level change. Measurement of changes in area and mass of the Antarctic ice sheet is critically important and has been made by using different remote sensing technologies and ground exploration data. Sequential mapping of Antarctic boundaries provides a simple and direct method for measuring the area and volume if ice sheet or ice shelves advances or retreats in the Antarctic coasts. Our results show that the total ice shelf area is retreated between 1963 and 2009. However, the trend for each ice shelf is quite different.

  7. Assessment of trace metals in droppings of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from different locations of the Antarctic Peninsula area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jos E Celis; Winfred Espejo; Ricardo Barra; Daniel Gonzalez-Acua; Francisca Gonzalez; Solange Jara

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, polar regions of the planet have witnessed an increase in human presence. Antarctica is considered one of the most pristine regions of the world, but it could be affected by pollution owing to anthropogenic activities, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula. Human presence can increase the levels of some trace metals in Antarctic environments, an issue that needs to be evaluated. To acquire data of trace metal contamination in the Antarctic Peninsula region, concentrations (dry weight) of Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Hg and Zn in fresh excrement of Adélie penguins were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. During the 2012/2013 austral summer, samples were collected from four important nesting sites on the Antarctic Peninsula:Arctowski Base, Kopaitic Island (both sites in the northern Antarctic Peninsula), Yalour Island and Avian Island (both sites in the southern Antarctic Peninsula). Data showed that Adélie penguin excreta had significantly higher levels (mg·kg-1) of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu at Arctowski Base and Kopaitic Island, both sites that have major anthropogenic activities that probably contributed to increased metal levels. The levels of trace metals in Adélie penguins were similar to those reported in excreta of Antarctic species in previous studies, and lower than those in excreta of other Antarctic animals. Data suggest that metals ingested by these penguin species that feed in the sea, end up in terrestrial ecosystems.

  8. What shapes edaphic communities in mineral and ornithogenic soils of Cierva Point, Antarctic Peninsula?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mataloni, G.; Garraza, G. González; Bölter, M.; Convey, P.; Fermani, P.

    2010-08-01

    Three mineral soil and four ornithogenic soil sites were sampled during summer 2006 at Cierva Point (Antarctic Peninsula) to study their bacterial, microalgal and faunal communities in relation to abiotic and biotic features. Soil moisture, pH, conductivity, organic matter and nutrient contents were consistently lower and more homogeneous in mineral soils. Ornithogenic soils supported larger and more variable bacterial abundances than mineral ones. Algal communities from mineral soils were more diverse than those from ornithogenic soils, although chlorophyll- a concentrations were significantly higher in the latter. This parameter and bacterial abundance were correlated with nutrient and organic matter contents. The meiofauna obtained from mineral soils was homogeneous, with one nematode species dominating all samples. The fauna of ornithogenic soils varied widely in composition and abundance. Tardigrades and rotifers dominated the meiofauna at eutrophic O2, where they supported a large population of the predatory nematode Coomansus gerlachei. At site O3, high bacterial abundance was consistent with high densities of the bacterivorous nematodes Plectus spp. This study provides evidence that Antarctic soils are complex and diverse systems, and suggests that biotic interactions (e.g. competition and predation) may have a stronger and more direct influence on community variability in space and time than previously thought.

  9. Role of Lichens in Weathering and Soil—Forming Processes in Fildes Peninsula,Antarctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENJIE; GONGZi-TONG

    1995-01-01

    Lichens play an unparalleledly vital role in weathering and soil-forming processes in Antarctic region,In this study some related chemical components and micromorphological analyses have been carried out on the samples of the weathered rocks and the lichens grown on them from Files Peninsula,Antarctic,The results indicatied that the major chemical components in the bioweathering surface layer of the sampled rocks have been obviously altered and the weathering potential in this layer has greatly decreased by and average range around 4.66 percent in 4 samples,In the weathering surface layer ferruginiztion of some minerals in varying degress was seen by means of microscopic examination through the thin section of the weathered rocks,and its products proved to be dominated by hematitie,limonite,goethite and free iron oxides Meanwhile,the study suggested that the dissolution and absorption of lichens by their secretion accelerated the process of calcitization of minerals in the bio-weathering suface layer,Eventually,the results also show that different species of lichens play different roles in weathering and soil-forming proesses.

  10. Large-amplitude gravity waves above the southern Andes, the Drake Passage, and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Torre, A.; Alexander, P.; Hierro, R.; Llamedo, P.; Rolla, A.; Schmidt, T.; Wickert, J.

    2012-01-01

    Above the southern Andes range and its prolongation in the Antarctic Peninsula, large-amplitude mountain and shear gravity waves observed with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model simulations during winter 2009 are analyzed. Two specific reasons motivated this study: (1) a decade of satellite observations of temperature fluctuations in the stratosphere, allowing us to infer that this region may be launching the largest-amplitude gravity waves into the upper atmosphere, and (2) the recent design of a research program to investigate these features in detail, the Southern Andes Antarctic Gravity wave Initiative (SAANGRIA). The simulations are forced with ERA-Interim data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. The approach selected for the regional downscaling is based on consecutive integrations with weekly reinitialization with 24 h of spin-up, and the outputs during this period are excluded from the analysis. From 1 June to 31 August 2009, five case studies were selected on the basis of their outstanding characteristics and large wave amplitudes. In general, one or two prevailing modes of oscillation are identified after applying continuous wavelet transforms at constant pressure levels and perpendicularly to the nominal orientation of the dominant wave crests. In all cases, the dominant modes are characterized by horizontal wavelengths around 50 km. Their vertical wavelengths, depending on a usually strong background wind shear, are estimated to be between 2 and 11 km. The corresponding intrinsic periods range between 10 and 140 min. In general, the estimated vertical wavelength (intrinsic period) maximizes (minimizes) around 250-300 hPa. The synoptic circulation for each case is described. Zonal and meridional components of the vertical flux of horizontal momentum are shown in detail for each case, including possible horizontal wavelengths between 12 and 400 km. Large values of this flux are observed at higher pressure

  11. Combustion of available fossil-fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, R.; Levermann, A.; Ridgwell, A.; Caldeira, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 meters in global sea-level rise. Here we show in simulations with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil-fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil-fuel emissions of 10 000 GtC, Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 meters per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West- and East Antarctica results in a threshold-increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

  12. Carbonyl sulfide hydrolysis in Antarctic ice cores and an atmospheric history for the last 8000 years

    OpenAIRE

    Aydin, M.; Fudge, TJ; Verhulst, KR; Nicewonger, MR; Waddington, ED; Saltzman, Es

    2014-01-01

    ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) was measured in Antarctic ice core samples from the Byrd, Siple Dome, Taylor Dome, and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide sites covering the last 8000 years of the Holocene. COS levels decrease downcore in most of these ice cores. The magnitude of the downcore trends varies among the different ice cores and is related to the thermal histories of the ice sheet at each site. We hypothesize that this is due to the temper...

  13. Rapid Access Ice Drill: A New Tool for Exploration of the Deep Antarctic Ice Sheets and Subglacial Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, J. W.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to core through deep ice, the glacial bed, and into bedrock below. This new technology will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and their subglacial geology. Currently in construction, RAID is a mobile drilling system capable of making several long boreholes in a single field season in Antarctica. RAID is interdisciplinary and will allow access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, direct observation at the base of the ice sheets, and recovery of rock cores from the ice-covered East Antarctic craton. RAID uses a diamond rock-coring system as in mineral exploration. Threaded drill-pipe with hardened metal bits will cut through ice using reverse circulation of Estisol for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature, and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline bottom-hole assembly will enable diamond coring of ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped, and made available for future down-hole measurement of thermal gradient, heat flow, ice chronology, and ice deformation. RAID will also sample for extremophile microorganisms. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3,300 meters of ice and take sample cores in less than 200 hours. This rapid performance will allow completion of a borehole in about 10 days before moving to the next drilling site. RAID is unique because it can provide fast borehole access through thick ice; take short ice cores for paleoclimate study; sample the glacial bed to determine ice-flow conditions; take cores of subglacial bedrock for age dating and crustal history; and create boreholes for use as an observatory in the ice sheets. Together, the rapid drilling capability and mobility of the drilling system, along with ice-penetrating imaging methods, will provide a unique 3D picture of the interior Antarctic ice sheets.

  14. Projecting Antarctic ice discharge using response functions from SeaRISE ice-sheet models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Levermann

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The largest uncertainty in projections of future sea-level change still results from the potentially changing dynamical ice discharge from Antarctica. While ice discharge can alter through a number of processes, basal ice-shelf melting induced by a warming ocean has been identified as a major if not the major cause for possible additional ice flow across the grounding line. Here we derive dynamic ice-sheet response functions for basal ice-shelf melting using experiments carried out within the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE intercomparison project with five different Antarctic ice-sheet models. As used here these response functions provide separate contributions for four different Antarctic drainage regions. Under the assumptions of linear-response theory we project future ice-discharge for each model, each region and each of the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP using oceanic temperatures from 19 comprehensive climate models of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, CMIP-5, and two ocean models from the EU-project Ice2Sea. Uncertainty in the climatic forcing, the oceanic response and the ice-model differences is combined into an uncertainty range of future Antarctic ice-discharge induced from basal ice-shelf melt. The additional ice-loss (Table 6 is clearly scenario-dependent and results in a median of 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.10 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.26 m of global sea-level equivalent for the low-emission RCP-2.6 scenario and yields 0.1 m (66%-range: 0.06–0.14 m; 90%-range: −0.01–0.45 m for the strongest RCP-8.5. If only models with an explicit representation of ice-shelves are taken into account the scenario dependence remains and the values change to: 0.05 m (66%-range: 0.03–0.08 m for RCP-2.6 and 0.07 m (66%-range: 0.04–0.11 m for RCP-8.5. These results were obtained using a time delay between the surface warming signal and the subsurface oceanic warming as observed in the CMIP-5 models

  15. Radiation exposure at sea level measurement between Rio de Janeiro and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Freitas, A.C. [Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais (LARAMG)/Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Pavilhao Haroldo Lisboa da Cunha, Subsolo Rua Sao Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracana-CEP 20550-013, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)], E-mail: acafuerj@gmail.com; Alencar, A.S.; Coutinho, C.R.; Paschoa, A.S. [Laboratorio de Radioecologia e Mudancas Globais (LARAMG)/Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Pavilhao Haroldo Lisboa da Cunha, Subsolo Rua Sao Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracana-CEP 20550-013, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2007-09-21

    A sea trip was made aboard the vessel NApOc Ary Rongel of the Brazilian Navy from Rio de Janeiro (Lat. 22{sup o}S) to Admiralty Bay (Lat. 62{sup o}S) in the King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. This trip was part of the Brazilian Antarctic Programme. Radiation measurements were carried out with a proportional counter along the ship round-trip route, which sailed partially under the South Atlantic Anomaly. Only those measurements, which were taken after the vessel was farther than one nautical mile offshore were used. This procedure minimizes radiation contributions from land. External radiation measurements made offshore give an indication of the secondary cosmic ray intensity at sea level. Barometric pressure measurements were registered along the round-trip route as well. Negative correlations between the measured external radiation and the barometric pressure on the vessel were observed in both ways of the round-trip. In latitudes above 42{sup o}S, the negative correlation became more prominent. In 1935 the variation of the secondary cosmic radiation with atmospheric pressure was known as the barometric paradox. Recently, an attempt was made to associate long-term variations of the surface pressure with solar activity and galactic cosmic rays. The results are discussed taking into account that as the barometric pressure increases the particle density in the atmosphere also increases. In such case, there are an increasing number of interactions with the particles produced in the hadronic showers, because of decreasing mean free path. Thus, the number of particles reaching a detector at the sea level decreases.

  16. Observational Evidence of a Hemispheric-wide Ice-ocean Albedo Feedback Effect on Antarctic Sea-ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nihashi, Sohey; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of ice-ocean albedo feedback (a kind of ice-albedo feedback) on sea-ice decay is demonstrated over the Antarctic sea-ice zone from an analysis of satellite-derived hemispheric sea ice concentration and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-40) atmospheric data for the period 1979-2001. Sea ice concentration in December (time of most active melt) correlates better with the meridional component of the wind-forced ice drift (MID) in November (beginning of the melt season) than the MID in December. This 1 month lagged correlation is observed in most of the Antarctic sea-ice covered ocean. Daily time series of ice , concentration show that the ice concentration anomaly increases toward the time of maximum sea-ice melt. These findings can be explained by the following positive feedback effect: once ice concentration decreases (increases) at the beginning of the melt season, solar heating of the upper ocean through the increased (decreased) open water fraction is enhanced (reduced), leading to (suppressing) a further decrease in ice concentration by the oceanic heat. Results obtained fi-om a simple ice-ocean coupled model also support our interpretation of the observational results. This positive feedback mechanism explains in part the large interannual variability of the sea-ice cover in summer.

  17. Overview and Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in more recent reports lie between approximately ?50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009. The 300 Gt/year range is approximately 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (?28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. We also modify the IOM estimate using (1) an alternate extrapolation to estimate the discharge from the non-observed 15% of the periphery, and (2) substitution of input from a field data compilation for input from an atmospheric model in 6% of area. The modified IOM estimate reduces the loss from 136 Gt/year to 13 Gt/year. Two ERS-based estimates, the modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 2005 lie in a narrowed range of ?27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992 2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, ?16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (?0.1 mm/year SLE), not including part of the Antarctic Peninsula (1.07% of the AIS area). Although recent reports of large and increasing rates of mass loss with time from GRACE-based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion

  18. Polythermal modelling of steady states of the Antarctic ice sheet in comparison with the real world

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, I.; Greve, Ralf

    1996-01-01

    An approach to simulate the present Antarctic ice sheet with respect to its thermomechanical behaviour and the resulting features is made with the three-dimensional polythermal ice-sheet model designed by Greve and Hutter. It treats zones of cold and temperate ice as different materials with their own properties and dynamics. This is important becausc an underlying layer of temperate ice can influence the ice sheet as a whole, e.g. the cold ice may slide upon the less viscous binary ice-water...

  19. Rock weathering Tendency at Different Stages of Soil—Forming Processes in Fildes Peninsula,Antarctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENJIE; GONGZITONG

    1996-01-01

    From the view of energy state of material,this paper introduces a concept a concept of weathering potential in carrying out quantitative calculation of the relevant products at different stages of rock-weathering and primary soil-forming processes,elaborates respectively on weathering degree in the bio-weathering layer of rocks and during the formation of soil material and clay,and evaluats the further tendency of weathering in the above-mentioned stages.The authors have discovered that the scales of weathering potential of the materials increase successively in the three stages,which indicates that the products in the above-mentioned three stages must have undergone stronger and stronger weathering in the primitive forming process of soil in Fildes Peninsula,Antarctic.But,Because of relatively weak chemical weathering,it is reasonable that there are much more skeleton grains and little clay in priamry soils in this region.Meanwhile the authors have also verified that the weathering potential of crde rock determines to some extent decrease in the products' weathering potential in the different stages in primary soil-forming,thereby plays an important role in the genesis and development of the primary soil in the studied area.

  20. Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992 - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Published mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lie between approximately +50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009, which span a range equivalent to 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar-altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (+28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. Although recent reports of large and accelerating rates of mass loss from GRACE=based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion. We find that the extrapolation used in the published IOM estimates for the 15 % of the periphery for which discharge velocities are not observed gives twice the rate of discharge per unit of associated ice-sheet area than the 85% faster-moving parts. Our calculations show that the published extrapolation overestimates the ice discharge by 282 Gt/yr compared to our assumption that the slower moving areas have 70% as much discharge per area as the faster moving parts. Also, published data on the time-series of discharge velocities and accumulation/precipitation do not support mass output increases or input decreases with time, respectively. Our modified IOM estimate, using the 70% discharge assumption and substituting input from a field-data compilation for input from an atmospheric model over 6% of area, gives a loss of only 13 Gt/year (versus 136 Gt/year) for the period around 2000. Two ERS-based estimates, our modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 to 2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to - 40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992-2001 is - 47 Gt

  1. The signature analysis of summer Antarctic sea-ice distribution by ship-based sea-ice observation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Based on the Chinese 19th National Antarctic Research Expedition,we carried out ship-based Antarctic sea-ice observa-tion on icebreaker Xue Long using Antarctic sea-ice process and climate (ASPeCt) criteria during austral summer.Sea-ice distribution data were obtained along nearly 6,500 km of the ship’s track.The measurement parameters included sea-ice thickness,sea-ice concentration,snow thickness,and floe size.Analysis showed the presence of the large spatial varia-tions of the observed sea-ice characteristics.Sea-ice concentration varied between 0 and 80 percent and reached its peak value in Weddell Sea because of the specific dynamical process affecting in summer sea-ice melting.There are large areas of open water along the study section.Sea ice and the upper snow thickness of the section varied between 10 cm and 210 cm and 2 cm and 80 cm,respectively,and each reaches its peak values near Amery ice shelf.The floe size varied from less than 10 cm and the maximum of more than 2,000 km along the section.

  2. Feedbacks between ice and ocean dynamics at the West Antarctic Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in future global warming scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Sebastian; Timmermann, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    The ice flow at the margins of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is moderated by large ice shelves. Their buttressing effect substantially controls the mass balance of the WAIS and thus its contribution to sea level rise. The stability of these ice shelves results from the balance of mass gain by accumulation and ice flow from the adjacent ice sheet and mass loss by calving and basal melting due to the ocean heat flux. Recent results of ocean circulation models indicate that warm circumpolar water of the Southern Ocean may override the submarine slope front of the Antarctic Continent and boost basal ice shelf melting. In particular, ocean simulations for several of the IPCC's future climate scenarios demonstrate the redirection of a warm coastal current into the Filchner Trough and underneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf within the next decades. In this study, we couple the finite elements ocean circulation model FESOM and the three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model RIMBAY to investigate the complex interactions between ocean and ice dynamics at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. We focus on the impact of a changing ice shelf cavity on ocean dynamics as well as the feedback of the resulting sub-shelf melting rates on the ice shelf geometry and implications for the dynamics of the adjacent marine-based Westantarctic Ice Sheet. Our simulations reveal the high sensitivity of grounding line migration to ice-ocean interactions within the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and emphasize the importance of coupled model studies for realistic assessments of the Antarctic mass balance in future global warming scenarios.

  3. Ice age aerosol content from east Antarctic ice core samples and past wind strength

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The possible link between the aerosol content from the 905 deep Dome C ice core (East Antartica) which spans some 32,000 yr (Lorius et al. Nature; 280:644 (1979)) and climate, is considered. No evidence of major global or local volcanic activity was found though large marine and continental inputs (respectively 5 and 20 times higher than present) were observed at the end of the last Glacial stage. It is considered that they reflect glacial age climate with stronger atmospheric circulation, enhanced aridity and faster aerosol transport towards the Antarctic continent. (U.K.)

  4. Holocene records of geomagnetic field behavior from a north-south transect along the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brachfeld, S. A.; Shah, D. P.; St-Onge, M.; St-Onge, G.

    2013-12-01

    Geochronology is inherently difficult when working with Antarctic margin sediments. Radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope stratigraphy are challenging or impossible in sites with poor preservation of biogenic calcite. Radiocarbon dating of the acid insoluble organic matter (AIOM) is further complicated by organically lean sediment and the presence of reworked organic carbon or detrital carbon from sedimentary rocks. These complications limit the ability to interpret a paleoclimate record. Geomagnetic paleointensity dating is a proven 'tuning' technique that has been successfully applied in several studies around the Antarctic margin. However, the reference curves to which these sites were tuned were constructed primarily from Northern Hemisphere data. Here we present paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) and relative paleointensity (RPI) data from three Antarctic Peninsula sites that possess independent chronologies and which have moderate to ultra-high sedimentation rates (40 - 700 cm/ka). Maxwell Bay, located in the volcanic South Shetland Islands, is an ultra-high-resolution site with strongly magnetic sediments from which the Shallow Drilling (SHALDRIL) program recovered a 108-m record spanning the last 14 ka. Outer Barilari Bay and Hugo Island Trough, which lie to the South along the western Antarctic Peninsula, are moderate resolution sites with a high proportion of biogenic silica. Maxwell Bay and Bariliari Bay are unique in that they possess homogenous sediment and uniform magnetic mineral assemblages, while also preserving biogenic calcite, a rare combination on the Antarctic margin. All three sites preserve strong, stable remanent magnetizations with an easily isolated characteristic component and MAD values generally spatial gap in the distribution of paleomagnetic records that are used in geomagnetic field models.

  5. Antarctic lakes (above and beneath the ice sheet): Analogues for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.

    The perennial ice covered lakes of the Antarctic are considered to be excellent analogues to lakes that once existed on Mars. Field studies of ice covered lakes, paleolakes, and polar beaches were conducted in the Bunger Hills Oasis, Eastern Antarctica. These studies are extended to the Dry Valleys, Western Antarctica, and the Arctic. Important distinctions were made between ice covered and non-ice covered bodies of water in terms of the geomorphic signatures produced. The most notable landforms produced by ice covered lakes are ice shoved ridges. These features form discrete segmented ramparts of boulders and sediments pushed up along the shores of lakes and/or seas. Sub-ice lakes have been discovered under the Antarctic ice sheet using radio echo sounding. These lakes occur in regions of low surface slope, low surface accumulations, and low ice velocity, and occupy bedrock hollows. The presence of sub-ice lakes below the Martian polar caps is possible. The discovery of the Antarctic sub-ice lakes raises possibilities concerning Martian lakes and exobiology.

  6. Future Antarctic bed topography and its implications for ice sheet dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctic bedrock is evolving as the solid Earth responds to the past and ongoing evolution of the ice sheet. A~recently improved ice loading history suggests that the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS is generally losing its mass since the last glacial maximum (LGM. In a sustained warming climate, the AIS is predicted to retreat at a greater pace primarily via melting beneath the ice shelves. We employ the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA capability of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM to combine these past and future ice loadings and provide the new solid Earth computations for the AIS. We find that the past loading is relatively less important than future loading on the evolution of the future bed topography. Our computations predict that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS may uplift by a few meters and a few tens of meters at years 2100 and 2500 AD, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS is likely to remain unchanged or subside minimally except around the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amundsen Sea Sector in particular is predicted to rise at the greatest rate; one hundred years of ice evolution in this region, for example, predicts that the coastline of Pine Island Bay approaches roughly 45 mm yr−1 in viscoelastic vertical motion. Of particular importance, we systematically demonstrate that the effect of a pervasive and large GIA uplift in the WAIS is associated with the flattening of reverse bed, reduction of local sea depth, and thus the extension of grounding line (GL towards the continental shelf. Using the 3-D higher-order ice flow capability of ISSM, such a migration of GL is shown to inhibit the ice flow. This negative feedback between the ice sheet and the solid Earth may promote the stability to marine portions of the ice sheet in future.

  7. Changes in Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice as a Microcosm of Global Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is a key element of the climate system and has now been monitored through satellite observations for over three and a half decades. The satellite observations reveal considerable information about polar ice and its changes since the late 1970s, including a prominent downward trend in Arctic sea ice coverage and a much lesser upward trend in Antarctic sea ice coverage, illustrative of the important fact that climate change entails spatial contrasts. The decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic corresponds well with contemporaneous Arctic warming and exhibits particularly large decreases in the summers of 2007 and 2012, influenced by both preconditioning and atmospheric conditions. The increasing ice coverage in the Antarctic is not as readily explained, but spatial differences in the Antarctic trends suggest a possible connection with atmospheric circulation changes that have perhaps been influenced by the Antarctic ozone hole. The changes in the polar ice covers and the issues surrounding those changes have many commonalities with broader climate changes and their surrounding issues, allowing the sea ice changes to be viewed in some important ways as a microcosm of global climate change.

  8. Ice calving and deformation from Antarctic Ice margins using RISAT-1 circular polarization SAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaprasad, P.; Rajak, D. R.; Singh, R. K.; Oza, S. R.; Sharma, R.; Kumar, R.

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, quantification of spatial and temporal changes has been carried out between Indian Antarctic Research station Bharati and Amery ice shelf by monitoring the ice margins using RISAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Spatio-temporal change detection was carried out by comparing the feature's geographic locations from geometrically rectified SAR data from RISAT-1 (Dec. 2013), Radarsat-2 (Feb. 2013), and Antarctic Mapping Mission products of Radarsat-1 (1997 & 2000). We report large scale disintegrations at two prominent glacier tongues namely Polar Record Glacier (PRG) and Polar Times Glacier(PTG). The results are verified against in-situ ground observations made during Summer period of 33rd ISEA (Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014) and MODIS images from NSIDC archive. Polar Record Glacier Tongue (PRGT) was drastically deformed by 135.8 km2 and Polar Times Glacier Tongue (PTGT) was partly calved by ~195.6 km2 and moved away by ~23 km especially between February and December 2013.

  9. Holocene records of geomagnetic field behavior from a north-south transect along the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brachfeld, S. A.; Shah, D. P.; St-Onge, M.; St-Onge, G.

    2013-12-01

    Geochronology is inherently difficult when working with Antarctic margin sediments. Radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope stratigraphy are challenging or impossible in sites with poor preservation of biogenic calcite. Radiocarbon dating of the acid insoluble organic matter (AIOM) is further complicated by organically lean sediment and the presence of reworked organic carbon or detrital carbon from sedimentary rocks. These complications limit the ability to interpret a paleoclimate record. Geomagnetic paleointensity dating is a proven 'tuning' technique that has been successfully applied in several studies around the Antarctic margin. However, the reference curves to which these sites were tuned were constructed primarily from Northern Hemisphere data. Here we present paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) and relative paleointensity (RPI) data from three Antarctic Peninsula sites that possess independent chronologies and which have moderate to ultra-high sedimentation rates (40 - 700 cm/ka). Maxwell Bay, located in the volcanic South Shetland Islands, is an ultra-high-resolution site with strongly magnetic sediments from which the Shallow Drilling (SHALDRIL) program recovered a 108-m record spanning the last 14 ka. Outer Barilari Bay and Hugo Island Trough, which lie to the South along the western Antarctic Peninsula, are moderate resolution sites with a high proportion of biogenic silica. Maxwell Bay and Bariliari Bay are unique in that they possess homogenous sediment and uniform magnetic mineral assemblages, while also preserving biogenic calcite, a rare combination on the Antarctic margin. All three sites preserve strong, stable remanent magnetizations with an easily isolated characteristic component and MAD values generally < 2°, with the exception of turbidites, intervals with abundant dropstones, and biosiliceous ooze intervals. Inclination values fluctuate between the present-day value at the cores sites (-58°) and the geomagnetic axial dipole inclination

  10. Assemblages of micronektonic fishes and invertebrates in a gradient of regional warming along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Melanie L.; Fraser, William R.; Ashford, Julian; Patarnello, Tomaso; Zane, Lorenzo; Torres, Joseph J.

    2015-12-01

    Micronektonic fishes and invertebrates were sampled with 32 midwater trawls at nine sites along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) in the austral fall (March-April) of 2010. Study sites were located within four hypothesized hydrographic regions: near Joinville Island in Region I, at Croker Passage, near Anvers Island, and near Renaud Island in Region II, within Marguerite Bay and the Marguerite Trough in Region III, and near Charcot Island in Region IV. A total of 62 taxa representing 12 taxonomic groups of pelagic invertebrates and 9 families of fish were captured, but assemblages were dominated by only a few species. The most numerically abundant taxa were the euphausiids, Thysanoessa macrura, Euphausia superba, and E. crystallorophias, combining to contribute nearly 79% of the total catch. Biomass dominants included E. superba, which contributed more than 44% of the total catch, the notothenioid Pleuragramma antarctica, and the salp, Salpa thompsoni. A comparison of total catches among sites revealed that the largest volumetric abundances and biomasses were captured at the Marguerite Bay site. Cluster analysis of abundance data identified distinct multispecies assemblages at Joinville Island in Region I, Croker Passage in Region II, Marguerite Bay in Region III, and Charcot Island in Region IV. A fifth distinct assemblage included samples from sites near Anvers and Renaud Island in Region II, and from the Marguerite Trough in Region III. Assemblages at Joinville Island and Croker Passage were both dominated by E. superba and S. thompsoni, but hydrographic conditions at Joinville Island favored a neritic assemblage, underscored by substantial numbers of P. antarctica. The assemblage at Croker Passage was more oceanic in nature with major inputs from the myctophid, Electrona antarctica and the hyperiid amphipod, Themisto gaudichaudii. Marguerite Bay and Charcot Island were well-mixed assemblages with strong representation by both neritic and oceanic fauna. The

  11. Climate Model Dependency and Understanding the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Warm Late Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Aisling; de Boer, Bas; Bernales, Jorge; Hunter, Stephen; Haywood, Alan

    2016-04-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals of Earth history is fundamentally important. A warm period in the Late Pliocene (3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise should be expected from both the Greenland ice sheet and the West and East Antarctic ice sheets based on palaeo sea-level reconstructions and geological evidence. Following a five year international project PLISMIP (Pliocene Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project) we present the final set of results which quantify uncertainty in climate model-based predictions of the Antarctic ice sheet. In this study we use an ensemble of climate model forcings within a multi-ice sheet model framework to assess the climate (model) dependency of large scale features of the Antarctic ice sheet. Seven coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models are used to derive surface temperature, precipitation and oceanic forcing that drive three ice sheet models (over the grounded and floating domain). Similar to results presented over Greenland, we show that the reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet is sensitive to which climate model is used to provide the forcing field. Key areas of uncertainty include West Antarctica, the large subglacial basins of East Antarctica and the overall thickness of the continental interior of East Antarctica. We relate the results back to geological proxy data, such as those relating to exposure rates which provide information on potential ice sheet thickness. Finally we discuss as to whether the choice of modelling framework (i.e. climate model and ice sheet model used) or the choice of boundary conditions causes the greatest uncertainty in ice sheet reconstructions of the warm Pliocene.

  12. Model studies of the effects of global warming and Antarctic sea ice changes on Antarctic and global climates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The authors discuss the results obtained in three experiments by changing the global ocean temperatures and the concentration and distribution of Antarctic sea ice in a General Circulation Model of July climate, with a view to determining the local and global impacts of Antarctic sea ice variations alone, as distinct with those coupled with global scale temperature changes which may be associated with global warming. In all cases there were significant changes in the upward flux of sensible heat over the sea ice zone associated with the reductions of sea ice. The response of weaker westerlies between 40 and 65 degree S was common to all three experiments. Their analyses suggest that a significant proportion of this is a response to the change in sea ice concentration alone. (Not surprisingly, further north of this region most of the changes induced in the wind structure in the global forcing experiment can be seen as due unambiguously to the differential changes in ocean temperatures.). This weakening of the westerlies means there is less mechanical forcing of the ocean in this region. From this they suggest that when consideration is given to the possible impact of feedbacks not considered in these experiments, sea ice changes alone, and particularly those in the Southern Hemisphere, have the potential to induce changes on a hemispheric scale

  13. The potential macroalgae habitat shifts in an Antarctic Peninsula fjord due to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerosch, Kerstin; Scharf, Frauke; Deregibus, Dolores; Campana, Gabriela; Zacher, Katharina; Hass, Christian; Quartino, Liliana; Abele, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region is one of the most rapidly warming on earth since the last 50 yr. The WAP glaciers currently contribute one third of the melt water to global sea level rise. Climate warming is supposed to induce important changes in polar ecosystems, from microbial communities to apex predators' levels. Macroalgae are the main biomass producers in Potter Cove located at King George Island, the biggest island of the South Shetland Arc. They are sensitive to climate change factors such as suspended particulate matter (SPM). Macroalgae presence and absence data were used to test SDMs suitability and, simultaneously, to assess the environmental response of macroalgae as well as to model four scenarios of distribution shifts by varying SPM conditions due to climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) predict species occurrence based on statistical relationships with environmental conditions. The R-package 'biomod2' which includes 10 different SDM techniques and 10 different evaluation methods was used in this study. According to the averaged evaluation scores of Relative Operating Characteristics (ROC) and True scale statistics (TSS) by models, those methods based on a multitude of decision trees such as Random Forest and Classification Tree Analysis, reached the highest predictive power followed by generalized boosted models (GBM) and maximum-entropy approaches (Maxent). The final ensemble model (EM) used 135 of 200 calculated models (TSS > 0.7) and identified hard substrate and SPM as the most influencing parameters followed by distance to glacier, total organic carbon (TOC), bathymetry and slope. The modeled current status of macroalgae distribution results in only 18.25% of earlier estimated areas populated by macroalgae in Potter Cove. The climate change scenarios show an invasive reaction of the macroalgae in case of less SPM and a retreat of the macroalgae in case of higher assumed SPM values.

  14. The imbalance of new and export production in the western Antarctic Peninsula, a potentially "leaky" ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stukel, Michael R.; Asher, Elizabeth; Couto, Nicole; Schofield, Oscar; Strebel, Stefanie; Tortell, Philippe; Ducklow, Hugh W.

    2015-09-01

    To quantify the balance between new production and vertical nitrogen export of sinking particles, we measured nitrate uptake, net nitrate drawdown, ΔO2/Ar-based net community production, sediment trap flux, and 234Th export at a coastal site near Palmer Station, Antarctica, during the phytoplankton growing season from October 2012 to March 2013. We also measured nitrate uptake and 234Th export throughout the northern western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region on a cruise in January 2013. We used a nonsteady state 234Th equation with temporally varying upwelling rates and an irradiance-based phytoplankton production model to correct our export and new production estimates in the complex coastal site near Palmer Station. Results unequivocally showed that nitrate uptake and net community production were significantly greater than the sinking particle export on region-wide spatial scales and season-long temporal scales. At our coastal site, new production (105 ± 17.4 mg N m-2 d-1, mean ± standard error) was 5.3 times greater than vertical nitrogen export (20.4 ± 2.4 mg N m-2 d-1). On the January cruise in the northern WAP, new production (47.9 ± 14.4 mg N m-2 d-1) was 2.4 times greater than export (19.9 ± 1.4 mg N m-2 d-1). Much of this imbalance can be attributed to diffusive losses of particulate nitrogen from the surface ocean due to diapycnal mixing, indicative of a "leaky" WAP ecosystem. If these diffusive losses are common in other systems where new production exceeds export, it may be necessary to revise current estimates of the ocean's biological pump.

  15. A spurious jump in the satellite record: is Antarctic sea ice really expanding?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Eisenman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent estimates indicate that the Antarctic sea ice cover is expanding at a statistically significant rate with a magnitude one third as large as the rapid rate of sea ice retreat in the Arctic. However, during the mid-2000s, with several fewer years in the observational record, the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be considerably smaller and statistically indistinguishable from zero. Here, we show that the increase in the reported trend occurred primarily due to the effect of a previously undocumented change in the way the satellite sea ice observations are processed for the widely-used Bootstrap algorithm dataset, rather than a physical increase in the rate of ice advance. Although our analysis does not definitively identify whether this undocumented change introduced an error or removed one, the resulting difference in the trends suggests that a substantial error exists in either the current dataset or the version that was used prior to the mid-2000s, and numerous studies that have relied on these observations should be reexamined to determine the sensitivity of their results to this change in the dataset. Furthermore, a number of recent studies have investigated physical mechanisms for the observed expansion of the Antarctic sea ice cover. The results of this analysis raise the possibility that this expansion may be a spurious artifact of an error in the satellite observations, and that the actual Antarctic sea ice cover may not be expanding at all.

  16. Measurements beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using an autonomous underwater vehicle

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, K.W.; Abrahamsen, E.P.; Buck, J.J.H.; P. A. Dodd; Goldblatt, C.; Griffiths, G; K. J. Heywood; Hughes, N.E.; Kaletzky, A.; Lane-Serff, G.F.; McPhail, S.D.; Millard, N. W.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Perrett, J; Price, M. R.

    2006-01-01

    The cavities beneath Antarctic ice shelves are among the least studied regions of the World Ocean, yet they are sites of globally important water mass transformations. Here we report results from a mission beneath Fimbul Ice Shelf of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The data reveal a spatially complex oceanographic environment, an ice base with widely varying roughness, and a cavity periodically exposed to water with a temperature significantly above the surface freezing point. The result...

  17. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial–interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea-surface salinity, and the atmosphere–ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organoiodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S; 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br− is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br−/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I− and iodate (IO3−, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3− is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial–interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  18. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial-interglacial periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an integral part of the Earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea surface salinity, and the atmosphere-ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organo-iodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO and iodine oxide (IO decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S, 2315 m a.s.l. spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na. Based on the Br/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I and iodate (IO3, peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3 is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial-interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  19. Incorporation of iron and organic matter into young Antarctic sea ice during its initial growth stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Janssens

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean has been clearly established, the processes leading to the enrichment of Fe in sea ice have yet to be investigated and quantified. We conducted two in situ sea-ice growth experiments during a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea. Our aim was to improve the understanding of the processes responsible for the accumulation of dissolved Fe (DFe and particulate Fe (PFe in sea ice, and of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, extracellular polymeric substances, inorganic macro-nutrients (silicic acid, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and ammonium, chlorophyll a and bacteria. Enrichment indices, calculated for natural young ice and ice newly formed in situ, indicate that during Antarctic winter all of the measured forms of particulate matter were enriched in sea ice compared to underlying seawater, and that enrichment started from the initial stages of sea-ice formation. Some dissolved material (DFe and ammonium was also enriched in the ice but at lower enrichment indices than the particulate phase, suggesting that size is a key factor for the incorporation of impurities in sea ice. Low chlorophyll a concentrations and the fit of the macro-nutrients (with the exception of ammonium with their theoretical dilution lines indicated low biological activity in the ice. From these and additional results we conclude that physical processes are the dominant mechanisms leading to the enrichment of DFe, PFe, organic matter and bacteria in young sea ice, and that PFe and DFe are decoupled during sea-ice formation. Our study thus provides unique quantitative insight into the initial incorporation of impurities, in particular DFe and PFe, into Antarctic sea ice.

  20. Learning from the past: Antarctic Eemian ice sheet dynamics as an analogy for future warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Johannes; Thoma, Malte; Grosfeld, Klaus; Gierz, Paul; Lohmann, Gerrit

    2015-04-01

    Facing considerable warming during this century the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is under increasing scrutiny. Recent observations suggest that the marine ice sheet instability of the WAIS has already started . We investigate the dynamic evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last interglacial, forcing a state of the art 3D ice sheet model with Eemian boundary conditions. We elucidate the role of ocean warming and surface mass balance on the coupled ice sheet/shelf and grounding line dynamics. Special focus lies on an ice sheet modeling assessment of Antarctica's potential contribution to global sea level rise during the Eemian. The transient model runs are forced by time slice experiments of a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean global circulation model, as well as different sets of sea level and bedrock reconstructions. The model result show strong evidences for a severe ice-sheet retreat in West Antartica, leading to substantical contribution to global sea level from the Southern Hemisphere. Additionally we compare future warming scenarios of West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics to our paleo ice sheet modeling studies.

  1. Using blue-ice moraines to constrain elevation changes of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the southern Ellsworth Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugden, David; Woodward, John; Dunning, Stuart; Hein, Andy; Marrero, Shasta; Le-Brocq, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Observations in the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have not yet allowed the dating of elevated glacier trimlines and associated deposits in the Ellsworth Mountains. This uncertainty limits the value of models of changing ice-sheet configuration, volume and, by extension, sea level during glacial cycles and earlier. Here we present the emerging results of a study into the origin and evolution of blue-ice moraines in the Heritage Range, southern Ellsworth Mountains, and begin to unravel the long record of ice-sheet history they hold. Our findings so far are: (a) Ground Penetrating Radar shows that the blue-ice moraines are equilibrium forms bringing basal debris to the ice surface; the compressive ice flow is caused by enhanced ablation at the mountain foot. (b) Moraines are concentrated in embayments that focus katabatic winds and their location is largely controlled by topography. (c) The elevated blue-ice moraines in the southern Ellsworth Mountains hold a continuous record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet history going back 600,000 years; so far we have not found evidence of de-glacial intervals. (d) Thinning since the LGM (~40 ka?) is blue-ice moraine formation.

  2. Effect of Cd on GSH and GSH-related enzymes of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L existing in Antarctic ice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Yu; MIAO Jin-lai; LI Guang-you; WANG Quan-fu; KAN Guang-feng; WANG Guo-dong

    2005-01-01

    Glutathione(GSH) and GSH-related enzymes play a great role in protecting organisms from oxidative damage. The GSH level and GSH-related enzymes activities were investigated as well as the growth yield and malonyldialdehyde(MDA) content in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L exposure to the different cadmium concentration in this paper. The results showed that the higher concentration Cd inhibited the growth of ICE-L significantly and Cd would induce formation of MDA. At the same time, it is clear that GSH level, glutathione peroxidases(GPx) activity and glutathione S-transferases(GST), activity were higher in ICE-L exposed to Cd than the control. But GR activity dropped notably when ICE-L were cultured in the medium containing Cd. Increase of GSH level, GPx and GST activities acclimate to oxidative stress induced by Cd and protect Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L from toxicity caused by Cd exposure. These parameters may be used to assess the biological impact of Cd in the Antarctic pole region environment.

  3. Response of marine sedimentation to upper Holocene climate variability in Maxwell Bay, King George Island, West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittenberg, Nina; Hass, Christian; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2013-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula experiences a temperature increase that is higher than in other parts of Antarctica. Within the last 50 years the tidewater glaciers in the tributary fjords of Maxwell Bay (King George Island) have retreated landwards with increasing speed. Meltwaters mobilize fine-grained sediments and transport those in plumes out of the coves into Maxwell Bay. Our hypothesis is that meltwater sediments characterize warmer climate periods of the Holocene. Marine sediment cores recovered along a profile of the eastern slope of Maxwell Bay were studied. The cores were taken in high-accumulation areas at the entrances of Collins Harbor, Marian and Potter coves. We measured the grain-size distribution in 1-cm steps in each core with a Laser diffraction particle analyzer (range 0.04-2500 µm) in order to resolve shifts in grain size compositions in very high resolution. We undertook different approaches for reliable age determination of the sediments. Since marine biogenic carbonate suitable for radiocarbon age determination is sparse, radiocarbon dating of the extracted humic acid fraction of the bulk sediment was included. Unfortunately, these age determinations turned out to be not reliable, likely because they are overprinted by an unknown older radiocarbon source. Preliminary results suggest that the cores cover approximately the last 2000 years. The magnetic susceptibility (MS) parameter fluctuates throughout the cores. It is negatively correlated to the amount of total organic carbon (TOC) and biogenic opal, suggesting dilution of the MS signal through higher input of organic material. Together with the bathymetry data, sub-bottom profiles reveal information on the interior of the topography and the geometry of the deposited sediments. The profiles obtained in Potter Cove show almost no sediment penetration suggesting either a very thin sediment cover and/or highly reworked unsorted sediments. The sub-bottom profiles from Maxwell Bay penetrate

  4. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Antonio B; Putzke, Jair

    2013-09-01

    This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications. PMID:24068084

  5. Evaluating Antarctic sea ice predictability at seasonal to interannual timescales in global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, Sylvain; Fichefet, Thierry; Goosse, Hugues; Zunz, Violette; Tietsche, Steffen; Day, Jonny; Hawkins, Ed

    2016-04-01

    Unlike the rapid sea ice losses reported in the Arctic, satellite observations show an overall increase in Antarctic sea ice extent over recent decades. Although many processes have already been suggested to explain this positive trend, it remains the subject of current investigations. Understanding the evolution of the Antarctic sea ice turns out to be more complicated than for the Arctic for two reasons: the lack of observations and the well-known biases of climate models in the Southern Ocean. Irrespective of those issues, another one is to determine whether the positive trend in sea ice extent would have been predictable if adequate observations and models were available some decades ago. This study of Antarctic sea ice predictability is carried out using 6 global climate models (HadGEM1.2, MPI-ESM-LR, GFDL CM3, EC-Earth V2, MIROC 5.2 and ECHAM 6-FESOM) which are all part of the APPOSITE project. These models are used to perform hindcast simulations in a perfect model approach. The predictive skill is estimated thanks to the PPP (Potential Prognostic Predictability) and the ACC (Anomaly Correlation Coefficient). The former is a measure of the uncertainty of the ensemble while the latter assesses the accuracy of the prediction. These two indicators are applied to different variables related to sea ice, in particular the total sea ice extent and the ice edge location. This first model intercomparison study about sea ice predictability in the Southern Ocean aims at giving a general overview of Antarctic sea ice predictability in current global climate models.

  6. Spring–summer albedo variations of Antarctic sea ice from 1982 to 2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study examined the spring–summer (November, December, January and February) albedo averages and trends using a dataset consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data for the entire Antarctic sea ice region and for five longitudinal sectors around Antarctica: the Weddell Sea (WS), the Indian Ocean sector (IO), the Pacific Ocean sector (PO), the Ross Sea (RS) and the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea (BS). Time series data of the sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures were used to analyse their relations to the albedo. The results indicated that the sea ice albedo increased slightly during the study period, at a rate of 0.314% per decade, over the Antarctic sea ice region. The sea ice albedos in the PO, the IO and the WS increased at rates of 2.599% per decade (confidence level 99.86%), 0.824% per decade and 0.413% per decade, respectively, and the steepest increase occurred in the PO. However, the sea ice albedo in the BS decreased at a rate of −1.617% per decade (confidence level 95.05%) and was near zero in the RS. The spring–summer average albedo over the Antarctic sea ice region was 50.24%. The highest albedo values were mainly found on the continental coast and in the WS; in contrast, the lowest albedo values were found on the outer edge of the sea ice, the RS and the Amery Ice Shelf. The average albedo in the western Antarctic sea ice region was distinctly higher than that in the east. The albedo was significantly positively correlated with sea ice concentration (SIC) and was significantly negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (SST); these scenarios held true for all five longitudinal sectors. Spatially, the higher surface albedos follow the higher SICs and lower SST patterns. The increasing albedo means that Antarctic sea ice region reflects more solar radiation and absorbs less, leading to a decrease in temperature and much snowfall on sea ice, and further resulted in an increase in albedo. Conversely, the decreasing

  7. Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene cold-based ice cap dynamics on Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margreth, Annina; Dyke, Arthur S.; Gosse, John C.; Telka, Alice M.

    2014-05-01

    Radiocarbon dating of fossil flora and fauna collected along receding cold-based ice caps and cold-based sections of polythermal glaciers on Cumberland Peninsula reveal insights into Neoglacial ice expansion and late Holocene ice dynamics. The taphonomic advantages of subfossilized moss were exploited to precisely document regional expansions of ice caps through the late Holocene. When compared with climate proxies and records of volcanic eruptions, the moss radiocarbon age distributions indicate i) onset of Neoglaciation shortly after 5 ka, concomitant with increased sea ice cover, ii) intensification of ice expansion between 1.9 and 1.1 ka, followed by halt of ice growth, or ice recession during the Medieval Warm Period, and iii) renewed ice expansion after 0.8 ka, in response to cooling related to a combination of large volcanic eruptions and low solar activity. Overall, the observations support a model of near-instantaneous glacial response to regional climate controls and that these responses were synchronous throughout eastern Canadian Arctic and possibly eastern Greenland.

  8. Antarctic icebergs melt over the Southern Ocean : Climatology and impact on sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Le Sommer, Julien; Durand, Gael; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Madec, Gurvan; Mathiot, Pierre; Tournadre, Jean

    2016-08-01

    Recent increase in Antarctic freshwater release to the Southern Ocean is suggested to contribute to change in water masses and sea ice. However, climate models differ in their representation of the freshwater sources. Recent improvements in altimetry-based detection of small icebergs and in estimates of the mass loss of Antarctica may help better constrain the values of Antarctic freshwater releases. We propose a model-based seasonal climatology of iceberg melt over the Southern Ocean using state-of-the-art observed glaciological estimates of the Antarctic mass loss. An improved version of a Lagrangian iceberg model is coupled with a global, eddy-permitting ocean/sea ice model and compared to small icebergs observations. Iceberg melt increases sea ice cover, about 10% in annual mean sea ice volume, and decreases sea surface temperature over most of the Southern Ocean, but with distinctive regional patterns. Our results underline the importance of improving the representation of Antarctic freshwater sources. This can be achieved by forcing ocean/sea ice models with a climatological iceberg fresh-water flux.

  9. An improved Antarctic dataset for high resolution numerical ice sheet models (ALBMAP v1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Le Brocq

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The dataset described in this paper (ALBMAP has been created for the purposes of high-resolution numerical ice sheet modelling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. It brings together data on the ice sheet configuration (e.g. ice surface and ice thickness and boundary conditions, such as the surface air temperature, accumulation and geothermal heat flux. The ice thickness and basal topography is based on the BEDMAP dataset (Lythe et al., 2001, however, there are a number of inconsistencies within BEDMAP and, since its release, more data has become available. The dataset described here addresses these inconsistencies, including some novel interpolation schemes for sub ice-shelf cavities, and incorporates some major new datasets. The inclusion of new datasets is not exhaustive, this considerable task is left for the next release of BEDMAP, however, the data and procedure documented here provides another step forward and demonstrates the issues that need addressing in a continental scale dataset useful for high resolution ice sheet modelling. The dataset provides an initial condition that is as close as possible to present-day ice sheet configuration, aiding modelling of the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to various forcings, which are, at present, not fully understood.

  10. Ocean-atmosphere exchange of organic carbon and CO2 in the Antarctic Peninsula – physical and biological controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ruiz-Halpern

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Exchangeable organic carbon (OC dynamics and CO2 fluxes in the Antarctic Peninsula region during austral summer are highly variable. By stations, the region is a weak source of CO2 to the atmosphere, however, continuous records of CO2 revealed this area as a weak sink. OC fluxes are also in both directions but generally towards the ocean and much higher than CO2 fluxes, sometimes by a factor of 10. Surface exchangeable dissolved organic carbon (EDOC measurements had a 43 ± 3 μmol C L−1 overall mean, while the gaseous organic carbon equilibrated in water as given by the Henry's Law constant (H' resulted in (GOC H'−1 concentrations of 46 ± 3 μmol C L−1. EDOC represents around 66% of surface dissolved organic carbon (DOC in Antarctic waters. There is a tendency towards low partial pressures of CO2 in waters with high Chlorophyll a (Chl a content and high fCO2 in areas with high krill densities. However, such relationships were not found for EDOC. Depth profiles of EDOC were also quite variable and followed Chl a profiles, but only in some instances, while diel cycles of EDOC revealed two distinct peaks around midday and middle of the short austral dark period concurrent with solar radiation maxima and krill night migration patterns. However, there was no evident diel pattern for GOC H'−1. The pool of exchangeable OC reveals itself as an important compartment of the carbon budget in the Antarctic Peninsula and adds to previous studies highlighting its importance in the redistribution of carbon in marine environments.

  11. Design and test of an aircraft deployable sensor for the Antarctic peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D.; Robinson, C.; Causton, B.; Gudmundsson, H.

    2012-04-01

    There remains large areas of scientific interest in the Antarctic that are not instrumented. These include highly dynamic ice sheets and glaciers that are difficult or impossible to reach by ground via overland treks, due to heavy crevassing, or through aircraft landing. We have developed an alternative strategy for instrumenting these regions: a sensor probe that can be dropped from aircraft , partially bury itself in the snow whilst protruding high above the surface to ensure a long operating life. Our probe is shaped like a 2.5m long missile that can be dropped through a standard sonar-buoy launch tube. In order to achieve a consistent impact depth in different snow densities the case is fitted with fold-out fins one metre from the nose cone. This ensures a large step-change in impact surface area when one metre of the device is embedded in the snow. A disk-gap-band parachute design reduces the impact speed, improves the angle of impact while damping probe oscillations. To prevent strong winds from knocking the sensor over the parts of the sensor that protrude above the snow are narrow, the parts of the sensor that are buried are much wider and the parachute separates from the sensor after impact. The sensor is cheap to make (approximately £ 500) and has a minimal environmental impact. An extensive series of tests conducted this season about the Rothera research station and the forward operating base Sky Blu have validated this sensor design in different snow and weather conditions. We intend to deploy a network of these sensors across Pine Island Glacier next year.

  12. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-11-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice. PMID:25885562

  13. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, D.; Rack, W.; Langhorne, P. J.; Haas, C.; Leonard, G.; Barnsdale, K.

    2014-06-01

    This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice-ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the southwestern Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that within 100 km of an ice shelf this influence might need to be considered when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  14. Footprints of the Newly-Discovered Vela Supernova in Antarctic Ice Cores?

    OpenAIRE

    Burgess, C.P.; Zuber, K.

    1999-01-01

    The recently-discovered, nearby young supernova remnant in the southeast corner of the older Vela supernova remnant may have been seen in measurements of nitrate abundances in Antarctic ice cores. Such an interpretation of this twenty-year-old ice-core data would provide a more accurate dating of this supernova than is possible purely using astrophysical techniques. It permits an inference of the supernova4s ${}^{44}$Ti yield purely on an observational basis, without reference to supernova mo...

  15. Towards quantifying the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level change

    OpenAIRE

    van den Broeke, M. R.

    2006-01-01

    At present, the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and its contribution to global sea level change are poorly known. Current methods to determine AIS mass balance as well as the inherent uncertainties are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the increasingly important role of regional atmospheric climate models, which can reduce the uncertainties in surface accumulation, the correction for the firn layer depth and density in ice thickness calculations and moreover help in inter...

  16. A Microbial Community in Sediments Beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet, Ice Stream C (Kamb)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, M.; Han, S.; Foo, W.; Bui, D.; Lanoil, B.

    2004-12-01

    In 2000, an ice-drilling project focusing on the "sticky spot" of Ice Stream C recovered cores of sub-glacial sediments from beneath the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. We have characterized several chemical and microbiological parameters of the sole intact sediment core. Pore waters extracted from these sediments were brackish and some were supersaturated with respect to calcite. Ion chromatography demonstrated the presence of several organic acids at low, but detectable, levels in the pore water. DAPI direct cell counts were approximately 107 cells g-1. Aerobic viable plate counts were much lower than direct cell counts; however, they were two orders of magnitude higher on plates incubated at low temperature (4 ° C; 3.63 x 105 CFU ml-1) than at higher temperatures (ca. 22° C; 1.5 x 103 CFU ml-1); no colonies were detected on plates incubated anaerobically at either temperature. 16S rDNA clone library analysis indicates extremely limited bacterial diversity in these samples: six phylogenetic clades were detected. The three dominant bacterial phylogenetic clades in the clone libraries (252 clones total) were most closely related to Thiobacillus thioparus (180 clones), Polaromonas vacuolata (34 clones), and Gallionella ferruginea (35 clones) and their relatives; one clone each represented the other three phylogenetic clades (most closely related to Ralstonia pickettii, Lysobacter antibioticus, and Xylella fastidiosa, respectively). These sequences match closely with sequences previously obtained from other subglacial environments in Alaska, Ellesmere Island, Canada and New Zealand. Implications of this microbial community to subglacial chemistry and microbial biogeography will be discussed.

  17. Bio-optical properties of Antarctic pack ice in the early austral spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsen, Christian H.; Wirthlin, Eric D.; Momberg, Diane K.; Lewis, Michael J.; Ackley, Stephen F.

    2011-05-01

    Pack ice in the Bellingshausen Sea contained moderate to high stocks of microalgal biomass (3-10 mg Chl a m -2) spanning the range of general sea-ice microalgal microhabitats (e.g., bottom, interior and surface) during the International Polar Year (IPY) Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) studies. Measurements of irradiance above and beneath the ice as well as optical properties of the microalgae therein demonstrated that absorption of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by particulates (microalgae and detritus) had a substantial influence on attenuation of PAR and irradiance transmission in areas with moderate snow covers (0.2-0.3 m) and more moderate effects in areas with low snow cover. Particulates contributed an estimated 25 to 90% of the attenuation coefficients for the first-year sea ice at wavelengths less than 500 nm. Strong ultraviolet radiation (UVR) absorption by particulates was prevalent in the ice habitats where solar radiation was highest—with absorption coefficients by ice algae often being as large as that of the sea ice. Strong UVR-absorption features were associated with an abundance of dinoflagellates and a general lack of diatoms—perhaps suggesting UVR may be influencing the structure of some parts of the sea-ice microbial communities in the pack ice during spring. We also evaluated the time-varying changes in the spectra of under-ice irradiances in the austral spring and showed dynamics associated with changes that could be attributed to coupled changes in the ice thickness (mass balance) and microalgal biomass. All results are indicative of radiation-induced changes in the absorption properties of the pack ice and highlight the non-linear, time-varying, bio-physical interactions operating within the Antarctic pack ice ecosystem.

  18. Acclimation of Antarctic Chlamydomonas to the sea-ice environment: a transcriptomic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenlin; Wang, Xiuliang; Wang, Xingna; Sun, Chengjun

    2016-07-01

    The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L was isolated from sea ice. As a psychrophilic microalga, it can tolerate the environmental stress in the sea-ice brine, such as freezing temperature and high salinity. We performed a transcriptome analysis to identify freezing stress responding genes and explore the extreme environmental acclimation-related strategies. Here, we show that many genes in ICE-L transcriptome that encoding PUFA synthesis enzymes, molecular chaperon proteins, and cell membrane transport proteins have high similarity to the gens from Antarctic bacteria. These ICE-L genes are supposed to be acquired through horizontal gene transfer from its symbiotic microbes in the sea-ice brine. The presence of these genes in both sea-ice microalgae and bacteria indicated the biological processes they involved in are possibly contributing to ICE-L success in sea ice. In addition, the biological pathways were compared between ICE-L and its closely related sister species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. In ICE-L transcripome, many sequences homologous to the plant or bacteria proteins in the post-transcriptional, post-translational modification, and signal-transduction KEGG pathways, are absent in the nonpsychrophilic green algae. These complex structural components might imply enhanced stress adaptation capacity. At last, differential gene expression analysis at the transcriptome level of ICE-L indicated that genes that associated with post-translational modification, lipid metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism are responding to the freezing treatment. In conclusion, the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L is very useful for exploring the mutualistic interaction between microalgae and bacteria in sea ice; and discovering the specific genes and metabolism pathways responding to the freezing acclimation in psychrophilic microalgae. PMID:27161450

  19. Development and Applications of Dome A-DEM in Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jiying; WEN Jiahong; WANG Yafeng; WANG Weili; Beata M CATHSO; Kenneth C JEZEK

    2007-01-01

    Dome A, the highest dome of East Antarctic Ice Sheet, is being an area focused by international Antarctic community after Chinese Antarctic Expedition finally reached there in 2005, and with the ongoing International Polar Year (IPY) during August 2007. In this paper two data processing methods are used together to generate two 100-m cell size digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Dome A region (Dome A-DEM) by using Cokriging method to interpolate the ICESat GLAS data, with Ihde-DEM as a constraint. It provides fundamental data to glaciological and geophysical investigation in this area. The Dome A-DEM was applied to determining the ice-sheet surface elevations and coordinates of the south and north summits, defining boundaries of basins and ice flowlines, deducing subglacial topography, and mapping surface slope and aspect in Dome A region. The DEM shows there are two (north and south) summits in Dome A region. The coordinate and the surface elevation of the highest point (the north summit) are 80°21'29.86"S, 77°21'50.29"E and 4092.71±1.43m, respectively. The ice thickness and sub-ice bedrock elevation at north summit are 2420m and 1672m, respectively. Dome A region contains four drainage basins that meet together near the south summit. Ice flowlines, slope and aspect in detail are also derived using the DEM.

  20. The sub-ice platelet layer and its influence on freeboard to thickness conversion of Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Price

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation to quantify the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer on satellite measurements of total freeboard and their conversion to thickness of Antarctic sea ice. The sub-ice platelet layer forms as a result of the seaward advection of supercooled ice shelf water from beneath ice shelves. This ice shelf water provides an oceanic heat sink promoting the formation of platelet crystals which accumulate at the sea ice–ocean interface. The build-up of this porous layer increases sea ice freeboard, and if not accounted for, leads to overestimates of sea ice thickness from surface elevation measurements. In order to quantify this buoyant effect, the solid fraction of the sub-ice platelet layer must be estimated. An extensive in situ data set measured in 2011 in McMurdo Sound in the south-western Ross Sea is used to achieve this. We use drill-hole measurements and the hydrostatic equilibrium assumption to estimate a mean value for the solid fraction of this sub-ice platelet layer of 0.16. This is highly dependent upon the uncertainty in sea ice density. We test this value with independent Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS surface elevation data to estimate sea ice thickness. We find that sea ice thickness can be overestimated by up to 19%, with a mean deviation of 12% as a result of the influence of the sub-ice platelet layer. It is concluded that in close proximity to ice shelves this influence should be considered universally when undertaking sea ice thickness investigations using remote sensing surface elevation measurements.

  1. 36Cl and 53Mn in Antarctic meteorites and 10Be-36Cl dating of Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosmic-ray-produced 53Mn (tsub(1/2)=3.7x106 years) has been measured in twenty Antarctic meteorites by neutron activation analysis. 36Cl (tsub(1/2)=3.0x105 years) has been measured in fourteen of these objects by tandem accelerator mass spectrometry. Cosmic ray exposure ages and terrestrial ages of the meteorites are calculated from these results and from gases. 14C (tsub(1/2)=5740 years) and 26Al(tsub(1/2)=7.2x105 years) data. The terrestrial ages range from 3x104 to 5x105 years. Many of the L3-Allan Hills chrondrites seem to be a single fall based on these results. In addition, 10Be (tsub(1/2)=1.6x106 years) and 36Cl have been measured in six Antarctic ice samples. The first measurements of 10Be/36Cl ratios in the ice core samples demonstrate a new dating method for ice. (orig.)

  2. Origin of massive ice at Cape Marre-Sale, Yamal Peninsula, Siberia, Russia: contrasting views

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortier, D.; Kurchatova, A. N.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Godin, E.; M-Lepage, J.; Stephani, E.; Kanevskiy, M. Z.; Shur, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The origin of permafrost and ground ice of the Cape Marre-Sale polar station area, Western Yamal Peninsula, Russia, has been debated for decades. This can be explained by the extremely complex morphology of sedimentary strata and cryofacies exposed along the costal bluffs. Here, we report massive ice observations realized during summer 2012 as well as numerous laboratory and field analysis previously conducted on the massive ice bodies and reported in the literature. Our objective is to present contrasting views currently being proposed to explain the origin of massive ice at Cape Marre-Sale. Several types of massive ice bodies can be observed along the exposures. One striking cryofacies observed shows alternating cm-thick ice lenses and cm-to-dm thick bands of sediment-rich ice, which are commonly folded with an amplitude of several meters. This very ice-rich cryofacies is interpreted either as buried basal ice of the Eurasian ice-sheet or alternatively as massive segregated ice formed during epigenetic permafrost aggradation. This cryofacies comprised meters large clasts of stratified sand with organics, with some of these stratifications being folded and faulted and showing boudinage structure. The location of these large sand clasts within the foliated ice-rich massive ice could be explained either by glacio-tectonic activity (glacio-dislocation during ice flow) or alternatively by regional tectonic activity. Large m-thick and meters-long pure ice bodies were also observed within the foliated massive ice. The first type is withish and contains a very large amount of air bubbles without any clear orientation. The second type is made of blueish to clear ice and contains a few air bubbles and rare, randomly distributed, fine-grained sediment inclusions suspended in the ice. Ice crystallography revealed the presence of large (cm) ice crystals in both types of ice. These pure ice bodies cross-cut the massive foliated ice. They could be interpreted as refrozen water

  3. Consistent dating for Antarctic and Greenland ice cores

    OpenAIRE

    Lemieux-Dudon, Bénédicte; Blayo, Eric; Petit, Jean-Robert; Waelbroeck, Claire; Svensson, Anders; Ritz, Catherine; Barnola, Jean-Marc; Narcisi, Bianca Maria; Parrenin, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    We are hereby presenting a new dating method based on inverse techniques, which aims at calculating consistent gas and ice chronologies for several ice cores. The proposed method yields new dating scenarios simultaneously for several cores by making a compromise between the chronological information brought by glaciological modeling (i.e., ice flow model, firn densification model, accumulation rate model), and by gas and ice stratigraphic constraints. This method enables us to gather widespre...

  4. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    OpenAIRE

    D. Thomas; Dieckmann, Gerhard

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensure...

  5. Organic compounds and suspended matter in the marine ice of the Eastern Antarctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Data on the composition of organic compounds in Antarctic sea ice are virtually non-existent, as most works concentrate on the structure, physical composition and biological properties of the ice. Data is needed for the study of the global carbon cycle and the estimation of background values and anthropogenic compounds. Specific features of the hydrometeorological regime near Antarctica affect the structure of the ice cover and its properties. The transportation of large volumes of snow to the ocean results in the formation of a snow sludge layer which gradually accumulates on the sea surface and freezes into young slush ice. The irregular distribution of snow at the ice surface and seawater infiltration results in the formation of ice with a specific crystalline structure and physiochemical properties. This paper discussed the dissolved and suspended lipids and hydrocarbons, as well as suspended matter (SM) concentrations in snow, sea ice and sub-ice water in coastal zones of the East Antarctic. The data was obtained during the Russian Antarctic Expedition in 2003. Variations in the concentration and distribution of the various substances suggest that they are related to ice forming conditions and to the processes that occur when ice forms, as well as in the interaction of the substances with ice, snow and sub-ice water. The SM and organic compounds are accumulated in layers characterized by intense autochthonous processes. It was noted that the zones stay biogeochemically active even under low temperature conditions. The highest concentrations of organic compounds, along with the biggest variations in their proportions have been discovered in the areas surrounded by penguin colonies near Buromsky Island and Haswell Island's Lake. The presence of significant quantities of PAHs in both pack and seasonal ice of high latitudes indicates that their formation is relatively rapid even at low temperatures. Many biochemical processes are intense under the influence of ice

  6. Snow depth on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice derived from autonomous (Snow Buoy) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Arndt, Stefanie; Hendricks, Stefan; Heygster, Georg; Huntemann, Marcus; Katlein, Christian; Langevin, Danielle; Rossmann, Leonard; Schwegmann, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    The snow cover on sea ice received more and more attention in recent sea ice studies and model simulations, because its physical properties dominate many sea ice and upper ocean processes. In particular; the temporal and spatial distribution of snow depth is of crucial importance for the energy and mass budgets of sea ice, as well as for the interaction with the atmosphere and the oceanic freshwater budget. Snow depth is also a crucial parameter for sea ice thickness retrieval algorithms from satellite altimetry data. Recent time series of Arctic sea ice volume only use monthly snow depth climatology, which cannot take into account annual changes of the snow depth and its properties. For Antarctic sea ice, no such climatology is available. With a few exceptions, snow depth on sea ice is determined from manual in-situ measurements with very limited coverage of space and time. Hence the need for more consistent observational data sets of snow depth on sea ice is frequently highlighted. Here, we present time series measurements of snow depths on Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, recorded by an innovative and affordable platform. This Snow Buoy is optimized to autonomously monitor the evolution of snow depth on sea ice and will allow new insights into its seasonality. In addition, the instruments report air temperature and atmospheric pressure directly into different international networks, e.g. the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP). We introduce the Snow Buoy concept together with technical specifications and results on data quality, reliability, and performance of the units. We highlight the findings from four buoys, which simultaneously drifted through the Weddell Sea for more than 1.5 years, revealing unique information on characteristic regional and seasonal differences. Finally, results from seven snow buoys co-deployed on Arctic sea ice throughout the winter season 2015/16 suggest the great importance of local

  7. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Studinger, M.; Ferraccioli, F.; Damaske, D.; Finn, C.; Braaten, D. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Jordan, T. A.; Corr, H.; Elieff, S.; Frearson, N.; Block, A. E.; Rose, K.

    2009-12-01

    Models of the onset of glaciation in Antarctica routinely document the early growth of the ice sheet on the summit of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in the center of the East Antarctic Craton. While ice sheet models replicate the formation of the East Antarctic ice sheet 35 million years ago, the age, evolution and structure of the Gamburtsev Mountains remain completely unresolved. During the International Polar Year scientists from seven nations have launched a major collaborative program (AGAP) to explore the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried by the East Antarctic ice sheet and bounded by numerous subglacial lakes. The AGAP umbrella is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary effort and includes aerogeophysics, passive seismology, traverse programs and will be complimented by future ice core and bedrock drilling. A major new airborne data set including gravity; magnetics; ice thickness; SAR images of the ice-bed interface; near-surface and deep internal layers; and ice surface elevation is providing insights into a more dynamic East Antarctica. More than 120,000 km of aerogeophysical data have been acquired from two remote field camps during the 2008/09 field season. AGAP effort was designed to address several fundamental questions including: 1) What role does topography play in the nucleation of continental ice sheets? 2) How do tectonic processes control the formation, distribution, and stability of subglacial lakes? The preliminary analysis of this major new data set indicated these 3000m high mountains are deeply dissected by a dendritic system. The northern margin of the mountain range terminates against the inland extent of the Lambert Graben. Evidence of the onset of glaciation is preserved as cirques and U shaped valleys along the axis of the uplifted massifs. The geomorphology reflects the interaction between the ice sheet and the Gamburtsev Mountains. Bright reflectors in the radar data in the deep valleys indicate the presence of water that has

  8. Detection of temperature and sea ice extent changes in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Some global climate models indicate that future global warming from increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases may be greatest in the polar regions, over areas where the sea ice cover is reduced. The reduction of sea ice area in the models also gives rise to a strong positive feedback to the warming. From the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration to date and the results of transient climate models, an estimate of the expected change in the Antarctic temperatures and sea ice extent can be made. The existing data for observed changes in temperatures of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean (extending back to ∼1956 and ∼1945 respectively) are analyzed along with the data of sea ice cover (commencing in 1973) to examine the extent to which the anticipated warming trends and sea ice decrease are being realized. In spite of high temporal and spatial variability, the data does support small significant trends of temperature increase and sea ice cover decrease compatible in magnitude to those expected as a consequence of atmospheric greenhouse gas increase. The seasonal cycle shows a delayed period of autumn-winter sea ice growth with a longer period of open water. This supports a mechanism for positive feedback between decreasing sea ice cover and increasing temperature

  9. Anchor ice and benthic disturbance in shallow Antarctic waters: interspecific variation in initiation and propagation of ice crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denny, Mark; Dorgan, Kelly M; Evangelista, Dennis; Hettinger, Annaliese; Leichter, James; Ruder, Warren C; Tuval, Idan

    2011-10-01

    Sea ice typically forms at the ocean's surface, but given a source of supercooled water, an unusual form of ice--anchor ice--can grow on objects in the water column or at the seafloor. For several decades, ecologists have considered anchor ice to be an important agent of disturbance in the shallow-water benthic communities of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, and potentially elsewhere in polar seas. Divers have documented anchor ice in the McMurdo communities, and its presence coincides with reduced abundance of the sponge Homaxinella balfourensis, which provides habitat for a diverse assemblage of benthic organisms. However, the mechanism of this disturbance has not been explored. Here we show interspecific differences in anchor-ice formation and propagation characteristics for Antarctic benthic organisms. The sponges H. balfourensis and Suberites caminatus show increased incidence of formation and accelerated spread of ice crystals compared to urchins and sea stars. Anchor ice also forms readily on sediments, from which it can grow and adhere to organisms. Our results are consistent with, and provide a potential first step toward, an explanation for disturbance patterns observed in shallow polar benthic communities. Interspecific differences in ice formation raise questions about how surface tissue characteristics such as surface area, rugosity, and mucus coating affect ice formation on invertebrates. PMID:22042434

  10. Proteomic Alterations of Antarctic Ice Microalga Chlamydomonas sp. Under Low-Temperature Stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Feng Kan; Jin-Lai Miao; Cui-Juan Shi; Guang-You Li

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga can survive and thrive in cold channels or pores in the Antarctic ice layer. In order to understand the adaptive mechanisms to low temperature, in the present study we compared two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profiles of normal and low temperature-stressed Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cells. In addition, new protein spots induced by low temperature were identified with peptide mass fingerprinting based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and database searching. Well-resolved and reproducible 2-DE patterns of both normal and low temperature-stressed cells were acquired. A total of 626 spots was detected in control cells and 652 spots were detected in the corresponding low temperature-stressed cells. A total of 598 spots was matched between normal and stressed cells. Two newly synthesized proteins (a and b) in low temperature-stressed cells were characterized. Protein spot A (53 kDa, pI 6.0) was similar to isopropylmalate/homocitrate/citramalate synthases, which act in the transport and metabolism of amino acids. Protein spot b (25 kDa, pI 8.0) was related to glutathione S-transferase, which functions as a scavenger of active oxygen, free radicals, and noxious metabolites. The present study is valuable for the application of ice microalgae, establishing an ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. proteome database, and screening molecular biomarkers for further studies.

  11. Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Dustin M; Blankenship, Donald D; Young, Duncan A; Quartini, Enrica

    2014-06-24

    Heterogeneous hydrologic, lithologic, and geologic basal boundary conditions can exert strong control on the evolution, stability, and sea level contribution of marine ice sheets. Geothermal flux is one of the most dynamically critical ice sheet boundary conditions but is extremely difficult to constrain at the scale required to understand and predict the behavior of rapidly changing glaciers. This lack of observational constraint on geothermal flux is particularly problematic for the glacier catchments of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet within the low topography of the West Antarctic Rift System where geothermal fluxes are expected to be high, heterogeneous, and possibly transient. We use airborne radar sounding data with a subglacial water routing model to estimate the distribution of basal melting and geothermal flux beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. We show that the Thwaites Glacier catchment has a minimum average geothermal flux of ∼ 114 ± 10 mW/m(2) with areas of high flux exceeding 200 mW/m(2) consistent with hypothesized rift-associated magmatic migration and volcanism. These areas of highest geothermal flux include the westernmost tributary of Thwaites Glacier adjacent to the subaerial Mount Takahe volcano and the upper reaches of the central tributary near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core drilling site. PMID:24927578

  12. Final Report. Coupled simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/ocean interactions using POP and CISM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asay-Davis, Xylar Storm [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potdam (Germany)

    2015-12-30

    The project performed under this award, referred to from here on as CLARION (CoupLed simulations of Antarctic Ice-sheet/Ocean iNteractions), included important advances in two models of ice sheet and ocean interactions. Despite its short duration (one year), the project made significant progress on its three major foci. First, together with collaborator Daniel Martin at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I developed the POPSICLES coupled ice sheet-ocean model to the point where it could perform a number of pan-Antarctic simulations under various forcing conditions. The results were presented at a number of major conferences and workshops worldwide, and are currently being incorporated into two manuscripts in preparation.

  13. Antarctic Sea Ice-a Habitat for Extremophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D. N.; Dieckmann, G. S.

    2002-01-01

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies.

  14. Antarctic Sea ice--a habitat for extremophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, D N; Dieckmann, G S

    2002-01-25

    The pack ice of Earth's polar oceans appears to be frozen white desert, devoid of life. However, beneath the snow lies a unique habitat for a group of bacteria and microscopic plants and animals that are encased in an ice matrix at low temperatures and light levels, with the only liquid being pockets of concentrated brines. Survival in these conditions requires a complex suite of physiological and metabolic adaptations, but sea-ice organisms thrive in the ice, and their prolific growth ensures they play a fundamental role in polar ecosystems. Apart from their ecological importance, the bacterial and algae species found in sea ice have become the focus for novel biotechnology, as well as being considered proxies for possible life forms on ice-covered extraterrestrial bodies. PMID:11809961

  15. Energy exchange over Antarctic sea ice in late winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In September and October 1989 during the Winter Weddell Gyre Study energy balance measurements were performed from the Soviet ice-breaker Akademik Fedorov. The average radiation balance of the sea ice surface turned out to be zero, i.e., short-wave radiation gains were fully compensated by long-wave radiation losses. Due to turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat, the atmosphere received about 25 W m-2 energy from the ice/ocean system. Since no significant ice melting or freezing was observed, the latter must originate mainly from warm deep water which is entrained into the oceanic mixed layer

  16. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    OpenAIRE

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D.; Petersen, A.; F. Vitt; Brasseur, G.

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatur...

  17. Concentrating Antarctic Meteorites on Blue ice Fields: The Frontier Mountain Meteorite Trap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The collection of meteorites in Antarctica has greatly stimulated advancement in the field of meteoritics by providing the community with significant numbers of rare and unique meteorites types and by yielding large numbers of meteorites that sample older infall epochs (Grady et al., 1998). The majority of Antarctic meteorites are found on blue ice fields, where they are thought to be concentrated by wind and glacial drift (cf. Cassidy et al., 1992). The basic "ice flow model" describes the concentration of meteorites by the stagnation or slowing of ice as it moves against a barrier located in a zone with low snow accumulation. However, our limited knowledge of the details of the actual concentration mechanisms prevents establishing firm conclusions concerning the past meteorite flux from the Antarctic record (Zolensky, 1998). The terrestrial ages of Antarctic meteorites indicate that their concentration occurs on time scales of tens to hundreds of thousands of years (Nishiizumi et al., 1989). It is a challenge to measure a mechanism that operates so slowly, and since such time scales can span more than one glacial epoch one cannot assume that the snow accumulation rates, ice velocities and directions, etc. that are measured today are representative of those extant over the age of the trap. Testing the basic "ice flow model" therefore requires the careful measurement of meteorite locations, glacialogical ice flow data, ice thicknesses, bedrock and surface topology, ice ablation and snow accumulation rates, and mass transport by wind over an extended period of time in a location where these quantities can be interpreted in the context of past glacialogical history.

  18. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea-ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The effect of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties is one of the largest uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. A recent study has concluded that better characterisation of pristine, natural aerosol processes leads to the largest reduction in these uncertainties. Antarctica, being far from anthropogenic activities, is an ideal location for the study of natural aerosol processes. Aerosol measurements in Antarctica are often limited to boundary layer air-masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the sea ice region. In this paper, the first observational study of sub-micron aerosols in the East Antarctic sea ice region is presented. Measurements were conducted aboard the ice-breaker Aurora Australis in spring 2012 and found that boundary layer condensation nuclei (CN3 concentrations exhibited a five-fold increase moving across the Polar Front, with mean Polar Cell concentrations of 1130 cm−3 – higher than any observed elsewhere in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region. The absence of evidence for aerosol growth suggested that nucleation was unlikely to be local. Air parcel trajectories indicated significant influence from the free troposphere above the Antarctic continent, implicating this as the likely nucleation region for surface aerosol, a similar conclusion to previous Antarctic aerosol studies. The highest aerosol concentrations were found to correlate with low pressure systems, suggesting that the passage of cyclones provided an accelerated pathway, delivering air-masses quickly from the free-troposphere to the surface. After descent from the Antarctic free troposphere, trajectories suggest that sea ice boundary layer air-masses travelled equator-ward into the low albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei where, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol

  19. Ice-dynamical constraints on the existence and impact of subglacial volcanism on West Antarctic ice sheet stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Stefan W.; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2006-12-01

    Subglacial volcanism in West Antarctica may play a crucial role in the dynamics and stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Evidence supporting the existence of an individual subglacial volcanic center (Mt. Casertz) in the upper catchments of Whillans and Kamb Ice Stream (WIS and KIS), comes from a comparison of ice sheet modeling results with measured ice velocities. Lubrication of an area, which otherwise should be frozen to its bed, is best explained by basal melt water generated in the vicinity of Mt. Casertz. The estimated melt water production of Mt. Casertz corresponds to ~8 % of the total melt water production in the two catchments. This would be sufficient to offset basal freezing in the dormant KIS, relubricating its bed and potentially causing a restart. Near future volcanic activity changes are speculative, but would have far reaching implications on the dynamics and stability of the WAIS requiring further investigation.

  20. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: ICE (Ice Extent Lines)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains locations of ice extent in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Vector lines in the data set represent 50 percent ice coverage. Location-specific type and...

  1. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, M. A.; Levermann, A.; Winkelmann, R.

    2015-03-01

    Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  2. Comparing ice discharge through West Antarctic Gateways: Weddell vs. Amundsen Sea warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Future changes in Antarctic ice discharge will be largely controlled by the fate of the floating ice shelves, which exert a back-stress onto Antarctica's marine outlet glaciers. Ice loss in response to warming of the Amundsen Sea has been observed and investigated as a potential trigger for the marine ice-sheet instability. Recent observations and simulations suggest that the Amundsen Sea Sector might already be unstable which would have strong implications for global sea-level rise. At the same time, regional ocean projections show much stronger warm-water intrusion into ice-shelf cavities in the Weddell Sea compared to the observed Amundsen warming. Here we present results of numerical ice sheet modelling with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM which show that idealized, step-function type ocean warming in the Weddell Sea leads to more immediate ice discharge with a higher sensitivity to small warming levels than the same warming in the Amundsen Sea. This is consistent with the specific combination of bedrock and ice topography in the Weddell Sea Sector which results in an ice sheet close to floatation. In response to even slight ocean warming, ice loss increases rapidly, peaks and declines within one century. While the cumulative ice loss in the Amundsen Sea Sector is of similar magnitude after five centuries of continued warming, ice loss increases at a slower pace and only for significantly higher warming levels. Although there is more marine ice stored above sea level in close vicinity of the grounding line compared to the Weddell Sea Sector, the ice sheet is farther from floatation and the grounding line initially retreats more slowly.

  3. Bacteria Biomass and Chlorophyll-a depth profiles from bottle casts off the western Antarctic Peninsula from the R/V LAURENCE M. GOULD from 23 April 2001 to 01 September 2001 (NODC Accession 0000820)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bacteria and Chlorophyll data were collected from bottle cast of the western Antarctic peninsula from the R/V Laurence M. Gould. Data were collected by the...

  4. Deep Radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic Plateau: Connecting the Dome C and Vostok Ice Core Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavitte, Marie G. P.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Parrenin, Frederic; Lemeur, Emmanuel; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Siegert, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Several airborne radar-sounding surveys are used to trace internal reflections around the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C and Vostok ice core sites. Thirteen reflections, spanning the last two glacial cycles, are traced within 200 km of Dome C, a promising region for million-year-old ice, using the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics High-Capacity Radar Sounder. This provides a dated stratigraphy to 2318 m depth at Dome C. Reflection age uncertainties are calculated from the radar range precision and signal-to-noise ratio of the internal reflections. The radar stratigraphy matches well with the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder (MCoRDS) radar stratigraphy obtained independently. We show that radar sounding enables the extension of ice core ages through the ice sheet with an additional radar-related age uncertainty of approximately 1/3-1/2 that of the ice cores. Reflections are extended along the Byrd-Totten Glacier divide, using University of Texas/Technical University of Denmark and MCoRDS surveys. However, core-to-core connection is impeded by pervasive aeolian terranes, and Lake Vostok's influence on reflection geometry. Poor radar connection of the two ice cores is attributed to these effects and suboptimal survey design in affected areas. We demonstrate that, while ice sheet internal radar reflections are generally isochronal and can be mapped over large distances, careful survey planning is necessary to extend ice core chronologies to distant regions of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  5. A consistent data set of Antarctic ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and global bathymetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Timmermann

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates in ocean general circulation models depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry. Existing global or pan-Antarctic topography data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional surveys and maps into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-min bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography (ALBMAP bedrock topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. The position of the merging line is individually chosen in different sectors in order to capture the best of both data sets. High-resolution gridded data for ice shelf topography and cavity geometry of the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves, and for Pine Island Glacier are carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, British Antarctic Survey (BAS and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO, gridded, and blended into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-min Refined Topography data set (RTopo-1 contains self-consistent maps for upper and lower ice surface heights, bedrock topography, and surface type (open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, bare land surface. The data set is available in NetCDF format from the PANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/pangaea.741917.

  6. RTOPO-1: A consistent dataset for Antarctic ice shelf topography and global ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmermann, Ralph

    2010-05-01

    Sub-ice shelf circulation and freezing/melting rates depend critically on an accurate and consistent representation of cavity geometry (i.e. ice-shelf draft and ocean bathymetry). Existing global or pan-Antarctic data sets have turned out to contain various inconsistencies and inaccuracies. The goal of this work is to compile independent regional fields into a global data set. We use the S-2004 global 1-minute bathymetry as the backbone and add an improved version of the BEDMAP topography for an area that roughly coincides with the Antarctic continental shelf. Locations of the merging line have been carefully adjusted in order to get the best out of each data set. High-resolution gridded data for the Amery, Fimbul, Filchner-Ronne, Larsen C and George VI Ice Shelves and for Pine Island Glacier have been carefully merged into the ambient ice and ocean topographies. Multibeam ship survey data for bathymetry in the former Larsen B cavity and the southeastern Bellingshausen Sea have been obtained from the data centers of Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), gridded, and again carefully merged into the existing bathymetry map. The resulting global 1-minute data set contains consistent masks for open ocean, grounded ice, floating ice, and bare land surface. The Ice Shelf Cavern Geometry Team: Anne Le Brocq, Tara Deen, Eugene Domack, Pierre Dutrieux, Ben Galton-Fenzi, Dorothea Graffe, Hartmut Hellmer, Angelika Humbert, Daniela Jansen, Adrian Jenkins, Astrid Lambrecht, Keith Makinson, Fred Niederjasper, Frank Nitsche, Ole Anders Nøst, Lars Henrik Smedsrud, and Walter Smith

  7. Effects of injected ice particles in the lower stratosphere on the Antarctic ozone hole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, H.; Kinnison, D. E.; Petersen, A. K.; Vitt, F.; Brasseur, G. P.

    2015-05-01

    The Antarctic ozone hole will continue to be observed in the next 35-50 years, although the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have gradually been phased out during the last two decades. In this paper, we suggest a geo-engineering approach that will remove substantial amounts of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from the lower stratosphere in fall, and hence limit the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in late winter and early spring. HCl will be removed by ice from the atmosphere at temperatures higher than the threshold under which polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are formed if sufficiently large amounts of ice are supplied to produce water saturation. A detailed chemical-climate numerical model is used to assess the expected efficiency of the proposed geo-engineering method, and specifically to calculate the removal of HCl by ice particles. The size of ice particles appears to be a key parameter: larger particles (with a radius between 10 and 100 µm) appear to be most efficient for removing HCl. Sensitivity studies lead to the conclusions that the ozone recovery is effective when ice particles are supplied during May and June in the latitude band ranging from 70°S to 90°S and in the altitude layer ranging from 10 to 26 km. It appears, therefore, that supplying ice particles to the Antarctic lower stratosphere could be effective in reducing the depth of the ozone hole. In addition, photodegradation of CFCs might be accelerated when ice is supplied due to enhanced vertical transport of this efficient greenhouse gas.

  8. Advances in Measuring Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness and Ice-Sheet Elevations with ICESat Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) has been measuring elevations of the Antarctic ice sheet and sea-ice freeboard elevations with unprecedented accuracy. Since February 20,2003, data has been acquired during three periods of laser operation varying from 36 to 54 days, which is less than the continuous operation of 3 to 5 years planned for the mission. The primary purpose of ICESat is to measure time-series of ice-sheet elevation changes for determination of the present-day mass balance of the ice sheets, study of associations between observed ice changes and polar climate, and estimation of the present and future contributions of the ice sheets to global sea level rise. ICESat data will continue to be acquired for approximately 33 days periods at 3 to 6 month intervals with the second of ICESat's three lasers, and eventually with the third laser. The laser footprints are about 70 m on the surface and are spaced at 172 m along-track. The on-board GPS receiver enables radial orbit determinations to an accuracy better than 5 cm. The orbital altitude is around 600 km at an inclination of 94 degrees with a 8-day repeat pattern for the calibration and validation period, followed by a 91 -day repeat period for the rest of the mission. The expected range precision of single footprint measurements was 10 cm, but the actual range precision of the data has been shown to be much better at 2 to 3 cm. The star-tracking attitude-determination system should enable footprints to be located to 6 m horizontally when attitude calibrations are completed. With the present attitude calibration, the elevation accuracy over the ice sheets ranges from about 30 cm over the low-slope areas to about 80 cm over areas with slopes of 1 to 2 degrees, which is much better than radar altimetry. After the first period of data collection, the spacecraft attitude was controlled to point the laser beam to within 50 m of reference surface tracks over the ice sheets. Detection of ice

  9. Evaluation of soil bioremediation techniques in an aged diesel spill at the Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jesus, Hugo E.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Cury, Juliano C.; van Elsas, Jan D.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2015-01-01

    Many areas on the Antarctic continent already suffer from the direct and indirect influences of human activities. The main cause of contamination is petroleum hydrocarbons because this compound is used as a source of energy at the many research stations around the continent. Thus, the current study

  10. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  11. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (˜280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (˜500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  12. Late Miocene-Pliocene Asian monsoon intensification linked to Antarctic ice-sheet growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Hong; Roberts, Andrew P.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Liu, Xiaodong; Rohling, Eelco J.; Shi, Zhengguo; An, Zhisheng; Zhao, Xiang

    2016-06-01

    Environmental conditions in one of Earth's most densely populated regions, East Asia, are dominated by the monsoon. While Quaternary monsoon variability is reasonably well understood, pre-Quaternary monsoon variability and dynamics remain enigmatic. In particular, little is known about potential relationships between northern hemispheric monsoon response and major Cenozoic changes in Antarctic ice cover. Here we document long-term East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) intensification through the Late Miocene-Pliocene (∼8.2 to 2.6 Ma), and attribute this to progressive Antarctic glaciation. Our new high-resolution magnetic records of long-term EASM intensification come from the Late Miocene-Pliocene Red Clay sequence on the Chinese Loess Plateau; we identify underlying mechanisms using a numerical climate-model simulation of EASM response to an idealized stepwise increase in Antarctic ice volume. We infer that progressive Antarctic glaciation caused intensification of the cross-equatorial pressure gradient between an atmospheric high-pressure cell over Australia and a low-pressure cell over mid-latitude East Asia, as well as intensification of the cross-equatorial sea-surface temperature (SST) gradient. These combined atmospheric and oceanic adjustments led to EASM intensification. Our findings offer a new and more global perspective on the controls behind long-term Asian monsoon evolution.

  13. Applicability of ERTS to Antarctic iceberg resources. [harvesting sea ice for fresh water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hult, J. L. (Principal Investigator); Ostrander, N. C.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. This investigation explorers the applicability of ERTS to (1) determine the Antarctic sea ice and environmental behavior that may influence the harvesting of icebergs, and (2) monitor iceberg locations, characteristics, and evolution. Imagery has shown that the potential applicability of ERTS to the research, planning, and harvesting operations can contribute importantly to the glowing promise derived from broader scope studies for the use of Antarctic icebergs to relieve a growing global thirst for fresh water. Several years of comprehensive monitoring will be necessary to characterize sea ice and environmental behavior and iceberg evolution. Live ERTS services will assist harvesting control and claiming operations and offer a means of harmonizing entitlements of iceberg resources. The valuable ERTS services will be more cost effective than other means will be easily justified and borne by the iceberg harvesting operations.

  14. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    OpenAIRE

    Goeller, S.; V. Helm; Thoma, M; Grosfeld, K.

    2015-01-01

    The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS) at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology...

  15. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

    OpenAIRE

    Daniela Cava; Umberto Giostra; Gabriel Katul

    2015-01-01

    While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the charac...

  16. PIXE and PIGE techniques for the analysis of Antarctic ice dust and continental sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Marino, F.; G. Calzolai; S. Caporali; Castellano, E; Chiari, M; Lucarelli, F.; V. Maggi; Nava, S.; Sala, M; Udisti, R.

    2008-01-01

    An analytical procedure has been implemented in this work for an accurate geochemical characterization and quantitative analysis of the fine dust (particles diameter < 5 mu m) trapped in Antarctic ice cores and the fine fraction of potential source areas (PSA) sediments by size selection, filtering and PIXE-PIGE combined measurements. The underestimation of concentrations of the lighter elements, like Na, Mg, Al and Si, due to X-ray self-absorption inside each individual aerosol particle, was...

  17. Modeling brine and nutrient dynamics in Antarctic sea ice: The case of dissolved silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Goosse, Hugues; de Montety, Anne; Fichefet, Thierry; Tremblay, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2010-02-01

    Sea ice ecosystems are characterized by microalgae living in brine inclusions. The growth rate of ice algae depends on light and nutrient supply. Here, the interactions between nutrients and brine dynamics under the influence of algae are investigated using a one-dimensional model. The model includes snow and ice thermodynamics with brine physics and an idealized sea ice biological component, characterized by one nutrient, namely, dissolved silica (DSi). In the model, DSi follows brine motion and is consumed by ice algae. Depending on physical ice characteristics, the brine flow is either advective, diffusive, or turbulent. The vertical profiles of ice salinity and DSi concentration are solutions of advection-diffusion equations. The model is configured to simulate the typical thermodynamic regimes of first-year Antarctic pack ice. The simulated vertical profiles of salinity and DSi qualitatively reproduce observations. Analysis of results highlights the role of convection in the lowermost 5-10 cm of ice. Convection mixes saline, nutrient-poor brine with comparatively fresh, nutrient-rich seawater. This implies a rejection of salt to the ocean and a flux of DSi to the ice. In the presence of growing algae, the simulated ocean-to-ice DSi flux increases by 0-115% compared to an abiotic situation. In turn, primary production and brine convection act in synergy to form a nutrient pump. The other important processes are the flooding of the surface by seawater and the percolation of meltwater. The former refills nutrients near the ice surface in spring. The latter, if present, tends to expell nutrients from the ice in summer.

  18. Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 ka BP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Svensson

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 ka ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia, where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra and on accurately dated European stalagmites, the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland interstadials (GI 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM 19 and 20. In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP and Antarctic (EDML ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 ka BP before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM-19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores. The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. The bipolar linking gives no support for a long-term global cooling caused by the Toba eruption as Antarctica experiences a major warming shortly after the event. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place palaeo-environmental records other than ice cores into a

  19. In situ produced 14C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice

    OpenAIRE

    Kemp, W.J.M. van der; Alderliesten, C.; Borg, K; Jong, A.F.M. de; Lamers, R. A. N.; Oerlemans, J.; Thomassen, M; van de Wal, R. S. W.

    2002-01-01

    Samples of a core (52 m) of ablating Antarctic ice were analysed for 14CO and 14CO2 by accelerator mass spectrometry. The data were compared with a 14C in situ production model that includes muon capture in addition to oxygen spallation by neutrons. The analysis reveals significant in situ14C at depths below 10 m, which we attribute to 14C production by cosmic ray muons. The age of the ice was determined as 9.3±0.4 14C ka BP.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2002.00274.x

  20. In situ produced 14C by cosmic ray muons in ablating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samples of a core (52 m) of ablating Antarctic ice were analyzed for 14CO and 14CO2 by accelerator mass spectrometry. The data were compared with a 14C in situ production model that includes muon capture in addition to oxygen spallation by neutrons. The analysis reveals significant in situ 14C at depths below 10 m, which we attribute to 14C production by cosmic ray muons. The age of the ice was determined as 9.3 ± 0.4 14C ka BP

  1. Aerosols in King George Island (Antarctic peninsula) using PIXE and alpha spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The aim of this study was to characterize the airborne particles and particles deposited in the recent snow samples collected at King George Island (Admiralty Bay) in order to evaluate the possible local sources of airborne particles and the aerosol transport from South America to Antarctic at sea level. Airborne particles samples were collected using a cascade impactor and cyclones at several sampling points at Admiralty Bay. Airborne particles were also collected during the ship travel from Rio de Janeiro to Antarctica. The recent snow samples and aerosols collected at several sampling points at Admiralty Bay were analyzed by PIXE for the determination of the elemental mass concentration. Snow samples were analyzed by alpha spectrometry to determine the 232Th, 228Th, 238U and 234U concentrations in snow. The Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter of airborne particles was determined. The results suggest that there is a correlation between the aerosol samples and the particles deposited in the snow, but the elemental mass distributions are not equal. The snow elemental concentration can be used as an indicator of the elements present in the aerosols. The local aerosol sources (natural and anthropogenic) have been considered to characterize the aerosol transport to Antarctic, mainly King George Island. The main aerosol sources are the marine spray, weathering of local rocks and anthropogenic sources, as the diesel burning in the island. Besides the local aerosol sources the transport of airborne particles from south Atlantic to Antarctic is an important source of airborne particles at King George Island. (author)

  2. MAGIC-DML: Mapping/Measuring/Modeling Antarctic Geomorphology & Ice Change in Dronning Maud Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozhina, Irina; Bernales, Jorge; Newall, Jennifer; Stroeven, Arjen; Harbor, Jonathan; Glasser, Neil; Fredin, Ola; Fabel, Derek; Hättestrand, Class; Lifton, Nat

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing and predicting the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Earth Science community. There are critical gaps in our knowledge of past changes in ice elevation and extent in many regions of East Antarctica, including a large area of Dronning Maud Land. An international Swedish-UK-US-Norwegian-German project MAGIC-DML aims to reconstruct the timing and pattern of ice surface elevation (thus ice sheet volume) fluctuations since the mid-Pliocene warm period on the Dronning Maud Land margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. A combination of remotely sensed geomorphological mapping, field investigations, surface exposure dating and numerical modelling are being used in an iterative manner to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of the glacial history of Dronning Maud Land. Here we present the results from the first phase of this project, which involves high-resolution numerical simulations of the past glacial geometries and mapping of the field area using historic and recent aerial imagery together with a range of satellite acquired data.

  3. Improvements in the chronology, geochemistry and correlation techniques of tephra in Antarctic ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, N. A.; Dunbar, N. W.; McIntosh, W. C.; Pearce, N. J.; Kyle, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Visible and crypto tephra layers found in West Antarctic ice provide an excellent record of Antarctic volcanism over the past 100ka. Tephra layers are deposited almost instantaneously across wide areas creating horizons that, if found in several locations, provide 'pinning points' to adjust ice time scales that may otherwise be lacking detailed chronology. Individual tephra layers can have distinct chemical fingerprints allowing them to correlate over great distances. Advances in sample preparation, geochemical analyses (major and trace elements) of fine grained tephra and higher precision 40Ar/39Ar dating of young (South America). Combining ice core tephra with those exposed in blue ice areas provide more locations to correlate widespread eruptions. For example, a period of heightened eruptive activity at Mt. Berlin, West Antarctica between 24 and 28ka produced a set of tephra layers that are found in WDC06A and SDMA ice cores, as well as at a nearby blue ice area at Mt. Moulton (BIT-151 and BIT-152). Possible correlative tephra layers are found at ice ages of 26.4, 26.9 and 28.8ka in WDC06A and 26.5, 27.0, and 28.7ka in SDMA cores. The geochemical similarities of major elements in these layers mean that ongoing trace element analyses will be vital to decipher the sequence of events during this phase of activity at Mt. Berlin. Sample WDC06A-2767.117 (ice age of 28.6×1.0ka) appears to correlate to blue ice tephra BIT-152 and to tephra layer SDMA-5683 (ice age of 28.5ka). This tephra layer also appears to be present in blue ice at Mt. Terra Nova on Ross Island, 1400km away, suggesting that it may be a possible to link ice cores in East Antarctica (e.g. Talos Dome and Law Dome). The amount of feldspar in ice core tephra is typically too small to be directly dated by 40Ar/39Ar method, making it very important to geochemically correlate these layers to proximal deposits where more and larger feldspar can be sampled. The correlation of WDC06A-2767.117 to the coarse

  4. Tectonics and paleoceanography in the northern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula: Preliminary results of HESANT 1992/93 cruise with the B/O HESPERIDES

    OpenAIRE

    Maldonado, Andrés; Aldaya, Florencio; Balanyá, Juan Carlos; Galindo-Zaldívar, Jesús; Livermore, Roy; Monseñe, Francisco Miguel; Rodríguez-Fernández, José; Roussanov, Momtchil; Sanz de Galdeano, Carlos; Suriñach, Emma; Viseras, C.

    1993-01-01

    [EN] The boundaries between the plates located in the northern sector of the Antarctic Peninsula were investigated during the B10 HESPERIDES HESANT 92/93 cruise using multichannel seismic profiles, magnetometry, and multibeam echo sounding. The investigation focused on the analysis of the tectonic relationships between the main lithospheric elements of the area and the paleoceanographic evolution of the continental margins and basins during the Upper Cenozoic. The triple junction defined by t...

  5. Horizontal niche partitioning of humpback and fin whales around the West Antarctic Peninsula: evidence from a concurrent whale and krill survey

    OpenAIRE

    Herr, Helena; Viquerat, Sacha; Siegel, Volker; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Dorschel, Boris; Huneke, Wilma; Bracher, Astrid; Schröder, Michael; Gutt, Julian

    2016-01-01

    A dedicated aerial cetacean survey was con- ducted concurrently to a standardised net trawl survey for krill in order to investigate distribution patterns of large whales and different krill species and to investigate relationships of these. Distance sampling data were used to produce density surface models for humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) around the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Abundance for both species was estimated over two strata in the B...

  6. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

    As continental ice from Antartica reaches the grounding line and begins to float, its underside melts into the ocean. Results obtained with satellite radar interferometry reveal that bottom melt rates experienced by large outlet glaciers near their grounding lines are far higher than generally assumed.

  7. Critical Fracture Toughness Measurements of an Antarctic Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christmann, Julia; Müller, Ralf; Webber, Kyle; Isaia, Daniel; Schader, Florian; Kippstuhl, Sepp; Freitag, Johannes; Humbert, Angelika

    2014-05-01

    Fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a pre-existing defect in a body to further crack extension. The fracture toughness of glacial ice as a function of density is important for modeling efforts aspire to predict calving behavior. In the presented experiments this fracture toughness is measured using an ice core from Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. The samples were sawed in an ice lab at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven at -20°C and had the dimensions of standard test samples with thickness 14 mm, width 28 mm and length 126 mm. The samples originate from a depth of 94.6 m to 96 m. The grain size of the samples was also identified. The grain size was found to be rather uniform. The critical fracture toughness is determined in a four-point bending approach using single edge V-notch beam samples. The initial notch length was around 2.5 mm and was prepared using a drilling machine. The experimental setup was designed at the Institute of Materials Science at Darmstadt. In this setup the force increases linearly, until the maximum force is reached, where the specific sample fractures. This procedure was done in an ice lab with a temperature of -15°C. The equations to calculate the fracture toughness for pure bending are derived from an elastic stress analysis and are given as a standard test method to detect the fracture toughness. An X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner) was used to determine the ice core densities. The tests cover densities from 843 kg m-3 to 871 kg m-3. Thereby the influence of the fracture toughness on the density was analyzed and compared to previous investigations of this material parameter. Finally the dependence of the measured toughness on thickness, width, and position in the core cross-section was investigated.

  8. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Raymond

    Full Text Available The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241 from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs, which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice.

  9. Separate origins of ice-binding proteins in antarctic chlamydomonas species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, James A; Morgan-Kiss, Rachael

    2013-01-01

    The green alga Chlamydomonas raudensis is an important primary producer in a number of ice-covered lakes and ponds in Antarctica. A C. raudensis isolate (UWO241) from Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, like many other Antarctic algae, was found to secrete ice-binding proteins (IBPs), which appear to be essential for survival in icy environments. The IBPs of several Antarctic algae (diatoms, a prymesiophyte, and a prasinophyte) are similar to each other (here designated as type I IBPs) and have been proposed to have bacterial origins. Other IBPs (type II IBPs) that bear no resemblance to type I IBPs, have been found in the Antarctic Chlamydomonas sp. CCMP681, a putative snow alga, raising the possibility that chlamydomonad IBPs developed separately from the IBPs of other algae. To test this idea, we obtained the IBP sequences of C. raudensis UWO241 by sequencing the transcriptome. A large number of transcripts revealed no sequences resembling type II IBPs. Instead, many isoforms resembling type I IBPs were found, and these most closely matched a hypothetical protein from the bacterium Stigmatella aurantiaca. The sequences were confirmed to encode IBPs by the activity of a recombinant protein and by the matching of predicted and observed isoelectric points and molecular weights. Furthermore, a mesophilic sister species, C. raudensis SAG49.72, showed no ice-binding activity or PCR products from UWO241 IBP primers. These results confirm that algal IBPs are required for survival in icy habitats and demonstrate that they have diverse origins that are unrelated to the taxonomic positions of the algae. Last, we show that the C. raudensis UWO241 IBPs can change the structure of ice in a way that could increase the survivability of cells trapped in the ice. PMID:23536869

  10. Elemental and Isotopic Signatures in the Sediments Influenced by Seal Excrement on Antarctic Fildes Peninsula and Their Potential Paleoecological Applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    The elemental and isotopic signatures in the sediments influenced by seal excrement on Antarctic Fildes Peninsula are examined for their potential palaeoecological applications. The seal hair abundance in sediments exhibits remarkable fluctuation versus depth, indicating similar changes in historical populations of the seals visiting the marine terrace. The combination of δ13 C, total organic carbon concentration (TOC), total nitrogen concentration (TN) and atomic C/N ratio shows that the organic matters in sediments with numerous seal hairs have a marine origin and are predominantly derived from seal excrements. The large δ15 N values in sediments are attributed to trophic enrichment and NH3 volatilization processes. The large variations in the δ15 N values and the negative correlation between the δ15 N values and the seal hair abundances seem to be the results of changes in the paleoclimates and the volatilization rates of the ammonia produced in the seal excrements. The 87 Sr/86 Sr ratios in the acid-soluble fraction of sediments are interpreted as a mixture of the ones from the seal excrements (30 %-50%) and the chemically weathered local bedrocks (70%-50%). The calculated proportion of seal-derived Sr based on the 87 Sr/86 Sr ratios has a significant correlation with seal hair abundances in sediments. These results suggest that δ15 N values and the 87 Sr/86 Sr ratios in the acid-soluble fraction of sediments were influenced by seal excrements, similar to seal hair numbers, and thus can potentially be used to estimate the historical seal population in the Antarctic region.

  11. Sensitivity of Antarctic fish to ocean warming - an energy budget approach

    OpenAIRE

    Sandersfeld, Tina

    2015-01-01

    Like the Arctic, the Antarctic region hosts some of the hot spots of climatic change. At the western Antarctic Peninsula, alterations of air and water temperature, pH, salinity and sea-ice regime were reported and associated shifts in species abundance and changes in food web structure have already become evident. In contrast, for most high-Antarctic regions, no climate related changes have yet been found. However, future temperature increases are also projected for these areas. Ocean warming...

  12. Properties of the Antarctic ice sheet derived from passive microwave data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The goal of this work is to investigate new techniques for separating the geophysical signals of changing physical temperature and changing electrical properties of polar firn from observed brightness temperature data. In turn, the authors seek to exploit these techniques for monitoring spatial and temporal variations in the near-surface temperature regime of the ice sheet and their associated impacts on ice sheet accumulation and ablation. In this paper, they briefly summarize their approach to detecting relative changes in the near-surface temperature field of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Essentially, antarctic brightness temperatures (Tb) compiled from the NASA Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer data set are segmented by different glacial regimes. Tb time series for each sector are compared. Because they show that temporal variations in Th are dominated by changes in physical temperature, they infer meaningful differences in relative physical temperature between regimes. Together with identifying expected seasonal trends in near-surface temperature, this analysis highlights more subtle variations such as the anomalously cold winter temperatures in 1982 over East Antarctica followed one year later by a cold winter in West Antarctic. Variations in electrical properties of antarctic firn are investigated using the polarization ratio (defined as the difference of the vertical and horizontal channels of a single frequency divided by the sum of the same channels). They show that in the annual mean, the polarization is largely independent of physical temperature. They go on to show that very low polarization ratios of mean monthly data are probably due to the presence of free-water in the firn. Monthly mean values of polarization for each January in the SMMR data set are presented and discussed in this context

  13. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-02-01

    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ˜1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}} , which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  14. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

  15. THE EFFECTS OF ULTRAVIOLET-B RADIATION ON ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE ALGAE(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ken G; McMinn, Andrew; Hegseth, Else N; Davy, Simon K

    2012-02-01

    The impacts of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) on polar sea-ice algal communities have not yet been demonstrated. We assess the impacts of UV on these communities using both laboratory experiments on algal isolates and by modification of the in situ spectral distribution of the under-ice irradiance. In the latter experiment, filters were attached to the upper surface of the ice so that the algae were exposed in situ to treatments of ambient levels of PAR and UV radiation, ambient radiation minus UVB, and ambient radiation minus all UV. After 16 d, significant increases in chl a and cell numbers were recorded for all treatments, but there were no significant differences among the different treatments. Bottom-ice algae exposed in vitro were considerably less tolerant to UVB than those in situ, but this tolerance improved when algae were retained within a solid block of ice. In addition, algae extracted from brine channels in the upper meter of sea ice and exposed to PAR and UVB in the laboratory were much more tolerant of high UVB doses than were any bottom-ice isolates. This finding indicates that brine algae may be better adapted to high PAR and UVB than are bottom-ice algae. The data indicate that the impact of increased levels of UVB resulting from springtime ozone depletion on Antarctic bottom-ice communities is likely to be minimal. These algae are likely protected by strong UVB attenuation by the overlying ice and snow, by other inorganic and organic substances in the ice matrix, and by algal cells closer to the surface. PMID:27009652

  16. Divergent trajectories of Antarctic surface melt under two twenty-first-century climate scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trusel, Luke D.; Frey, Karen E.; Das, Sarah B.; Karnauskas, Kristopher B.; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; van Meijgaard, Erik; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelves modulate Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise and thereby represent a critical, climate-sensitive interface between the Antarctic ice sheet and the global ocean. Following rapid atmospheric warming over the past decades, Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have progressively retreated, at times catastrophically. This decay supports hypotheses of thermal limits of viability for ice shelves via surface melt forcing. Here we use a polar-adapted regional climate model and satellite observations to quantify the nonlinear relationship between surface melting and summer air temperature. Combining observations and multimodel simulations, we examine melt evolution and intensification before observed ice shelf collapse on the Antarctic Peninsula. We then assess the twenty-first-century evolution of surface melt across Antarctica under intermediate and high emissions climate scenarios. Our projections reveal a scenario-independent doubling of Antarctic-wide melt by 2050. Between 2050 and 2100, however, significant divergence in melt occurs between the two climate scenarios. Under the high emissions pathway by 2100, melt on several ice shelves approaches or surpasses intensities that have historically been associated with ice shelf collapse, at least on the northeast Antarctic Peninsula.

  17. Antarctic ice-rafted detritus (IRD) in the South Atlantic: Indicators of iceshelf dynamics or ocean surface conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Simon H.H.; Hodell, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Ocean sediment core TN057-13PC4/ODP1094, from the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, contains elevated lithogenic material in sections representing the last glacial period compared to the Holocene. This ice-rafted detritus is mainly comprised of volcanic glass and ash, but has a significant input of what was previously interpreted as quartz during peak intervals (Kanfoush et al., 2000, 2002). Our analysis of these clear mineral grains indicates that most are plagioclase, and that South Sandwich Islands is the predominant source, similar to that inferred for the volcanic glass (Nielsen et al., in review). In addition, quartz and feldspar with possible Antarctic origin occur in conjunction with postulated episodes of Antarctic deglaciation. We conclude that while sea ice was the dominant ice rafting agent in the Polar Frontal Zone of the South Atlantic during the last glacial period, the Holocene IRD variability may reflect Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

  18. Flow speed within the Antarctic ice sheet and its controls inferred from satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthern, Robert J.; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Williams, C. Rosie

    2015-07-01

    Accurate dynamical models of the Antarctic ice sheet with carefully specified initial conditions and well-calibrated rheological parameters are needed to forecast global sea level. By adapting an inverse method previously used in electric impedance tomography, we infer present-day flow speeds within the ice sheet. This inversion uses satellite observations of surface velocity, snow accumulation rate, and rate of change of surface elevation to estimate the basal drag coefficient and an ice stiffness parameter that influences viscosity. We represent interior ice motion using a vertically integrated approximation to incompressible Stokes flow. This model represents vertical shearing within the ice and membrane stresses caused by horizontal stretching and shearing. Combining observations and model, we recover marked geographical variations in the basal drag coefficient. Relative changes in basal shear stress are smaller. No simple sliding law adequately represents basal shear stress as a function of sliding speed. Low basal shear stress predominates in central East Antarctica, where thick insulating ice allows liquid water at the base to lubricate sliding. Higher shear stress occurs in coastal East Antarctica, where a frozen bed is more likely. Examining Thwaites glacier in more detail shows that the slowest sliding often coincides with elevated basal topography. Differences between our results and a similar adjoint-based inversion suggest that inversion or regularization methods can influence recovered parameters for slow sliding and finer scales; on broader scales we recover a similar pattern of low basal drag underneath major ice streams and extensive regions in East Antarctica that move by basal sliding.

  19. Distribution of the CO{sub 2} partial pressure in the Atlantic ocean between Iceland and the Antarctic peninsula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schneider, B. [Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Rostock-Warnemuende (Germany); Morlang, J. [Institute for Marine Research, Kiel (Germany)

    1995-02-01

    CO{sub 2} partial pressure of surface water, (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw}, was measured continuously during two cruises in the Atlantic Ocean in November/December 1991 and May 1992. A (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw} profile between Iceland and the Antarctic Peninsula is obtained which demonstrates that along the investigated transect the Atlantic Ocean is largely a potential sink for atmospheric CO{sub 2}, especially at high latitudes, where partial pressure differences of -80{mu}atm to -100 {mu}atm are observed. A significant potential source region exists only between the equator and 10 degrees S with a maximum {Delta}pCO{sub 2} of 35 {mu}atm. An attempt is made to identify the processes that control the (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw} distribution pattern. The investigations at latitudes >40 degrees in both hemispheres were performed during spring and correlations between (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw} and chlorophyll a contents indicate that biological production mainly controls the distribution of (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw}. At lower latitudes, (pCO{sub 2}){sub sw} is mainly related to temperature and salinity, but also an upwelling effect could be identified close to the equator. 24 refs, 11 figs

  20. Discovery of a recent, natural whale fall on the continental slope off Anvers Island, western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathryn E.; Thatje, Sven; Singh, Hanumant; Amsler, Margaret O.; Vos, Stephanie C.; McClintock, James B.; Brothers, Cecilia J.; Brown, Alastair; Ellis, Daniel; Anderson, Jeffrey S.; Aronson, Richard B.

    2014-08-01

    Whale falls provide a substantial, nutrient-rich resource for species in areas of the ocean that may otherwise be largely devoid of food. We report the discovery of a natural whale fall at 1430 m depth in the cold waters of the continental slope off the western Antarctic Peninsula. This is the highest-latitude whale fall reported to date. The section of the carcass we observed-the tail fluke-was more complete than any previously reported natural whale fall from the deep sea and in the early stages of decomposition. We estimate the entire cetacean to measure 5-8 m in length. The flesh remained almost intact on the carcass but the skin was missing from the entire section except for the end of the fluke, clearly exposing blubber and soft tissue. The absence of skin indicates rapid and Homogeneous loss. The dominant macrofauna present were crustaceans, including most prominently the lithodid crab Paralomis birsteini, and zoarcid fish typical of the ‘mobile-scavenger' successional stage. The density of mobile macrofauna was greatest on the carcass and declined to background levels within 100 m, indicating that they were attracted to the whale fall. This whale fall offers an important opportunity to examine the decomposition of a carcass under deep-sea conditions at polar latitudes.

  1. Large-Ensemble modeling of last deglacial and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Chang, Won; Applegate, Patrick; Haran, Murali

    2015-04-01

    Recent observations of thinning and retreat of the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers identify the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) sector of West Antarctica as particularly vulnerable to future climate change. To date, most future modeling of these glaciers has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data from ~20,000 years BP to present, focusing on the ASE but including other sectors of Antarctica. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large-Ensemble statistical techniques, performing sets of ~500 to 1000 runs with varying model parameters. The model is run for the last 40 kyrs on 10 to 20-km grids, both on continental domains and also on nested domains over West Antarctica. Various types of objective scores for each run are calculated using reconstructed past grounding lines, relative sea level records, measured uplift rates, and cosmogenic elevation-age data. Runs are extended into the future few millennia using RCP scenarios. The goal is to produce calibrated probabilistic ranges of model parameter values and quantified envelopes of future ice retreat. Preliminary results are presented for Large Ensembles with (i) Latin HyperCube sampling in high-dimensional parameter space, using statistical emulators and Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, and (ii) dense "factorial" sampling with a smaller number of parameters. Different ways of combining the types of scores listed above are explored. One robust conclusion is that for the warmer future RCP scenarios, most reasonable parameter combinations produce retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior. Recently proposed mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure accelerate future West Antarctic retreat, and later produce retreat into East Antarctic basins.

  2. Antarctic Ice Sheet variability across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary climate transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeotti, Simone; DeConto, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Stocchi, Paolo; Florindo, Fabio; Pagani, Mark; Barrett, Peter; Bohaty, Steven M; Lanci, Luca; Pollard, David; Sandroni, Sonia; Talarico, Franco M; Zachos, James C

    2016-04-01

    About 34 million years ago, Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet formed on Antarctica as atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) fell below ~750 parts per million (ppm). Sedimentary cycles from a drill core in the western Ross Sea provide direct evidence of orbitally controlled glacial cycles between 34 million and 31 million years ago. Initially, under atmospheric CO2 levels of ≥600 ppm, a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS), restricted to the terrestrial continent, was highly responsive to local insolation forcing. A more stable, continental-scale ice sheet calving at the coastline did not form until ~32.8 million years ago, coincident with the earliest time that atmospheric CO2 levels fell below ~600 ppm. Our results provide insight into the potential of the AIS for threshold behavior and have implications for its sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentrations above present-day levels. PMID:27034370

  3. Postglacial relative sea level change at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (West Antarctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Polishchuk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Analysis and integration of data obtained in our field and laboratory investigations of 2008–2012 together with results of previous paleogeographic studies were conducted to reveal parameters and factors of the post-glacial changes in the relative sea-level on the Fildes Peninsula and the King George Island. Results of dating of organic material taken from cross-sections of Quaternary deposits, data on morphology of marine landforms as well as on bottom sediments in lakes were used to construct a curve of changes in the relative sea-level.Our research has shown that the rapid rise of relative sea level in the area (since the beginning of the Holocene decelerated about 8000 years BP, achieving its maximum about 7000 years BP. This was followed by the fall of relative sea-level (the land elevation by 18–20  m in total, and it was characterized by relatively high rate of fall during periods of 6000– 5000 years BP, 4000–2500 years BP, and during the last 1500 years; the rate decreased in 5000–4000 years BP and 2500– 1600 years BP. The changes in relative sea level in this region were determined by the following factors: the eustatic component of the global changes in sea-level and, possibly, oscillations in the global sea level of another nature; local parameters of the Last glacial maximum; a course of the Peninsula deglaciation; regional physical characteristics of the Earth's crust and the mantle substances; local tectonic processes, including the isostatic rebound. Since the beginning of the Holocene up to about 7000 years BP, the main contribution to changes of the relative sea-level in this area was made by the global eustatic factor. The subsequent fall of the relative sea-level (elevation of the Peninsula surface proceeded under condition of reduced role of the eustatic factor and predominance of other factors.

  4. About the consistency between Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar freeboard retrieval over Antarctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Schwegmann, S.; E. Rinne; Ricker, R.; Hendricks, S.; V. Helm

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about Antarctic sea-ice volume and its changes over the past decades has been sparse due to the lack of systematic sea-ice thickness measurements in this remote area. Recently, first attempts have been made to develop a sea-ice thickness product over the Southern Ocean from space-borne radar altimetry and results look promising. Today, more than 20 years of radar altimeter data are potentially available for such products. However, data come from di...

  5. Sea-level feedback lowers projections of future Antarctic Ice-Sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Natalya; Pollard, David; Holland, David

    2015-11-01

    The stability of marine sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in a warming climate has been identified as the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise. Sea-level fall near the grounding line of a retreating marine ice sheet has a stabilizing influence on the ice sheets, and previous studies have established the importance of this feedback on ice age AIS evolution. Here we use a coupled ice sheet-sea-level model to investigate the impact of the feedback mechanism on future AIS retreat over centennial and millennial timescales for a range of emission scenarios. We show that the combination of bedrock uplift and sea-surface drop associated with ice-sheet retreat significantly reduces AIS mass loss relative to a simulation without these effects included. Sensitivity analyses show that the stabilization tends to be greatest for lower emission scenarios and Earth models characterized by a thin elastic lithosphere and low-viscosity upper mantle, as is the case for West Antarctica.

  6. Origin and Phylogeny of Microbes Living in Permanent Antarctic Lake Ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, D. A.; Priscu, J.; Giovannoni, S.

    2000-04-01

    A BSTRACTThe phylogenetic diversity of bacteria and cyanobacteria colonizing sediment particles in the permanent ice cover of an Antarctic lake was characterized by analyses of 16S rRNA genes amplified from environmental DNA. Samples of mineral particles were collected from a depth of 2.5 m in the 4-m-thick ice cover of Lake Bonney, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. A rRNA gene clone library of 198 clones was made and characterized by sequencing and oligonucleotide probe hybridization. The library was dominated by representatives of the cyanobacteria, proteobacteria, and Planctomycetales, but also contained diverse clones representing many other microbial groups, including the Acidobacterium/Holophaga division, the Green Non-Sulfur division, and the Actinobacteria. Six oligonucleotide probes were made for the most abundant clades recovered in the library. To determine whether the ice microbial community might originate from wind dispersal of the algal mats found elsewhere in Taylor Valley, the probes were hybridized to 16S rDNAs amplified from three samples of terrestrial cyanobacterial mats collected at nearby sites, as well as to bacterial 16S rDNAs from the lake ice community. The results demonstrate the presence of a diverse microbial community dominated by cyanobacteria in the lake ice, and also show that the dominant members of the lake ice microbial community are found in terrestrial mats elsewhere in the area. The lake ice microbial community appears to be dominated by organisms that are not uniquely adapted to the lake ice ecosystem, but instead are species that originate elsewhere in the surrounding region and opportunistically colonize the unusual habitat provided by the sediments suspended in lake ice. PMID:12035096

  7. Inability of stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections to preserve the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, K. E.; Battisti, D. S.; Bitz, C. M.

    2015-06-01

    Injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere has the potential to reduce the climate impacts of global warming, including sea level rise (SLR). However, changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation that can significantly influence the rate of basal melting of Antarctic marine ice shelves and the associated SLR have not previously been considered. Here we use a fully coupled global climate model to investigate whether rapidly increasing stratospheric sulfate aerosol concentrations after a period of global warming could preserve Antarctic ice sheets by cooling subsurface ocean temperatures. We contrast this climate engineering method with an alternative strategy in which all greenhouse gases (GHG) are returned to preindustrial levels. We find that the rapid addition of a stratospheric aerosol layer does not effectively counteract surface and upper level atmospheric circulation changes caused by increasing GHGs, resulting in continued upwelling of warm water in proximity of ice shelves, especially in the vicinity of the already unstable Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. By contrast, removal of GHGs restores the circulation, yielding relatively cooler subsurface ocean temperatures to better preserve West Antarctica.

  8. Quaternary Antarctic ice-sheet fluctuations and Southern Ocean palaeoceanography: natural variability studies at the Antarctic CRC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In its first three years, the Antarctic Co-operative Research Centre's Natural Variability Program has focussed research effort on understanding changes in the extent of the East Antarctic ice sheet, the sedimentary processes and biogeochemical cycles affecting shelf sedimentation and the palaeoceanography of the Southern Ocean. Seismic data from the Prydz trough-mouth fan indicate that it contains a high-resolution time series of the Plio-Pleistocene activity of the Lambert Glacier system. The fan has been prograding from the eastern side of Prydz Bay at least since the Miocene and it contains Plio-Pleistocene sediments, which are 0.8-1.2 s TWT thick beneath the current shelf break. Radiocarbon dating of shelf sediments indicates that deposition of a Holocene siliceous mud and ooze layer N as initiated at about 10 ka BP on the Mac Robertson Shelf, which is interpreted as coinciding with the retreat of an expanded ice sheet from the shelf break. Geochemical analyses of sediment cores from the Mac Robertson Shelf suggest significant differences in sediment accumulation between the inner and outer shelf during the Holocene. In contrast, results for a core from the inner shelf suggest an approximately 7-fold increase in average sediment accumulation rate from the mid to late Holocene, with roughly comparable increases in the accumulation of both biogenic and lithogenic material. Palaeoceanographic studies of the Southern Ocean, using planktonic foraminifera, diatoms and alkenone unsaturation ratios, indicate larger sea surface temperature amplitudes over wider areas of the Southern Ocean during the last glacial maximum than previously suggested by CLIMAP. Our studies offer the possibility of improvements to reconstructed glacial boundary conditions, with wider areal coverage, greater reliability of estimates, and the opportunity for estimation of seasonal dynamics. The cores under study contain, essentially, no biogenic carbonates, precluding use of δ18O stratigraphy

  9. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J.; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

  10. Multi-frequency observations of seawater carbonate chemistry on the central coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie B. Schram

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Assessments of benthic coastal seawater carbonate chemistry in Antarctica are sparse. The studies have generally been short in duration, during the austral spring/summer, under sea ice, or offshore in ice-free water. Herein we present multi-frequency measurements for seawater collected from the shallow coastal benthos on a weekly schedule over one year (May 2012–May 2013, daily schedule over three months (March–May 2013 and semidiurnal schedule over five weeks (March–April 2013. A notable pH increase (max pH = 8.62 occurred in the late austral spring/summer (November–December 2012, coinciding with sea-ice break-out and subsequent increase in primary productivity. We detected semidiurnal variation in seawater pH with a maximum variation of 0.13 pH units during the day and 0.11 pH units during the night. Daily variation in pH is likely related to biological activity, consistent with previous research. We calculated the variation in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC over each seawater measurement frequency, focusing on the primary DIC drivers in the Palmer Station region. From this, we estimated net biological activity and found it accounts for the greatest variations in DIC. Our seasonal data suggest that this coastal region tends to act as a carbon dioxide source during austral winter months and as a strong sink during the summer. These data characterize present-day seawater carbonate chemistry and the extent to which these measures vary over multiple time scales. This information will inform future experiments designed to evaluate the vulnerability of coastal benthic Antarctic marine organisms to ocean acidification.

  11. Climate change on the Yucatan Peninsula during the Little Ice Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodell, David A.; Brenner, Mark; Curtis, Jason H.; Medina-González, Roger; Ildefonso-Chan Can, Enrique; Albornaz-Pat, Alma; Guilderson, Thomas P.

    2005-03-01

    We studied a 5.1-m sediment core from Aguada X'caamal (20° 36.6'N, 89° 42.9'W), a small sinkhole lake in northwest Yucatan, Mexico. Between 1400 and 1500 A.D., oxygen isotope ratios of ostracod and gastropod carbonate increased by an average of 2.2‰ and the benthic foraminifer Ammonia beccarii parkinsoniana appeared in the sediment profile, indicating a hydrologic change that included increased lake water salinity. Pollen from a core in nearby Cenote San José Chulchacá showed a decrease in mesic forest taxa during the same period. Oxygen isotopes of shell carbonate in sediment cores from Lakes Chichancanab (19° 53.0'N, 88° 46.0'W) and Salpeten (16° 58.6'N, 89° 40.5'W) to the south also increased in the mid-15th century, but less so than in Aguada X'caamal. Climate change in the 15th century is also supported by historical accounts of cold and famine described in Maya and Aztec chronicles. We conclude that climate became drier on the Yucatan Peninsula in the 15th century A.D. near the onset of the Little Ice Age (LIA). Comparison of results from the Yucatan Peninsula with other circum-Caribbean paleoclimate records indicates a coherent climate response for this region at the beginning of the LIA. At that time, sea surface temperatures cooled and aridity in the circum-Caribbean region increased.

  12. Formulation, calibration and validation of the DAIS model (version 1), a simple Antarctic ice sheet model sensitive to variations of sea level and ocean subsurface temperature

    OpenAIRE

    Shaffer, G.

    2014-01-01

    The DCESS (Danish Center for Earth System Science) Antarctic Ice Sheet (DAIS) model is presented. Model hindcasts of Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) sea level equivalent are forced by reconstructed Antarctic temperatures, global mean sea level and high-latitude, ocean subsurface temperatures, the latter calculated using the DCESS model forced by reconstructed global mean atmospheric temperatures. The model is calibrated by comparing such hindcasts for different model configurations w...

  13. Antarctic ice-mass balance 2002 to 2011: regional re-analysis of GRACE satellite gravimetry measurements with improved estimate of glacial-isostatic adjustment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Sasgen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available We present regional-scale mass balances for 25 drainage basins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS from satellite observations of the Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE for the years 2002–2011. Satellite gravimetry estimates of the AIS mass balance are strongly influenced by mass movement in the Earth interior caused by ice advance and retreat during the last glacial cycle. Here, we develop an improved glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA estimate for Antarctica using newly available GPS uplift rates, allowing us to more accurately separate GIA-induced trends in the GRACE gravity fields from those caused by current imbalances of the AIS. Our revised GIA estimate is considerably lower than previous predictions, yielding an (upper estimate of apparent mass change of 48 ± 18 Gt yr−1. Therefore, our AIS mass balance of −103 ± 23 Gt yr−1 is considerably less negative than previous GRACE estimates. The Northern Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea Sector exhibit the largest mass loss (−25 ± 6 Gt yr−1 and −126 ± 11 Gt yr−1, respectively. In contrast, East Antarctica exhibits a slightly positive mass balance (19 ± 16 Gt yr−1, which is, however, mostly the consequence of compensating mass anomalies in Dronning Maud and Enderby Land (positive and Wilkes and George V Land (negative due to interannual accumulation variations. In total, 7% of the area constitute more than half of the AIS imbalance (53%, contributing −151 ± 9 Gt yr−1 to global mean sea-level change. Most of this imbalance is caused by long-term ice-dynamic speed up expected to prevail in the future.

  14. A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON PERMAFROST OCCURRENCE IN SEYMOUR ISLAND (MARAMBIO ISLAND), ANTARCTIC PENINSULA REGION

    OpenAIRE

    フクダ, マサミ; Masami, FUKUDA; Arturo E., CORTE

    1989-01-01

    Seymour Island (Marambio Island, 64°S 56°W) in the Weddel Sea is located near James Ross Island. As there was no ice-sheet over the island during and after the last glaciation period, the ground has remained frozen and permafrost of considerable depth has developed in the ground. The authors conducted the field survey related to the genesis and occurrence of permafrost in the island. The Japan-Argentina joint expedition was established by the support of Grant-in-Aid for Overseas Scientific Re...

  15. High geothermal heat flux measured below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Andrew T; Mankoff, Kenneth D; Tulaczyk, Slawek M; Tyler, Scott W; Foley, Neil

    2015-07-01

    The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m(2), significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m(2). The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region. PMID:26601210

  16. Antarctic climate variability from ice core records over the last two millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braida, Martina; Stenni, Barbara; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Dreossi, Giuliano; Oerter, Hans; Selmo, Enricomaria; Severi, Mirko; Goosse, Hugues; Mezgec, Karin

    2013-04-01

    The climate of the past can be successfully investigated through the study of polar ice sheets. Paleotemperature reconstructions from Antarctic ice cores are based on water isotope profiles, thanks to the existing relationship between δ18O (or δD) and the temperature at the site. Here we present the climate record of the past 2000 years resulting from the stable isotope analysis of the ice core drilled at Talos Dome in East Antarctica from 2003 to 2007 in the framework of the European TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) project. Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E; 2315 m; -41°C) is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau. The snow accumulation rate of the site (80 kg m-2 yr-1) allows extracting high-resolution data for the past millennia. The main moisture sources of snow precipitation at this near-coastal site are located in the Indian Ocean and the Ross Sea. Isotopic analyses of TALDICE detailed (10 cm) samples have been performed in the framework of the ESF-HOLOCLIP project, whose main objective is to integrate the ice core, the marine core and the modeling data to investigate the climate variability of the high latitude southern hemisphere over the Holocene. The isotopic record obtained from the TALDICE ice core is here compared with a shallow firn core (89 m long) previously drilled at Talos Dome, at a 5 km distance, and covering the past 800 years. The two isotopic records are stacked to reduce the stratigraphic noise and compared with other available isotopic records from Antarctica to highlight common trends and regional variability in the climatic signal over the past two millennia. We compare the data with a simulation performed with a three-dimensional earth system model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM) with and without data assimilation. Considering the δ18O profile from the TALDICE ice core and comparing it with the ones from the other available records we can observe common negative isotopic anomalies in the period from about 1450 to

  17. Cosmogenic 10Be Depth Profile in top 560 m of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Woodruff, T. E.; Caffee, M. W.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Bisiaux, M. M.; Nishiizumi, K.

    2009-12-01

    Concentrations of cosmogenic 10Be in polar ice samples are a function of variations in solar activity, geomagnetic field strength, atmospheric mixing and annual snow accumulation rates. The 10Be depth profile in ice cores also provides independent chronological markers to tie Antarctic to Greenland ice cores and to tie Holocene ice cores to the 14C dendrochronology record. We measured 10Be concentrations in 187 samples from depths of 0-560 m of the main WAIS Divide core, WDC06A. The ice samples are typically 1-2 kg and represent 2-4 m of ice, equivalent to an average temporal resolution of ~12 years, based on the preliminary age-depth scale proposed for the WDC core, (McConnell et al., in prep). Be, Al and Cl were separated using ion exchange chromatography techniques and the 10Be concentrations were measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at PRIME lab. The 10Be concentrations range from 8.1 to 19.1 x 10^3 at/g, yielding an average of (13.1±2.1) x 10^3 at/g. Adopting an average snow accumulation rate of 20.9 cm weq/yr, as derived from the age-depth scale, this value corresponds to an average 10Be flux of (2.7±0.5) x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2. This flux is similar to that of the Holocene part of the Siple Dome (Nishiizumi and Finkel, 2007) and Dome Fuji (Horiuchi et al. 2008) ice cores, but ~30% lower than the value of 4.0 x 10^5 atoms/yr/cm2 for GISP2 (Finkel and Nishiizumi, 1997). The periods of low solar activity, known as Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton minima, show ~20% higher 10Be concentrations/fluxes than the periods of average solar activity in the last millennium. The maximum 10Be fluxes during some of these periods of low solar activity are up to ~50% higher than average 10Be fluxes, as seen in other polar ice cores, which makes these peaks suitable as chronologic markers. We will compare the 10Be record in the WAIS Divide ice core with that in other Antarctic as well as Greenland ice cores and with the 14C treering record. Acknowledgment. This

  18. Geología del Nunatak Ramírez, Península Jason, Península Antártica Geology of the Ramírez Nunatak, Jason Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. del Valle

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available La sucesión volcánica de 118 m de espesor expuesta en el nunatak Ramírez, península Jason (65°57'S, 60°33'O, península Antártica, está compuesta de una sección inferior donde abundan tobas y areniscas volcánicas, y una sección superior dominada por ignimbritas riolíticas. Los sedimentos volcaniclásticos de la sección inferior contienen moldes de hojas asignadas a Hausmannia de-ferrariisi Feruglio que indica una edad jurásica media. Las rocas del nunatak Ramírez se correlacionan con la Formación Maple de similar edad, la cual aflora típicamente en los alrededores del cabo Disappointment, ubicado a unos 60 km al norte de la península Jason. Estas rocas forman parte de una extensa provincia ígnea silícica desarrollada en Patagonia y la península Antártica en relación con la ruptura de Gondwana.The 118 m thick volcanic sequence exposed at the Ramírez Nunatak, western Jason Peninsula (65°57'S, 60°33'W, Antarctic Peninsula, is composed of a lower section where ash fall tuffs and volcanic sandstones are exposed, and an upper section dominated by rhyolithic ignimbrites. The volcaniclastic sediments of the lower section show imprints of lives assigned to Hausmannia de-ferrariisi Feruglio, which indicates a Mid-Jurassic age. The rocks from Ramírez Nunatak are correlated with Maple Formation of the same age, which is typically exposed at the surroundings of Cape Disappointment, located about 60 km northward from Jason Peninsula. These rocks form part of a siliceous large igneous province developed in Patagonia and Antarctic Peninsula in relation to the Gondwana break-up.

  19. Late Cretaceous-early Eocene counterclockwise rotation of the Fueguian Andes and evolution of the Patagonia-Antarctic Peninsula system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poblete, F.; Roperch, P.; Arriagada, C.; Ruffet, G.; Ramírez de Arellano, C.; Hervé, F.; Poujol, M.

    2016-02-01

    The southernmost Andes of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego present a prominent arc-shaped structure: the Patagonian Bend. Whether the bending is a primary curvature or an orocline is still matter of controversy. New paleomagnetic data have been obtained south of the Beagle Channel in 39 out of 61 sites. They have been drilled in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous sediments and interbedded volcanics and in mid-Cretaceous to Eocene intrusives of the Fuegian Batholith. The anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility was measured at each site and the influence of magnetic fabric on the characteristic remanent magnetizations (ChRM) in plutonic rocks was corrected using inverse tensors of anisotropy of remanent magnetizations. Normal polarity secondary magnetizations with west-directed declination were obtained in the sediments and they did not pass the fold test. These characteristic directions are similar to those recorded by mid Cretaceous intrusives suggesting a remagnetization event during the normal Cretaceous superchron and describe a large (> 90°) counterclockwise rotation. Late Cretaceous to Eocene rocks of the Fueguian Batholith, record decreasing counterclockwise rotations of 45° to 30°. These paleomagnetic results are interpreted as evidence of a large counterclockwise rotation of the Fueguian Andes related to the closure of the Rocas Verdes Basin and the formation of the Darwin Cordillera during the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene. The tectonic evolution of the Patagonian Bend can thus be described as the formation of a progressive arc from an oroclinal stage during the closure of the Rocas Verdes basin to a mainly primary arc during the final stages of deformation of the Magallanes fold and thrust belt. Plate reconstructions show that the Antarctic Peninsula would have formed a continuous margin with Patagonia between the Early Cretaceous and the Eocene, and acted as a non-rotational rigid block facilitating the development of the Patagonian Bend.

  20. Lipophilic pigments from the benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, A. C.; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Cronin, S. E.; Des Marais, D. J.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1989-01-01

    The benthos of a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake, Lake Hoare, contained three distinct 'signatures' of lipophilic pigments. Cyanobacterial mats found in the moat at the periphery of the lake were dominated by the carotenoid myxoxanthophyll; carotenoids: chlorophyll a ratios in this high light environment ranged from 3 to 6.8. Chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin, pigments typical of golden-brown algae, were found at 10 to 20 m depths where the benthos is aerobic. Anaerobic benthic sediments at 20 to 30 m depths were characterized by a third pigment signature dominated by a carotenoid, tentatively identified as alloxanthin from planktonic cryptomonads, and by phaeophytin b from senescent green algae. Pigments were not found associated with alternating organic and sediment layers. As microzooplankton grazers are absent from this closed system and transformation rates are reduced at low temperatures, the benthos beneath the lake ice appears to contain a record of past phytoplankton blooms undergoing decay.

  1. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, B. C.; Didova, O.; Riva, R. E. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; King, M. A.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Urban, T.

    2014-04-01

    This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes as well as reprocessed data sets over a slightly longer period of time. A range of different Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravity models were evaluated and a new Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than recent conventional GIA models. The new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea sector in West Antarctica (WA) and the Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica (EA). The total GIA-related mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 103 Gt yr-1, depending on the GRACE solution used, with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr-1. Over the time frame February 2003-October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of -100 ± 44 Gt yr-1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: -105 ± 22), consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with regional mass loss mostly concentrated in WA. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present-day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  2. Antarctic ozone depletion chemistry - Reactions of N2O5 with H2O and HCl on ice surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, Margaret A.; Rossi, Michel J.; Golden, David M.

    1988-01-01

    In a study concerning Antarctic ozone depletion, reactions of dinitrogen pentoxide with water and hydrochloric acid were studied on ice surfaces in a Knudsen cell flow reactor. The N2O5 reacted on ice at 185 K to form condensed-phase nitric acid (HNO3). This reaction may provide a sink for odd nitrogen, NO(x), during the polar winter, a requirement in nearly all models of Antarctic ozone depletion. The reaction of N2O5 on HCl-ice surfaces at 185 K produced gaseous nitryl chloride (ClNO2) and condensed-phase HNO3 and proceeded until all of the HCl within the ice was depleted. The ClNO2 which did not react or condense on ice at 185 K, can be readily photolyzed in the Antarctic spring to form atomic chlorine for catalytic ozone destruction cycles. The other photolysis product, gaseous nitrogen dioxide may be important in the partitioning of NO(x) between gaseous and condensed phases in the Antarctic winter.

  3. A 16,000-yr tephra framework for the Antarctic ice sheet: a contribution from the new Talos Dome core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Delmonte, Barbara; Scarchilli, Claudio; Stenni, Barbara

    2012-08-01

    A detailed tephra record for the last 16,000 years of the TALDICE ice core drilled at Talos Dome (East Antarctica, Pacific/Ross Sea sector) is documented. Traces of 26 different explosive volcanic eruptions, dated by ice core chronology and framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, have been identified. Glass major element composition and grain size data indicate that all prominent tephra layers derive from Antarctic volcanic activity and likely originated in proximal volcanoes of the Melbourne Volcanic Province (Northern Victoria Land). Two other Antarctic horizons may have originated from the more distant volcanoes of Mount Berlin (Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica) and Mount Erebus (Ross Island, Southern Victoria Land). Moreover, based on glass-shard geochemistry and a 20-year analysis of atmospheric back trajectories suggesting ash transport from South America to the drilling site by the circumpolar westerly circulation, a few faint microtephra horizons are attributed to Andean volcanic activity. Two of these tephras are interpreted to be related to known Holocene explosive eruptions from the volcanoes of Mount Hudson and Mount Burney. Finally, by comparing compositional features in conjunction with age data, three TALDICE tephras have been successfully correlated with volcanic layers in other ice records of the Antarctic ice sheet. Altogether, our results expand the Antarctic tephrostratigraphic framework and add value to the prospects for continental-scale correlations between ice cores and Southern Hemisphere sediment archives.

  4. New Cysteine-Rich Ice-Binding Protein Secreted from Antarctic Microalga, Chloromonas sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Woongsic; Campbell, Robert L; Gwak, Yunho; Kim, Jong Im; Davies, Peter L; Jin, EonSeon

    2016-01-01

    Many microorganisms in Antarctica survive in the cold environment there by producing ice-binding proteins (IBPs) to control the growth of ice around them. An IBP from the Antarctic freshwater microalga, Chloromonas sp., was identified and characterized. The length of the Chloromonas sp. IBP (ChloroIBP) gene was 3.2 kb with 12 exons, and the molecular weight of the protein deduced from the ChloroIBP cDNA was 34.0 kDa. Expression of the ChloroIBP gene was up- and down-regulated by freezing and warming conditions, respectively. Western blot analysis revealed that native ChloroIBP was secreted into the culture medium. This protein has fifteen cysteines and is extensively disulfide bonded as shown by in-gel mobility shifts between oxidizing and reducing conditions. The open-reading frame of ChloroIBP was cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli to investigate the IBP's biochemical characteristics. Recombinant ChloroIBP produced as a fusion protein with thioredoxin was purified by affinity chromatography and formed single ice crystals of a dendritic shape with a thermal hysteresis activity of 0.4±0.02°C at a concentration of 5 mg/ml. In silico structural modeling indicated that the three-dimensional structure of ChloroIBP was that of a right-handed β-helix. Site-directed mutagenesis of ChloroIBP showed that a conserved region of six parallel T-X-T motifs on the β-2 face was the ice-binding region, as predicted from the model. In addition to disulfide bonding, hydrophobic interactions between inward-pointing residues on the β-1 and β-2 faces, in the region of ice-binding motifs, were crucial to maintaining the structural conformation of ice-binding site and the ice-binding activity of ChloroIBP. PMID:27097164

  5. Relationship among latest Miocene oxygen isotopic enrichment, antarctic ice volume, and the Messinian salinity crisis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hodell, D.A.; Elmstrom, K.M.; Kennett, J.P.

    1985-01-01

    An interval of high variable, enriched benthic /sup 18/O values was found to bracket the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, between 5.6 and 5.1 Ma, in five sites from the Southwest Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The duration of this enrichment event was less than 500,000 years, and is shown by paleomagnetic correlation to be equivalent in time with the deposition of Messinian evaporites. The /sup 18/O enrichment occurred in two main stages separated by a brief interval of relatively depleted /sup 18/O values. Between 5.5 and 5.3 Ma, glacioeustatic lowering of sea level due to increased Antarctic ice volume isolated the Mediterranean basin, and resulted in the deposition of the lower evaporite unit (Main Salt unit). A temporary decrease in ice volume occurred between 5.3 and 5.2 Ma, and corresponded to the intra-Messinian transgression where evaporite deposition ceased temporarily. Between 5.2 and 5.1 Ma, a second Antarctic glacial advance lowered sea level again and resulted in the deposition of the upper evaporite unit. A rapid decreased in delta/sup 18/O values occurred in all sites during the early Pliocene at 5.0 Ma. This depletion marks a glacial retreat and marine transgression, which refilled the Mediterranean Basin and permanently terminated evaporite deposition.

  6. Phase relationships between orbital forcing and the composition of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazin, Lucie; Landais, Amaelle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Ritz, Catherine; Picard, Ghislain; Jouzel, Jean; Dumont, Marie; Leuenberger, Markus; Prié, Frédéric

    2016-03-01

    Orbital tuning is central for ice core chronologies beyond annual layer counting, available back to 60 ka (i.e. thousands of years before 1950) for Greenland ice cores. While several complementary orbital tuning tools have recently been developed using δ18Oatm, δO2⁄N2 and air content with different orbital targets, quantifying their uncertainties remains a challenge. Indeed, the exact processes linking variations of these parameters, measured in the air trapped in ice, to their orbital targets are not yet fully understood. Here, we provide new series of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm data encompassing Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 5 (between 100 and 160 ka) and the oldest part (340-800 ka) of the East Antarctic EPICA Dome C (EDC) ice core. For the first time, the measurements over MIS 5 allow an inter-comparison of δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm records from three East Antarctic ice core sites (EDC, Vostok and Dome F). This comparison highlights some site-specific δO2/N2 variations. Such an observation, the evidence of a 100 ka periodicity in the δO2/N2 signal and the difficulty to identify extrema and mid-slopes in δO2/N2 increase the uncertainty associated with the use of δO2/N2 as an orbital tuning tool, now calculated to be 3-4 ka. When combining records of δ18Oatm and δO2/N2 from Vostok and EDC, we find a loss of orbital signature for these two parameters during periods of minimum eccentricity (˜ 400 ka, ˜ 720-800 ka). Our data set reveals a time-varying offset between δO2/N2 and δ18Oatm records over the last 800 ka that we interpret as variations in the lagged response of δ18Oatm to precession. The largest offsets are identified during Terminations II, MIS 8 and MIS 16, corresponding to periods of destabilization of the Northern polar ice sheets. We therefore suggest that the occurrence of Heinrich-like events influences the response of δ18Oatm to precession.

  7. Southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands confronted by Antarctic Sea ice. Changes in movements and in diving behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailleul, Frédéric; Charrassin, Jean-Benoıˆt; Ezraty, Robert; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; McMahon, Clive R.; Field, Iain C.; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    The behaviour of southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Island ( 49∘50'S, 70∘30'E) was investigated in relation to the oceanographic regions of the Southern Ocean. The oceanographic and the seal behaviour data, including location and diving activity, were collected using a new generation of satellite-relayed devices measuring and transmitting pressure, temperature, and salinity along with locations. Dive duration, maximum diving depth, time spent at the bottom of the dives, and shape of dive profiles were compared between male and female seals, and were related to the oceanographic characteristics of areas prospected by the seals. Most animals travelled to the Antarctic shelf. However, during winter, adult females travelled away from the continent, remained and foraged within the marginal sea-ice zone, while juvenile males remained within the pack ice to forage mainly on the Antarctic shelf. Therefore, as the ice expanded females appeared to shift from benthic to pelagic foraging farther north, while males continued to forage almost exclusively benthically on the continental shelf. This difference is likely related to the different energetic requirements between the two sexes, but also may be related to pregnant females having to return to Kerguelen in early spring in order to give birth and successfully raise their pups, while males can remain in the ice. Our results show an important link between elephant seals and Antarctic sea ice and suggest that changes in sea-ice conditions could strongly affect the behaviour of this species.

  8. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Gunter

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating reprocessed data sets over a longer period of time, and now include a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes. A range of different GRACE gravity models were evaluated, as well as a new ICESat surface height trend map computed using an overlapping footprint approach. When the GIA models created from the combination approach were compared to in-situ GPS ground station displacements, the vertical rates estimated showed consistently better agreement than existing GIA models. In addition, the new empirically derived GIA rates suggest the presence of strong uplift in the Amundsen Sea and Philippi/Denman sectors, as well as subsidence in large parts of East Antarctica. The total GIA mass change estimates for the entire Antarctic ice sheet ranged from 53 to 100 Gt yr−1, depending on the GRACE solution used, and with an estimated uncertainty of ±40 Gt yr−1. Over the time frame February 2003–October 2009, the corresponding ice mass change showed an average value of −100 ± 44 Gt yr−1 (EA: 5 ± 38, WA: −105 ± 22, consistent with other recent estimates in the literature, with the mass loss mostly concentrated in West Antarctica. The refined approach presented in this study shows the contribution that such data combinations can make towards improving estimates of present day GIA and ice mass change, particularly with respect to determining more reliable uncertainties.

  9. The effects of climate uncertainty on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernales, Jorge; Häfliger, Tonio; Rogozhina, Irina; Thomas, Maik

    2015-04-01

    The mid-Pliocene (3.15 to 2.85 million years before present) is the most recent period in Earth's history when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were sustainedly higher than pre-industrial values [1], representing an ideal interval for studying the climate system under conditions similar to those projected for the end of this century. In these projections, the response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) remains uncertain, including areas generally considered stable under a warming climate. Therefore, a better understanding of AIS's behaviour during periods like the mid-Pliocene will provide valuable information on the potential vulnerability of the composite parts of the AIS in the future. For this purpose, we have designed numerical experiments of the AIS dynamics during the mid-Pliocene warm period using the continental-scale ice sheet-shelf model SICOPOLIS [2]. To account for the uncertainties in the configuration of the AIS and climate conditions prior to this period, we employ a wide range of initial ice sheet configurations and climatologies, including modern observations, the results from the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) climate experiments [3], and perturbations to single climatic fields, allowing us to assess the vulnerability of different AIS sectors to specific forcing mechanisms. Our simulations show that the West Antarctic ice sheet remains largely ice-free under the chosen range of climate conditions, except for small portions grounded above sea level. On the contrary, the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) shows no signs of potential collapse, with an ice loss over a few peripheral sectors largely compensated by an increase in ice volume over the interior due to increased precipitation rates and surface temperatures remaining well below the freezing point. Furthermore, our results contrast with existing hypotheses that cast doubt on the stability of the EAIS during the mid-Pliocene warm period. References [1] Cook, C. P., et al

  10. First geomorphological record and glacial history of an inter-ice stream ridge on the West Antarctic continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Smith, J. A.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K.

    2013-02-01

    Inter-ice stream areas cover significant portions of Antarctica's formerly glaciated shelves, but have been largely neglected in past geological studies because of overprinting by iceberg scours. Here, we present results of the first detailed survey of an inter-ice stream ridge from the West Antarctic continental shelf. Well-preserved sub- and proglacial bedforms on the seafloor of the ridge in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) provide new insights into the flow dynamics of this sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the Last Glacial cycle. Multibeam swath bathymetry and PARASOUND acoustic sub-bottom profiler data acquired across a mid-shelf bank, between the troughs of the Pine Island-Thwaites (PITPIS) and Cosgrove palaeo-ice streams (COPIS), reveal large-scale ribbed moraines, hill-hole pairs, terminal moraines, and crevasse-squeeze ridges. Together, these features form an assemblage of landforms that is entirely different from that in the adjacent ice-stream troughs, and appears to be unique in the context of previous studies of Antarctic seafloor geomorphology. From this assemblage, the history of ice flow and retreat from the inter-ice stream ridge is reconstructed. The bedforms indicate that ice flow was significantly slower on the inter-ice stream ridge than in the neighbouring troughs. While terminal moraines record at least two re-advances or stillstands of the ice sheet during deglaciation, an extensive field of crevasse-squeeze ridges indicates ice stagnation subsequent to re-advancing ice, which deposited the field of terminal moraines in the NE. The presented data suggest that the ice flow behaviour on the inter-ice stream ridge was substantially different from that in the adjacent troughs. However, newly obtained radiocarbon ages on two sediment cores recovered from the inter-ice stream ridge suggest a similar timing in the deglaciation of both areas. This information closes an important gap in the understanding of past WAIS

  11. Inclusion of mountain wave-induced cooling for the formation of PSCs over the Antarctic Peninsula in a chemistry–climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Orr

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available An important source of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs, which play a crucial role in controlling polar stratospheric ozone depletion, is from the temperature fluctuations induced by mountain waves. However, this formation mechanism is usually missing in chemistry–climate models because these temperature fluctuations are neither resolved nor parameterised. Here, we investigate the representation of stratospheric mountain wave-induced temperature fluctuations by the UK Met Office Unified Model (UM at high and low spatial resolution against Atmospheric Infrared Sounder satellite observations for three case studies over the Antarctic Peninsula. At a high horizontal resolution (4 km the mesoscale configuration of the UM correctly simulates the magnitude, timing, and location of the measured temperature fluctuations. By comparison, at a low horizontal resolution (2.5° × 3.75° the climate configuration fails to resolve such disturbances. However, it is demonstrated that the temperature fluctuations computed by a mountain wave parameterisation scheme inserted into the climate configuration (which computes the temperature fluctuations due to unresolved mountain waves are in excellent agreement with the mesoscale configuration responses. The parameterisation was subsequently used to compute the local mountain wave-induced cooling phases in the chemistry–climate configuration of the UM. This increased stratospheric cooling was passed to the PSC scheme of the chemistry–climate model, and caused a 30–50% increase in PSC surface area density over the Antarctic Peninsula compared to a 30 year control simulation.

  12. El Grupo Trinity Peninsula en la península Tabarin, extremo norte de la península Antártica The Trinity Peninsula Group in the Tabarin Peninsula, northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. del Valle

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available La península Tabarin, Antártida Occidental, exhibe rocas deformadas durante los ciclos orogénicos gondwánico y ándico. La Formación Hope Bay y Formación Düse Bay (Carbonífero tardío-Triásico están incluidas dentro del Grupo Trinity Peninsula, registrando el ciclo orogénico gondwánico. Las estructuras sedimentarias, asociaciones de facies y rasgos deposicionales de la Formación Hope Bay, sugieren sedimentación en ambientes marinos someros. La presencia de capas calcáreas con morfología build-up y matas calcáreas, y rocas piroclásticas, incluyendo ignimbritas, peperitas y depósitos ricos es escoria volcánica, también indican escasa profundidad del mar para la sedimentación de la Formación Düse Bay. El área de aporte del Grupo Trinity Peninsula estaba compuesta por rocas volcánicas y plutónicas con cantidades menores de rocas sedimentarias y metamórficas, probablemente ubicadas hacia el este para la parte inferior Formación Hope Bay de la secuencia, y hacia el oeste para la parte superior de la Formación Düse Bay, con mayor participación volcánica en el último caso. El ambiente de sedimentación más probable para la Formación Hope Bay fue una plataforma silícicoclástica somera y de baja energía, y una cuenca de retroarco de antepaís, relacionada con la orogenia gondwánica, en el caso de la Formación Düse Bay.The Tabarin Peninsula, West Antarctica, showsrocks deformed by both the Gondwanic and Andean orogenic cycles. The Hope Bay Formation and Düse Bay Formation (Late Carboniferous-Triassic are included within the Trinity Peninsula Group, recording the Gondwanic orogenic cycle. Sedimentary structures, facies associations and depositional features of Hope Bay Formation, suggest shallow marine deposition. The presence in the Düse Bay Formation of calcareous beds with build-up morphology and algal mats, and primary pyroclastic rocks including: ignimbrites, peperites and scoria-rich fall deposits, also

  13. Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for 2003-2008 are derived from ICESat laser altimetry and compared with estimates for 1992-2002 derived from ERS radar altimetry. The net mass balance of 3 drainage systems (Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd) for 2003-2008 is a loss of 100 Gt/yr, which increased from a loss of 70 Gt/yr for the earlier period. The DS including the Bindschadler and MacAyeal ice streams draining into the Ross Ice Shelf has a mass gain of 11 Gt/yr for 2003-2008, compared to an earlier loss of 70 Gt/yr. The DS including the Whillans and Kamb ice streams has a mass gain of 12 Gt/yr, including a significant thickening on the upper part of the Kamb DS, compared to a earlier gain of 6 Gt/yr (includes interpolation for a large portion of the DS). The other two DS discharging into the Ronne Ice Shelf and the northern Ellsworth Coast have a mass gain of 39 Gt/yr, compared to a gain of 4 Gt/yr for the earlier period. Overall, the increased losses of 30 Gt/yr in the Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd DSs are exceeded by increased gains of 59 Gt/yr in the other 4 DS. Overall, the mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet has decreased to 38 Gt/yr from the earlier loss of 67 Gt/yr, reducing the contribution to sea level rise to 0.11 mm/yr from 0.19 mm/yr

  14. Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic Ice Sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Flament

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe a major subglacial lake drainage close to the ice divide in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, and the subsequent cascading of water underneath the ice sheet toward the coast. To analyze the event, we combined altimetry data from several sources and bedrock data. We estimated the total volume of water that drained from Lake CookE2 by differencing digital elevation models (DEM derived from ASTER and SPOT5 stereo-imagery. With 5.2 ± 0.5 km3, this is the largest single subglacial drainage event reported so far in Antarctica. Elevation differences between ICESat laser altimetry and the SPOT5 DEM indicate that the discharge lasted approximately 2 yr. A 13-m uplift of the surface, corresponding to a refilling of about 0.64 ± 0.32 km3, was observed between the end of the discharge in October 2008 and February 2012. Using Envisat radar altimetry, with its high 35-day temporal resolution, we monitored the subsequent filling and drainage of connected subglacial lakes located downstream. In particular, a transient temporal signal can be detected within the theoretical 500-km long flow paths computed with the BEDMAP2 data set. The volume of water traveling in this wave is in agreement with the volume that drained from Lake CookE2. These observations contribute to a better understanding of the water transport beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  15. The influence of continental shelf bathymetry on Antarctic Ice Sheet response to climate forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J.; Mullally, Dan; Golledge, Nicholas R.

    2016-07-01

    We investigated whether shelf-depth changes would have influenced Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) response to climate forcing using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). The simulations confirm that this would have indeed been the case. For the last-glacial-cycle (LGC) type forcing we prescribed, a modern-like polar AIS surrounded by shallow and intermediate bathymetries experiences rapid grounding-line advance early during the transition from interglacial to glacial forcing. This is in contrast to our baseline simulation of AIS response on the currently overdeepened bathymetry, which showed the expected gradual advance of grounding lines to the same climatic forcing. In the simulation, the more-positive mass balance for the shallower bathymetry is primarily a result of significantly lower calving fluxes from smaller-area ice shelves. On the basis of these results, we suggest that shelf bathymetry is an important boundary condition that should be considered when reconstructing AIS behavior since at least the middle Miocene. We note that caution should be used when applying these concepts because the particular way in which AIS mass balance is altered by shelf depth depends on how the changes in accumulation and ablation at the marine terminations combine with accumulation and ablation on land.

  16. Forecasting Antarctic Sea Ice Concentrations Using Results of Temporal Mixture Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Junhwa; Kim, Hyun-Cheol

    2016-06-01

    Sea ice concentration (SIC) data acquired by passive microwave sensors at daily temporal frequencies over extended areas provide seasonal characteristics of sea ice dynamics and play a key role as an indicator of global climate trends; however, it is typically challenging to study long-term time series. Of the various advanced remote sensing techniques that address this issue, temporal mixture analysis (TMA) methods are often used to investigate the temporal characteristics of environmental factors, including SICs in the case of the present study. This study aims to forecast daily SICs for one year using a combination of TMA and time series modeling in two stages. First, we identify temporally meaningful sea ice signatures, referred to as temporal endmembers, using machine learning algorithms, and then we decompose each pixel into a linear combination of temporal endmembers. Using these corresponding fractional abundances of endmembers, we apply a autoregressive model that generally fits all Antarctic SIC data for 1979 to 2013 to forecast SIC values for 2014. We compare our results using the proposed approach based on daily SIC data reconstructed from real fractional abundances derived from a pixel unmixing method and temporal endmember signatures. The proposed method successfully forecasts new fractional abundance values, and the resulting images are qualitatively and quantitatively similar to the reference data.

  17. Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic shelf seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, A. A.; Holland, P. R.; Feltham, D. L.

    2014-04-01

    An ocean mixed-layer model has been incorporated into the Los Alamos sea ice model CICE to investigate regional variations in the surface-driven formation of Antarctic shelf waters. This model captures well the expected sea ice thickness distribution, and produces deep (> 500 m) mixed layers in the Weddell and Ross shelf seas each winter. This results in the complete destratification of the water column in deep southern coastal regions leading to high-salinity shelf water (HSSW) formation, and also in some shallower regions (no HSSW formation) of these seas. Shallower mixed layers are produced in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. By deconstructing the surface processes driving the mixed-layer depth evolution, we show that the net salt flux from sea ice growth/melt dominates the evolution of the mixed layer in all regions, with a smaller contribution from the surface heat flux and a negligible input from wind stress. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas receive an annual surplus of mixing energy at the surface; the Amundsen shelf sea energy input in autumn/winter is balanced by energy extraction in spring/summer; and the Bellingshausen shelf sea experiences an annual surface energy deficit, through both a low energy input in autumn/winter and the highest energy loss in spring/summer. An analysis of the sea ice mass balance demonstrates the contrasting mean ice growth, melt and export in each region. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas have the highest annual ice growth, with a large fraction exported northwards each year, whereas the Bellingshausen shelf sea experiences the highest annual ice melt, driven by the advection of ice from the northeast. A linear regression analysis is performed to determine the link between the autumn/winter mixed-layer deepening and several atmospheric variables. The Weddell and Ross shelf seas show stronger spatial correlations (temporal mean - intra-regional variability) between the autumn/winter mixed-layer deepening and several

  18. Evolution of surface velocities and ice discharge of Larsen B outlet glaciers from 1995 to 2013

    OpenAIRE

    J. Wuite; H. Rott; Hetzenecker, M.; Floricioiu, D.; J. De Rydt; Gudmundsson, G. H.; T. Nagler; Kern, M.

    2015-01-01

    We use repeat-pass SAR data to produce detailed maps of surface motion covering the glaciers draining into the former Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, for different epochs between 1995 and 2013. We combine the velocity maps with estimates of ice thickness to analyze fluctuations of ice discharge. The collapse of the central and northern sections of the ice shelf in 2002 led to a near-immediate acceleration of tributary glaciers as well as of the remnant ice shelf in ...

  19. Antarctic sea ice increase consistent with intrinsic variability of the Amundsen Sea Low

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John; Hosking, J. Scott; Marshall, Gareth J.; Phillips, Tony; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the relationship between atmospheric circulation variability and the recent trends in Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) atmospheric data, ECMWF Interim reanalysis fields and passive microwave satellite data processed with the Bootstrap version 2 algorithm. Over 1979-2013 the annual mean total Antarctic SIE increased at a rate of 195 × 103 km2 dec-1 (1.6 % dec-1), p 4.0 % dec-1) has been in the Ross Sea sector. Off West Antarctica there is a high correlation between trends in SIE and trends in the near-surface winds. The Ross Sea SIE seasonal trends are positive throughout the year, but largest in spring. The stronger meridional flow over the Ross Sea has been driven by a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL). Pre-industrial control and historical simulations from CMIP5 indicate that the observed deepening of the ASL and stronger southerly flow over the Ross Sea are within the bounds of modeled intrinsic variability. The spring trend would need to continue for another 11 years for it to fall outside the 2 standard deviation range seen in 90 % of the simulations.

  20. Titanium carbide and titania phases on Antarctic ice particles of probable extraterrrestrial origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M. E.; Pun, A.; Thomas, K. L.

    1989-01-01

    Two unique titania-rich particles, found within ancient Antarctic ice have been discovered and characterized, and are believed to be of extraterrestrial origin. Both particles contain abundant submicron-sized crystals of Magneli phases (Ti(n)O(2n-1). In addition, one particle contains a core of TiC. Whereas the Magneli phases would have been stable in the early solar nebula, and so probably formed there, the TiC is more likely to have condensed in the cool, dusty, carbon-rich outer shell of a red giant star. It is suggested that both particles are interplanetary dust particles whose Magneli phases carry a record of the PO2-T conditions of the early solar nebula. It is further suggested that the TiC grain in particle 705 is remnant interstellar dust.

  1. The response of the East Antarctic ice-sheet to the evolving tectonic configuration of the Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew; Huybrechts, Philippe

    1999-12-01

    The landscape of the Transantarctic Mountains is the result of the coupled evolution of the West Antarctic rift system and the East Antarctic ice-sheet. Studies of this glacial-tectonic system generally assume that the evolving surface elevation of the Transantarctic Mountains is a key determinant of the changing East Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics between the Miocene and today. Here, we extend previous work [Huybrechts, Ph., 1993. Glaciological modelling of the Late Cenozoic East Antarctic ice-sheet: stability or dynamism? Geografiska Annaler Stockholm, 75A (4) 221-238.] by using numerical models of the ice-sheet and lithosphere to examine the impact of different bedrock surface elevations of the Transantarctic Mountains on ice-sheet dynamics. There are widely different interpretations of the evolution of the Transantarctic Mountains from the available data, so we explore bedrock surface elevations suggested by empirical evidence in recent papers about the sensitivity of the Late Cenozoic ice-sheet. The results show that the surface elevation of individual mountain blocks has only a very local effect on ice-sheet dynamics. The existing mountain blocks of the Transantarctic Mountains, which force inland ice to drain through troughs adjacent to the mountain blocks, were overriden by inland ice when bedrock elevations were 1 km lower. When the troughs through the mountains were less well developed, in the Pliocene or Miocene, inland ice was thicker and ice-surface gradients and ice-velocities across the mountains were higher. This led to more active and erosive outlet glaciers through the mountains and the further development of these troughs. From these results, the key determinant of East Antarctic ice dynamics appears to be the interplay between the development of major troughs through the Transantarctic Mountains and rising mountain elevations. The glacial history of the central Transantarctic Mountain ranges was very different to that of more peripheral mountain

  2. Study on changes of plasmalemma permeability and some primary inorganic ions of Antarctic ice microalgae (Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L) in the low-temperature stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng Zhou; Miao Jinlai; Chen Hao; Zhang Botao; Li Guangyou

    2006-01-01

    The changes of plasrnalemma permeability and some primary inorganic ions of Antarctic ice microalgae (Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L) in the low-temperature stress were examined. The plasmalemma of ICE-L could maintain the stability at the freezing condition of -6℃. That signifies that it could maintain the proper function of plasmalemma and stability of the intracellular environment during sea ice formation. The function of inorganic ions on low-temperature adaptation of ICE-L was investigated by using the X-ray microanalysis method. Low temperature (0~-6℃) induces Ca2 + concentration increment of cytoplasm, but after 24 h the content decrease quickly to normal value. As a matter of fact, Ca2 + plays an important role as the second messenger in the low temperature adaptation of ICE-L. In addition, low temperature also influences on the other primary inorganic ions transfer and the cell maintains activity by keeping ratio balance among different ions. Above all, it is necessary for Antarctic ice microalgae to survive and breed by maintaining the stability of K + content and the balance of Na +/Cl-.

  3. A model study of the effect of climate and sea-level change on the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum to 2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maris, M. N. A.; van Wessem, J. M.; van de Berg, W. J.; de Boer, B.; Oerlemans, J.

    2015-08-01

    Due to a scarcity of observations and its long memory of uncertain past climate, the Antarctic Ice Sheet remains a largely unknown factor in the prediction of global sea level change. As the history of the ice sheet plays a key role in its future evolution, in this study we model the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Last Glacial Maximum (21 kyr ago) until the year 2100 with the ice-dynamical model ANICE. We force the model with different temperature, surface mass balance and sea-level records to investigate the importance of these different aspects for the evolution of the ice sheet. Additionally, we compare the model output from 21 kyr ago until the present with observations to assess model performance in simulating the total grounded ice volume and the evolution of different regions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Although there are some clear limitations of the model, we conclude that sea-level change has driven the deglaciation of the ice sheet, whereas future temperature change and the history of the ice sheet are the primary cause of changes in ice volume in the future. We estimate the change in grounded ice volume between its maximum (around 15 kyr ago) and the present-day to be between 8.4 and 12.5 m sea-level equivalent and the contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to the global mean sea level in 2100, with respect to 2000, to be -22 to 63 mm.

  4. Contribution of liquid, NAT and ice particles to chlorine activation and ozone depletion during Antarctic winter and spring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Kirner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Heterogeneous reactions in the Antarctic stratosphere are the cause of chlorine activation and ozone depletion, but the relative roles of different types of PSCs in chlorine activation is an open question. We use multi-year simulations of the chemistry-climate model EMAC to investigate the impact that the various types of PSCs have on Antarctic chlorine activation and ozone loss. One standard and three sensitivity EMAC simulations have been performed. The results of these simulations show that the significance of heterogeneous reactions on NAT and ice particles, in comparison to liquid particles, is subordinate regarding chlorine activation and ozone depletion in Antarctic winter and spring. The heterogeneous chemistry on liquid particles is sufficient to activate at least 90% of the chlorine reservoir species. With the exception of the upper PSC regions between 10 and 30 hPa where temporarily the ice particles have a relevant contribution to the chlorine activation and during the initial PSC occurrence with short NAT contributions the liquid particles alone are sufficient to activate almost all of the available chlorine. In the model simulations heterogeneous chemistry on liquid particles is responsible for more than 90% of the ozone depletion in Antarctic spring. Only up to 5 DU of column ozone in high southern latitudes is depleted by chlorine activation due to additional heterogeneous chemistry on ice particles and less than 0.5 DU due to additional heterogeneous chemistry on NAT particles.

  5. Seasonal climate information preserved in West Antarctic ice core water isotopes: relationships to temperature, large-scale circulation, and sea ice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuettel, Marcel; Steig, Eric J.; Ding, Qinghua [University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Quaternary Research Center, Seattle, WA (United States); Monaghan, Andrew J. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); Battisti, David S. [University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2012-10-15

    As part of the United States' contribution to the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), a network of precisely dated and highly resolved ice cores was retrieved from West Antarctica. The ITASE dataset provides a unique record of spatial and temporal variations of stable water isotopes ({delta}{sup 18}O and {delta}D) across West Antarctica. We demonstrate that, after accounting for water vapor diffusion, seasonal information can be successfully extracted from the ITASE cores. We use meteorological reanalysis, weather station, and sea ice data to assess the role of temperature, sea ice, and the state of the large-scale atmospheric circulation in controlling seasonal average water isotope variations in West Antarctica. The strongest relationships for all variables are found in the cores on and west of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide and during austral fall. During this season positive isotope anomalies in the westernmost ITASE cores are strongly related to a positive pressure anomaly over West Antarctica, low sea ice concentrations in the Ross and Amundsen Seas, and above normal temperatures. Analyses suggest that this seasonally distinct climate signal is due to the pronounced meridional oriented circulation and its linkage to enhanced sea ice variations in the adjacent Southern Ocean during fall, both of which also influence local to regional temperatures. (orig.)

  6. The bivalve Laternula elliptica: physiological and molecular response to changing coastal Antarctic environments

    OpenAIRE

    Husmann, Gunnar

    2013-01-01

    Increasing temperatures and glacier-disintegration at the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) are presently altering environmental conditions in shallow coastal areas. Rising water temperatures, enhanced ice scouring impacts as well as increasing input of inorganic sediments from melt water runoff are anticipated to particularly affect slow growing sessile benthic filter feeders like the Antarctic soft shell clam Laternula elliptica, a long-lived species which is a major component of the nearsh...

  7. Siple Dome Ice Cores: Implications for West Antarctic Climate and ENSO Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T.; White, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Ice cores at Siple Dome, West Antarctic receive the majority of their precipitation from Pacific Ocean moisture sources. Pacific climate patterns, particularly the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, affect the local temperature, atmospheric circulation, and snow accumulation at Siple Dome, as well as isotopic signals (∂D and ∂18O). We examined isotopes, accumulation and borehole temperatures from a number of shallow ice cores distributed 60km across the Dome. The data reveal a strong microclimate heavily influenced by South Pacific climate and the location of the Amundsen Sea Low Pressure Area. The Dome Summit and Pacific Flank respond to La Niña conditions by warming, increasing isotope ratios and increased snowfall. The Inland Flank responds to El Niño conditions and cold interior air masses by cooling, decreasing isotope ratios and decreased snowfall. Spectral analysis of the ∂D record shows a distinct shift in ocean-atmosphere climate dynamics in the late 19th century, where scattered bi-decadal to decadal periodicities change to include more intensely grouped and decreasing periodicities as low as two years at the end of the 20th century. Similar changes are seen in South Pacific coral isotope records. Map of Siple Dome including local grid locations for the seven shallow cores B-H. Note the Pacific Ocean and Inland (South Pole) oriented cores. [Modified after Bertler et al., 2006].

  8. Polysialylation of brain gangliosides as a possible molecular mechanism for survival of antarctic ice fish below the freezing point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, K.; Rahmann, H.

    In order to determine possible adaptation strategies of vertebrates to extreme low-temperature environments, we compared the concentration and composition of gangliosides from the brains of eight species of Antarctic Notothenioid ``ice'' fishes with those of warm-adapted species and those of fishes from habitats of moderate temperature. The concentration of whole-brain gangliosides in the ice fishes was comparable with that in moderate-temperature species (between 3.36 and 4.31 mg NeuAc/g protein). The composition of brain gangliosides differed, however. In particular, the relative concentrations of polysialogangliosides (= polarity) and alkali-labile gangliosides was higher in all Antarctic species investigated than in warm-adapted fish species. This difference is considered a suitable mechanism for keeping neuronal membranes functional even below the freezing point. This interpretation is supported by additional physicochemical results with artificial monolayer membranes, which give evidence for a high thermosensitivity of ganglioside complexes in connection with calcium.

  9. An unusual early Holocene diatom event north of the Getz Ice Shelf (Amundsen Sea): Implications for West Antarctic Ice Sheet development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper, O.; Gersonde, R.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.

    2011-12-01

    Modern global change affects not only the polar north but also, and to increasing extent, the southern high latitudes, especially the Antarctic regions covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Consequently, knowledge of the mechanisms controlling past WAIS dynamics and WAIS behaviour at the last deglaciation is critical to predict its development in a future warming world. Geological and palaeobiological information from major drainage areas of the WAIS, like the Amundsen Sea Embayment, shed light on the history of the WAIS glaciers. Sediment records obtained from a deep inner shelf basin north of Getz Ice Shelf document a deglacial warming in three phases. Above a glacial diamicton and a sediment package barren of microfossils that document sediment deposition by grounded ice and below an ice shelf or perennial sea ice cover (possibly fast ice), respectively, a sediment section with diatom assemblages dominated by sea ice taxa indicates ice shelf retreat and seasonal ice-free conditions. This conclusion is supported by diatom-based summer temperature reconstructions. The early retreat was followed by a phase, when exceptional diatom ooze was deposited around 12,500 cal. years B.P. [1]. Microscopical inspection of this ooze revealed excellent preservation of diatom frustules of the species Corethron pennatum together with vegetative Chaetoceros, thus an assemblage usually not preserved in the sedimentary record. Sediments succeeding this section contain diatom assemblages indicating rather constant Holocene cold water conditions with seasonal sea ice. The deposition of the diatom ooze can be related to changes in hydrographic conditions including strong advection of nutrients. However, sediment focussing in the partly steep inner shelf basins cannot be excluded as a factor enhancing the thickness of the ooze deposits. It is not only the presence of the diatom ooze but also the exceptional preservation and the species composition of the diatom assemblage

  10. Evidence for a substantial West Antarctic ice sheet contribution to meltwater pulses and abrupt global sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.; Rootes, C.; Rivera, A.; Millman, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last deglaciation (21,000 to 7,000years ago) global sea level rise was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater spikes triggered by the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers world-wide. However, the debate regarding the relative timing, geographical source and the physical mechanisms driving these rapid increases in sea level has catalyzed debate critical to predicting future sea level rise and climate. Here we present a unique record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation change derived from the Patriot Hills blue ice area, located close to the modern day grounding line of the Institute Ice Stream in the Weddell Sea Embayment. Combined isotopic signatures and gas volume analysis from the ice allows us to develop a record of local ice sheet palaeo-altitude that is assessed against independent regional high-resolution ice sheet modeling studies, allowing us to demonstrate that past ice sheet elevations across this sector of the WSE were considerably higher than those suggested by current terrestrial reconstructions. We argue that ice in the WSE had a significant influence on both pre and post LGM sea level rise including MWP-1A (~14.6 ka) and during MWP-1B (11.7-11.6 ka), reconciling past sea level rise and demonstrating for the first time that this sector of the WAIS made a significant and direct contribution to post LGM sea level rise.

  11. Influence of temperature on glutathione level and glutathione-related enzyme activities of Antarctic ice microalgae Chlamydomonas sp.ICE-L

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    GSH system plays a role in the control of the redox balance state, anti-oxidation and protecting life from injury of ROS (reactive oxygen species).In present paper, the possible GSH system of Chlamydomonas sp.ICE-L has been investigated by evaluating GSH and GSH-related enzymatic responses at different temperatures using speetrophotometer methods.The results showed that the GSH system is correlated positively to low temperature, and other factors but GR are correlated negatively to high temperature.So GSH and GSH-related enzymes play an important role in the adaptation of Antarctic ice microulgae to low temperature.

  12. Forced sea-level change in a forearc basin related to subduction of a spreading ridge: the Fossil Bluff Group (Jurassic-Cretaceous), Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, David

    2015-04-01

    During the Mesozoic, the Antarctic Peninsula was the site of an active volcanic arc related to the eastwards subduction of proto-Pacific oceanic crust. Alexander Island is the largest of the many islands that lie on the western (fore-arc) side of the Antarctic Peninsula; it forms one of the best-exposed ancient fore-arcs in the world. The pre-Tertiary rocks can be divided into two main units. The LeMay Group (Jurassic-Tertiary) forms the structural basement to Alexander Island and comprises greenschist-facies metasedimentary rocks. It is interpreted as a Mesozoic accretionary prism. The Fossil Bluff Group unconformably overlies and is faulted against the LeMay Group; it represents the sedimentary fill of a coeval fore-arc basin. Subduction ceased due to a series of Cenozoic ridge-trench collisions which began off Alexander Island at 50 Ma and got progressively younger to the north. However, the approach of the ridge can be inferred from the Mesozoic deposits of the Fossil Bluff Group (Jurassic-Cretaceous) in Alexander Island. In this paper, I will show that the ocean floor being subducted became progressively shallower through Jurassic and Cretaceous time (by at least 1,000 m). The result in the forearc basin was a sudden shallowing in water depths from at least 1,000 m at 125 Ma, to emergent at 100 Ma. This forced shallowing ended sedimentation in the basin and resulted in considerable topography on Alexander Island that persists to the present day.

  13. A 3-D model for the Antarctic ice sheet: a sensitivity study on the glacial-interglacial contrast

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, Philippe

    1990-01-01

    On the longer climatic time scales, changes in the elevation and extent of the Antarctic ice sheet have an important role in modulating global atmospheric andoceanographic processes, and contribute significantly to world-wide sea levels. In this paper, a 3-D time-dependent thermomechanical model for the entire icesheet is presented that is subsequently used to examine the effects of glacial-interglacial shifts in environmental boundary conditions on its geometry. Themodel takes into account a...

  14. The effects of climate uncertainty on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period

    OpenAIRE

    Jorge Bernales; Tonio Häfliger; I. Rogozhina; M. Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The mid-Pliocene (3.15 to 2.85 million years before present) is the most recent period in Earth’s history when temperatures and CO2 concentrations were sustainedly higher than pre-industrial values [1], representing an ideal interval for studying the climate system under conditions similar to those projected for the end of this century. In these projections, the response of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) remains uncertain, including areas generally considered stable under a warming...

  15. Subglacial hydrology indicates a major shift in dynamics of the West Antarctic Ross Ice Streams within the next two centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Goeller

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The mass export of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS is dominated by fast flowing ice streams. Understanding their dynamics is a key to estimate the future integrity of the WAIS and its contributions to global sea level rise. This study focuses on the Ross Ice Streams (RIS at the Siple Coast. In this sector, observations reveal a high variability of ice stream pathways and velocities which is assumed to be driven by subglacial hydrology. We compute subglacial water pathways for the present-day ice sheet and verify this assumption by finding high correlations between areas of enhanced basal water flow and the locations of the RIS. Moreover, we reveal that the ice flow velocities of the individual ice streams are correlated with the sizes of the water catchment areas draining underneath. The future development of the subglacial hydraulic environment is estimated by applying ice surface elevation change rates observed by ICESat and CryoSat-2 to the present-day ice sheet geometry and thus assessing prognostic basal pressure conditions. Our simulations consistently indicate that a major hydraulic tributary of the Kamb and Whillans Ice Stream (KIS and WIS will be redirected underneath the Bindschadler Ice Stream (BIS within the next two centuries. The water catchment area feeding underneath the BIS is estimated to grow by about 50 % while the lower part of the stagnated KIS becomes increasingly separated from its upper hydraulic tributaries. We conclude, that this might be a continuation of the subglacial hydraulic processes which caused the past stagnation of the KIS. The simulated hydraulic rerouting is also capable to explain the observed deceleration of the WIS and indicates a possible future acceleration of the BIS accompanied by an increased ice drainage of the corresponding ice sheet interior.

  16. INVESTIGATION ON MASS CHANGE OF ICE SHEET IN ANTARCTIC FROM GRACE TIME-VARIABLE GRAVITY DATA%基于GRACE时变重力场反演南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李军海; 刘焕玲; 文汉江; 朱广彬; 方爱平

    2011-01-01

    利用UTCSR发布的GRACE Level-2 RL04版本2003-01-2008-08月的重力场模型估计南极冰盖质量变化.由于GRACE提供的C20项不准确,利用SLR测得的C20项进行替换.对于经度方向上出现的条纹状信号,采用去相关滤波处理.选择去掉其中某一个月的位模型重新反演南极冰盖质量变化,发现相同区域的质量变化率并没有发生很大的变化.联合得到的位模型、滤波技术以及ICE-5G冰后回弹模型观测到的西南极Amundsen地区和南极半岛的冰盖质量消融现象,其等效水高变化分别为-5.28±0.95 cm/a、-1.82±0.77 cm/a;而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖质量在增加,分别为1.42±0.69cm/a、1.43±0.72 cm/a.与已有研究结果比较发现:西南极冰盖质量在加速融化,而Ronne冰架以及东部Enderby地区冰盖等效水高变化率没有发生大的变化.%The rates of Antarctic ice mass change have been estimated by use of the gravity solutions from GRACE level-2 RL04 for the period of January 2003 to August 2008 released by UTCSR. Because C20 of GRACE is not accurate enough, C20 from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is adopted instead. The decorrelation filter technique is used for the stripe shape signal presenting in the longitude direction. Antarctic ice mass change rates are investigated again when the gravity in some one month has been chosen to get rid of, and the results are that the rates of Antarctic ice mass do not change a lot in the same area. Gravity model, filtering technique and ICE-5G postglacial rebound model are combined to observe the ice loss in the west Amundsen Sea Embayment and the northern Antarctic Peninsula, the rates are -5.28 ±0.95 cm/a and -1.82 ±0.77cm/a respectively. Whereas ice mass rates in Southern Ronne Ice Shelf and Enderby land in east Antarctic are positive, and the rates are 1.42 ± 0.69 cm/a and 1.43 ± 0.72 cm/a respectively. Compared with the existing research results, the mass in the west Amundsen Sea

  17. Changes of proteins in the Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. cultured under UV-B radiation stress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KAN Guangfeng; MIAO Jinlai; SHI Cuijuan; LI Guangyou

    2006-01-01

    Antarctic ice microalga Chlamydomonas sp. can thrive undisturbed under high UV radiation in the Antarctic ice layer. However, it is unknown that the initial adaptation mechanisms in protein level occurring in response to high UV radiation. Global-expression profiling of proteins in response to stress was analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and image analysis. In the 2-DE analysis,protein preparation is the key step. Three different protein extract methods were compared, and the results showed that the trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-acetone fractional precipitation method was the fittest one. At the same time, the proteins in Chlamydomonas sp. were compared in 2-DE way, and the synthesis of seven protein spots was found disappeared and 18 decreased after exposed to UV-B radiation. In addition, 14 protein spots were enhanced or induced, among which two new peptides (20 and 21 kDa) appeared whose isoelectric point (pI) was 7.05 and 4.60 respectively. These changed proteins might act as key role in the acclimation of Antarctic ice microalga to UV-B radiation

  18. CEDEX research activities in Antarctica. Aquatic ecosystems in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, maritime Antarctica)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since 2001 CEDEX has taken part in many Antarctic joint research projects with different institutions from Spain and other countries, developing scientific activities in the International Camp of Byers Peninsular (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). This place was designed as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (No.126) because the importance and value of its terrestrial and aquatic habitats. It is one of the largest ice-free areas of maritime Antarctica, with the highest diversity of environments and geological, hydrological and biological processes in the whole region, all of them in a pristine state. Byers Peninsula is considered the most significant limnological area in the Antarctic Peninsula region because it hosts a high number of lakes, ponds and streams, with an exceptional fauna and flora diversity, including the most singular, representative or endemic Antarctic species. Furthermore, the lakes sedimentary record is one of the widest and complete archives in Antarctic Peninsula region for the palaeocological and climatic study of the Holocene. Because Byers Peninsula is an Antarctic biodiversity hotspot, and it is located in one of the areas in the Earth where global warming is being more significant, it must be considered as a suitable international reference site for limnetic, terrestrial and coastal studies, and long term monitoring programmes. (Author)

  19. The use of long-lived radionuclides in antarctic ice as tracers and chronometers in global climate change studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This collaborative project between the Physics Division at ANSTO, the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research [DAR], the Australian Antarctic Division [AAD] and the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre is focused upon the record found in the ice and firn from Law Dome, Antarctica. The combined physical and intellectual resources of these organisations result in a potent and effective mix for climate change research which has already been demonstrated in a successful collaborative study entitled 'Determination of the Age and Age Spread of Air in Ice Cores', funded under a National Greenhouse Advisory Committee [NGAC] Grant. The broad objectives of this collaboration are to determine the global atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide budget and to correlate the variability in solar activity and historical climate change in the southern hemisphere. The aim is to define the levels of 'natural' variability in global climate change in the Holocene and to identify the mechanisms controlling the variations, with the emphasis on species which force or reflect global environmental change. Clearly answering all of these questions is beyond the scope of a short project, however we hope to develop the techniques and abilities which will allow us to investigate these matters in future studies. The combined effort by the collaborating organisations will result in a precise, high-time resolution, multi species record from Antarctic ice cores which will complement other southern hemisphere palaeo records throughout the Holocene and into the last Glacial. ANSTO's role is the examination of cosmogenic and bio-geochemical forcing of the atmospheric radionuclides 14C and 10Be in Antarctic ice. Specifically, we are using the ANTARES AMS facility for the measurement of 14C in carbon dioxide and methane contained in air extracted from the porous firn layer overlying the ice and from bubbles trapped within the ice. We are also using AMS to measure 10Be from the firn and ice. An indication

  20. Evolution of surface velocities and ice discharge of Larsen B outlet glaciers from 1995 to 2013

    OpenAIRE

    J. Wuite; H. Rott; Hetzenecker, M.; Floricioiu, D.; J. De Rydt; Gudmundsson, G. H.; T. Nagler; Kern, M.

    2014-01-01

    We use repeat-pass SAR data to produce detailed maps of surface motion covering the glaciers draining into the former Larsen B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, for different epochs between 1995 and 2013. We combine the velocity maps with estimates of ice thickness to analyze fluctuations of ice discharge. The collapse of the central and northern sections of the ice shelf in 2002 led to a near-immediate acceleration of tributary glaciers as well as of the remn...

  1. Characteristics of Gravity Waves over an Antarctic Ice Sheet during an Austral Summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Cava

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While occurrences of wavelike motion in the stable boundary layer due to the presence of a significant restoring buoyancy force are rarely disputed, their modalities and interaction with turbulence remain a subject of active research. In this work, the characteristics of gravity waves and their impact on flow statistics, including turbulent fluxes, are presented using data collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of gravity waves because of persistent conditions of strong atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavelike motion have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The nature and characteristic of the dominant wavy motions are investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. Moreover, a multi-resolution decomposition has been applied to separate gravity waves from turbulent fluctuations in case of a sufficiently defined spectral gap. Statistics computed after removing wavy disturbances highlight the large impact of gravity waves on second order turbulent quantities including turbulent flux calculations.

  2. Mass change detection in Antarctic ice sheet using ICESat block analysis techniques from 2003~2008%基于ICESat块域分析法探测2003~2008年南极冰盖质量变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史红岭; 陆洋; 杜宗亮; 贾路路; 张子占; 周春霞

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, the ICESat laser altimetry data is used to obtain an estimate of the mass balance of Antarctic ice sheet from February 2003 to March 2008. The time series of elevation change in Antarctic ice sheet are derived by the block crossover analysis using the ICESat nadir ground track, and the calculation of the campaign basis is discussed. A least square regression of crossover difference is applied to calculate the average elevation change trend and the seasonal cycle, and then the mass changes of Antarctic ice sheet are estimated by combining the elevation change rate with the surface firn density model. The result shows that seasonal cycle signals are obvious in Antarctic ice sheet height changes, and the average annual amplitude is about 2.21 cm. On the coast of the Antarctica continent, there are significant thinning and thickening, especially near the Amundsen Sea embayment of west Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula. Considering the influence of GIA (three public GIA models), our best estimate of the mass change in Antarctic ice sheet is about -82~-73Gt/yr. For the ICESat, the ice sheet surface firn density model and the GIA model are the main factors in the mass change estimates.%利用2003~2008年间的ICESat卫星激光测高数据,通过块域交叉点分析提取南极大陆冰盖表面高程变化信息,同时探讨了卫星激光测高不同任务间的系统偏差,结合冰盖地表粒雪密度模型探测南极大陆冰盖质量变化,并对其原因做了初步分析.结果显示南极大陆冰盖高度变化具有明显的年周期信号,平均周年振幅为2.21 cm.在南极大陆的边缘,存在着明显的消融和增长,尤其是在西南极阿蒙森海湾附近的冰川和南极半岛.利用目前常用的三种不同的冰后回弹模型,计算得到南极大陆冰盖整体平均质量变化趋势约为-82~-73 Gt/yr.在由ICESat高度变化到质量变化过程中,冰盖地表粒雪密度和冰后回弹模型的不确定性是

  3. Changes in atmospheric carbonyl sulfide over the last 54,000 years inferred from measurements in Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin, M.; Campbell, J. E.; Fudge, T. J.; Cuffey, K. M.; Nicewonger, M. R.; Verhulst, K. R.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2016-02-01

    We measured carbonyl sulfide (COS) in air extracted from ice core samples from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide, Antarctica, with the deepest sample dated to 54,300 years before present. These are the first ice core COS measurements spanning the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the last glacial/interglacial transition, and the early Holocene. The WAIS Divide measurements from the LGM and the last transition are the first COS measurements in air extracted from full clathrate (bubble-free) ice. This study also includes new COS measurements from Taylor Dome, Antarctica, including some in bubbly glacial ice that are concurrent with the WAIS Divide data from clathrate glacial ice. COS hydrolyzes in ice core air bubbles, and the recovery of an atmospheric record requires correcting for this loss. The data presented here suggest that the in situ hydrolysis of COS is significantly slower in clathrate ice than in bubbly ice. The clathrate ice measurements are corrected for the hydrolysis loss during the time spent as bubbly ice only. The corrected WAIS Divide record indicates that atmospheric COS was 250-300 parts per trillion (ppt) during the LGM and declined by 80-100 ppt during the last glacial/interglacial transition to a minimum of 160-210 ppt at the beginning of the Holocene. This decline was likely caused by an increase in the gross primary productivity of terrestrial plants, with a possible contribution from a reduction in ocean sources. COS levels were above 300 ppt in the late Holocene, indicating that large changes in the COS biogeochemical cycle occurred during the Holocene.

  4. A view of Antarctic ice-sheet evolution from sea-level and deep-sea Isotope Changes During the Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.G.; Wright, J.D.; Katz, M.E.; Browning, J.V.; Cramer, B.S.; Wade, B.S.; Mizintseva, S.F.

    2007-01-01

    The imperfect direct record of Antarctic glaciation has led to the delayed recognition of the initiation of a continentsized ice sheet. Early studies interpreted initiation in the middle Miocene (ca 15 Ma). Most current studies place the first ice sheet in the earliest Oligocene (33.55 Ma), but there is physical evidence for glaciation in the Eocene. Though there are inherent limitations in sea-level and deep-sea isotope records, both place constraints on the size and extent of Late Cretaceous to Cenozoic Antarctic ice sheets. Sealevel records argue that small- to medium-size (typically 10-12 × 106 km3

  5. Late Quaternary Advance and Retreat of an East Antarctic Ice Shelf System: Insights from Sedimentary Beryllium-10 Concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guitard, M. E.; Shevenell, A.; Domack, E. W.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Yokoyama, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Observed retreat of Antarctica's marine-based glaciers and the presence of warm (~2°C) modified Circumpolar Deep Water on Antarctica's continental shelves imply ocean temperatures may influence Antarctic cryosphere stability. A paucity of information regarding Late Quaternary East Antarctic cryosphere-ocean interactions makes assessing the variability, timing, and style of deglacial retreat difficult. Marine sediments from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica contain hemipelagic siliceous mud and ooze units (SMO) alternating with glacial marine sediments. The record suggests Late Quaternary variability of local outlet glacier systems, including the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf system that drains 15% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. We present a refined radiocarbon chronology and beryllium-10 (10Be) record of Late Quaternary depositional history in Prydz Channel, seaward of the Amery Ice Shelf system, which provides insight into the timing and variability of this important outlet glacier system. We focus on three piston cores (NBP01-01, JPC 34, 35, 36; 750 m water depth) that contain alternating SMO and granulated units uninterrupted by glacial till; the record preserves a succession of glacial marine deposits that pre-date the Last Glacial Maximum. We utilize the ramped pyrolysis preparatory method to improve the bulk organic carbon 14C-based chronology for Prydz Channel. To determine if the SMO intervals reflect open water conditions or sub-ice shelf advection, we measured sedimentary 10Be concentrations. Because ice cover affects 10Be pathways through the water column, sedimentary concentrations should provide information on past depositional environments in Prydz Channel. In Prydz Channel sediments, 10Be concentrations are generally higher in SMO units and lower in glacial units, suggesting Late Quaternary fluctuations in the Amery Ice Shelf. Improved chronologic constraints indicate that these fluctuations occurred on millennial timescales during the Last Glacial

  6. Evolution of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice over the 20th and 21st centuries as simulated by CMIP5 models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippon-Berthier, G.; Fichefet, T.; Goosse, H.; Massonnet, F.

    2011-12-01

    Results from simulations conducted with the CMIP5 atmosphere-ocean general circulation models are used to study the evolution of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers over the 20th and 21st centuries. We first assess the ability of the individual models and the multi-model mean to reproduce the average seasonal cycle, the interannual variability and the longer-term changes of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents and volumes over the late 20th century. A performance metric based on observations is proposed and applied to all available models with the aim of selecting those that yield the most realistic behavior of both ice packs. Outputs from the selected models are then thoroughly analyzed to better understand the sharp decline of the Arctic sea ice area coverage observed during the last decades and to determine the causes of the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. Second, we project with each individual model and the multi-model mean the response of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents and volumes over the 21st century to the RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5 forcing scenarios. Models that meet the performance criteria defined by the metric are finally used to reduce uncertainties regarding the date of disappearance of the summer Arctic sea ice.

  7. Boundary conditions of an active West Antarctic subglacial lake: implications for storage of water beneath the ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Siegert

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeat-pass IceSat altimetry has revealed 124 discrete surface height changes across the Antarctic Ice Sheet, interpreted to be caused by subglacial lake discharges (surface lowering and inputs (surface uplift. Few of these active lakes have been confirmed by radio-echo sounding (RES despite several attempts (notable exceptions are Lake Whillans and three in the Adventure Subglacial Trench. Here we present targeted RES and radar altimeter data from an "active lake" location within the upstream Institute Ice Stream, into which 0.12 km3 of water is calculated to have flowed between October 2003 and February 2008. We use a series of transects to establish an accurate appreciation of the influences of bed topography and ice-surface elevation on water storage potential. The location of surface height change is over the downslope flank of a distinct topographic hollow, where RES reveals no obvious evidence for deep (> 10 m water. The regional hydropotential reveals a sink coincident with the surface change, however. Governed by the location of the hydrological sink, basal water will likely "drape" over existing topography in a manner dissimilar to subglacial lakes where flat strong specular RES reflections are measured. The inability of RES to detect the active lake means that more of the Antarctic ice sheet bed may contain stored water than is currently appreciated. Variation in ice surface elevation datasets leads to significant alteration in calculations of the local flow of basal water indicating the value of, and need for, high resolution RES datasets in both space and time to establish and characterise subglacial hydrological processes.

  8. Evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: a numerical study on the role of the dissipation-strain rate feedback with changing climate

    OpenAIRE

    Huybrechts, P.; Oerlemans, J.

    1988-01-01

    An efficient numerical ice-sheet model, including time dependence and full thermo-mechanical coupling, has been developed in order to investigate the thermal regime and overall configuration of a polar ice sheet with respect to changing environmental conditions. From basic sensitivity experiments, in which a schematic East Antarctic ice sheet is forced with a typical glacial-interglacial climatic shift, it is found that: (i) the mutual interaction of temperature and deformation has a stabiliz...

  9. An Overlooked Term in Assessment of the Potential Sea-Level Rise from a Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Diandong Ren; Mervyn Lynch; Lance M. Leslie

    2013-01-01

    As to sea level rise (SLR) contribution, melting and setting afloat make no difference for land based ice. Melting of West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) into water is impossible in the upcoming several centuries, whereas breaking and partially afloat is likely as long as sea waters find a pathway to the bottom of those ice sectors with basal elevation below sea level. In this sense WAIS may be disintegrated in a future warming climate. We reassess the potential contribution to eustatic sea leve...

  10. Kilometer-thick ice-sheets in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars in the Amazonian: Analogs from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Dry Valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James W.; Marchant, David R.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction. The strong geomorphic similarities between lobate deposits on the northwest flank of the Tharsis Montes [1,2, 12-13] and along the dichotomy boundary between 30° and 50° [3] with terrestrial cold-based glaciers and glacial deposits has led to new hypotheses for geologically recent (Amazonian-age) low and mid-latitude glaciation on Mars [1,4]. A common theme among many of these studies has been to identify individual landscape elements on Mars and match them with terrestrial counterparts from cold polar deserts on Earth [5,6]. Here, we use the documented long-term history of outlet and alpine glaciers along the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica as a suitable analog for glaciation along the martian dichotomy boundary. As a guiding principle we note that, just as for terrestrial glacial landsystems, the most recent ice-related deposit/feature along the dichotomy boundary on Mars need not reflect the maximum in ice volume and/or ice configuration. The Antarctic Dry Valleys (ADV). A terrestrial analog for cold-based glaciation across steppedbedrock topography. To a first order, the large-scale bedrock geomorphology of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Transantarctic mountain rift-margin upwarp) approximates the martian dichotomy boundary: the valleys occur within, and dissect, a series of broad, coast-facing escarpments (total relief of up to 3000 m) separated by isolated inselbergs. In the middle Miocene, sometime between 14.8 and 12.5 Ma [7, 8], all but the highest mountains in the Dry Valleys were overrun by a major expansion of East Antarctic ice. During this time, ice spilled across bedrock escarpments and flowed out across low-lying valleys toward the continental shelf. A modern-day counterpart for the maximum-overriding stage is seen inland of the ADV, where glacier ice still overrides stepped bedrock topography (Fig. 1). Ice expansion was triggered when the Antarctic cryosphere transitioned from relatively warm and wet (fostering

  11. Marine bacteria in deep Arctic and Antarctic ice cores: a proxy for evolution in oceans over 300 million generations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Using fluorescence spectrometry to map autofluorescence of chlorophyll (Chl and tryptophan (Trp versus depth in polar ice cores in the US National Ice Core Laboratory, we found that the Chl and Trp concentrations often showed an annual modulation of up to 25%, with peaks at depths corresponding to local summers. Using epifluorescence microscopy (EFM and flow cytometry (FCM triggered on red fluorescence at 670 nm to study microbes from unstained melts of the polar ice, we inferred that picocyanobacteria may have been responsible for the red fluorescence in the cores. Micron-size bacteria in all ice melts from Arctic and Antarctic sites showed FCM patterns of scattering and of red vs. orange fluorescence (interpreted as due to Chl vs. phycoerythrin (PE that bore similarities to patterns of cultures of unstained picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. Concentrations in ice from all sites were low, but measurable at ~ 1 to ~ 103 cells cm−3. Calibrations showed that FCM patterns of mineral grains and volcanic ash could be distinguished from microbes with high efficiency by triggering on scattering instead of by red fluorescence. Average Chl and PE autofluorescence intensities showed no decrease per cell with time during up to 150 000 yr of storage in glacial ice. Taking into account the annual modulation of ~ 25% and seasonal changes of ocean temperatures and winds, we suggest that picocyanobacteria are wind-transported year-round from warmer ocean waters onto polar ice. Ice cores offer the opportunity to study evolution of marine microbes over ~ 300 million generations by analysing their genomes vs. depth in glacial ice over the last 700 000 yr as frozen proxies for changes in their genomes in oceans.

  12. Marine bacteria in deep Arctic and Antarctic ice cores: a proxy for evolution in oceans over 300 million generations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, P. B.; Bay, R. C.

    2012-10-01

    Using fluorescence spectrometry to map autofluorescence of chlorophyll (Chl) and tryptophan (Trp) versus depth in polar ice cores in the US National Ice Core Laboratory, we found that the Chl and Trp concentrations often showed an annual modulation of up to 25%, with peaks at depths corresponding to local summers. Using epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) and flow cytometry (FCM) triggered on red fluorescence at 670 nm to study microbes from unstained melts of the polar ice, we inferred that picocyanobacteria may have been responsible for the red fluorescence in the cores. Micron-size bacteria in all ice melts from Arctic and Antarctic sites showed FCM patterns of scattering and of red vs. orange fluorescence (interpreted as due to Chl vs. phycoerythrin (PE)) that bore similarities to patterns of cultures of unstained picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. Concentrations in ice from all sites were low, but measurable at ~ 1 to ~ 103 cells cm-3. Calibrations showed that FCM patterns of mineral grains and volcanic ash could be distinguished from microbes with high efficiency by triggering on scattering instead of by red fluorescence. Average Chl and PE autofluorescence intensities showed no decrease per cell with time during up to 150 000 yr of storage in glacial ice. Taking into account the annual modulation of ~ 25% and seasonal changes of ocean temperatures and winds, we suggest that picocyanobacteria are wind-transported year-round from warmer ocean waters onto polar ice. Ice cores offer the opportunity to study evolution of marine microbes over ~ 300 million generations by analysing their genomes vs. depth in glacial ice over the last 700 000 yr as frozen proxies for changes in their genomes in oceans.

  13. Marine bacteria in deep Arctic and Antarctic ice cores: a proxy for evolution in oceans over 300 million generations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. B. Price

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Using fluorescence spectrometry to map autofluorescence of chlorophyll (Chl and tryptophan (Trp versus depth in polar ice cores in the US National Ice Core Laboratory, we found that the Chl and Trp concentrations often showed an annual modulation of up to 25%, with peaks at depths corresponding to local summers. Using epifluorescence microscopy (EFM and flow cytometry (FCM triggered on 670 nm fluorescence (red to study microbes from unstained melts of the polar ice, we inferred that picocyanobacteria may have been responsible for the red fluorescence in the cores. Micron-size bacteria in all ice melts from 2 Arctic and 6 Antarctic sites showed FCM patterns of scattering and of red vs. orange fluorescence (interpreted as due to Chl vs. phycoerythrin (PE that bore similarities to patterns of cultures of unstained picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. Concentrations in ice from all sites were low but measurable at ~1 to ~103 cells cm−3. Calibrations showed that FCM patterns of mineral grains and volcanic ash could be distinguished from microbes with high efficiency by triggering on scattering instead of by red fluorescence. Average Chl and PE autofluorescence intensities showed no decrease per cell with time during up to 150 000 yr of storage in glacial ice. Taking into account the annual modulation of ~25% and seasonal changes of ocean temperatures and winds, we suggest that picocyanobacteria are wind-transported year-round from warmer ocean waters onto polar ice. Ice cores offer the opportunity to study evolution of marine microbes over ~300 million generations by analyzing their genomes vs. depth in glacial ice over the last 700 000 yr as frozen proxies for changes in their genomes in oceans.

  14. CEDEX research activities in Antarctica. Aquatic ecosystems in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, maritime Antarctica); Actividad investigadora del CEDEX en la Antartida. Ecosistemas acuaticos de la Peninsula Byers (Isla Livingston, Antartida)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro, M.; Quesada, A.; Camacho, A.; Oliva, M.; Alcami, A.; Antoniades, D.; Banon, M.; Fassnacht, S.; Fernandez-Valiente, E.; Galan, L.; Giralt, S.; Granados, I.; Justel, A.; Liu, E. J.; Lopez-Bravo, A.; Martinez-Cortizas, A.; Pla-Rabes, S.; Rastrojo, A.; Rico, E.; Rochera, C.; Van de Vijver, B.; Velazquez, D.; Villaescusa, J. A.; Vicent, W. F.

    2015-07-01

    Since 2001 CEDEX has taken part in many Antarctic joint research projects with different institutions from Spain and other countries, developing scientific activities in the International Camp of Byers Peninsular (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). This place was designed as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (No.126) because the importance and value of its terrestrial and aquatic habitats. It is one of the largest ice-free areas of maritime Antarctica, with the highest diversity of environments and geological, hydrological and biological processes in the whole region, all of them in a pristine state. Byers Peninsula is considered the most significant limnological area in the Antarctic Peninsula region because it hosts a high number of lakes, ponds and streams, with an exceptional fauna and flora diversity, including the most singular, representative or endemic Antarctic species. Furthermore, the lakes sedimentary record is one of the widest and complete archives in Antarctic Peninsula region for the palaeocological and climatic study of the Holocene. Because Byers Peninsula is an Antarctic biodiversity hotspot, and it is located in one of the areas in the Earth where global warming is being more significant, it must be considered as a suitable international reference site for limnetic, terrestrial and coastal studies, and long term monitoring programmes. (Author)

  15. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: lessons from Antarctic mega-dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekaykin, A.; Eberlein, L.; Lipenkov, V.; Popov, S.; Scheinert, M.; Schröder, L.; Turkeev, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results of glaciological investigations in the mega-dune area located 30 km to the east from Vostok Station (central East Antarctica) implemented during the 58th, 59th and 60th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013-January 2015). Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD, δ18O and δ17O) were measured along the 2 km profile across the mega-dune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and GPR survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by one order of magnitude within the distance < 1 km, with the reduced accumulation at the leeward slope of the dune and increased accumulation in the hollow between the dunes. At the same time, the accumulation rate averaged over the length of a dune wave (22 mm we) corresponds well with the value obtained at Vostok Station, which suggests no additional wind-driven snow sublimation in the mega-dunes compared to the surrounding plateau. The snow isotopic composition is in negative correlation with the snow accumulation. Analyzing dxs/δD and 17O-excess/δD slopes, we conclude that the spatial variability of the snow isotopic composition in the mega-dune area could be explained by post-depositional snow modifications. Using the GPR data, we estimated the apparent dune drift velocity (4.6 ± 1.1 m yr-1). The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 410 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotopic composition are supposed to drift with the dune, an ice core drilled in the mega-dune area would exhibit the non-climatic 410 year cycle of these two parameters. We simulated a vertical profile of snow isotopic composition with such a non-climatic variability, using the data on the dune size and velocity. This artificial profile is then compared with the real vertical profile of snow isotopic composition obtained from a core drilled in the mega-dune area. We

  16. Gravity Waves characteristics and their impact on turbulent transport above an Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cava, Daniela; Giostra, Umberto; Katul, Gabriel

    2016-04-01

    Turbulence within the stable boundary layer (SBL) remains a ubiquitous feature of many geophysical flows, especially over glaciers and ice-sheets. Although numerous studies have investigated various aspects of the boundary layer motion during stable atmospheric conditions, a unified picture of turbulent transport within the SBL remains elusive. In a strongly stratified SBL, turbulence generation is frequently associated with interactions with sub-meso scale motions that are often a combination of gravity waves (GWs) and horizontal modes. While some progress has been made in the inclusion of GW parameterisation within global models, description and parameterisation of the turbulence-wave interaction remain an open question. The discrimination between waves and turbulence is a focal point needed to make progress as these two motions have different properties with regards to heat, moisture and pollutant transport. In fact, the occurrence of GWs can cause significant differences and ambiguities in the interpretation of turbulence statistics and fluxes if not a priori filtered from the analysis. In this work, the characteristics of GW and their impact on turbulent statistics were investigated using wind velocity components and scalars collected above an Antarctic Ice sheet during an Austral Summer. Antarctica is an ideal location for exploring the characteristics of GW because of persistent conditions of strongly stable atmospheric stability in the lower troposphere. Periods dominated by wavy motions have been identified by analysing time series measured by fast response instrumentation. The GWs nature and features have been investigated using Fourier cross-spectral indicators. The detected waves were frequently characterised by variable amplitude and period; moreover, they often produced non-stationarity and large intermittency in turbulent fluctuations that can significantly alter the estimation of turbulence statistics in general and fluxes in particular. A multi

  17. A major glacial-interglacial change in aeolian dust composition inferred from Rare Earth Elements in Antarctic ice

    OpenAIRE

    Gabrielli, Paolo; Wegner, Anna; Petit, Jean Robert; Delmonte, Barbara; De Deckker, Patrick; Gaspari, Vania; Fischer, Hubertus; Ruth, Urs; Kriews, Michael; Boutron, Claude; Cescon, Paolo; Barbante, Carlo

    2010-01-01

    We present the first Rare Earth Elements (REE) concentration record determined in 294 sections of an Antarctic ice core (EPICA Dome C), covering a period from 2.9 to 33.7 kyr BP. REE allow a detailed quantitative evaluation of aeolian dust composition because of the large number of variables (i.e. 14 elements). REE concentrations match the particulate dust concentration profile over this period and show a homogeneous crustal-like composition during the last glacial stage (LGS), with only a sl...

  18. Global estimates of the impact of a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: An application of FUND

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholls, R J; Tol, R.S.J.; Vafeidis, A.T.

    2008-01-01

    The threat of an abrupt and extreme rise in sea level is widely discussed in the media, but little understood in practise, including the likely impacts of such a rise. This paper explores for the first time the global impacts of extreme sea-level rise, triggered by a hypothetical collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). As the potential contributions remain uncertain, a wide range of scenarios are explored: WAIS contributions to sea-level rise of between 0.5m/century up to 5m/century....

  19. An optimized multi-proxy, multi-site Antarctic ice and gas orbital chronology (AICC2012: 120–800 ka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Fischer

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available An accurate and coherent chronological framework is essential for the interpretation of climatic and environmental records obtained from deep polar ice cores. Until now, one common ice core age scale has been developed based on an inverse dating method (Datice combining glaciological modelling with absolute and stratigraphic markers between 4 ice cores covering the last 50 ka (thousand of years before present (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010. In this paper, together with the companion paper of Veres et al. (2012, we present an extension of this work back to 800 ka for the NGRIP, TALDICE, EDML, Vostok and EDC ice cores using an improved version of the Datice tool. The AICC2012 (Antarctic Ice Core Chronology 2012 chronology includes numerous new gas and ice stratigraphic links as well as improved evaluation of background and associated variance scenarios. This paper concentrates on the long timescales between 120–800 ka. In this frame, new measurements of δ18Oatm over Marine Isotope Stage (MIS 11–12 on EDC and a complete δ18Oatm record of the TALDICE ice cores permit us to derive new orbital gas age constraints. The coherency of the different orbitally deduced ages (from δ18Oatm, δO2/N2 and air content has been verified before implementation in AICC2012. The new chronology shows only small differences, well within the original uncertainty range, when compared with the previous ice core reference age scale EDC3. For instance, the duration of the last four interglacial periods is not affected by more than 5%. The largest deviation between AICC2012 and EDC3 (4.4 ka is obtained around MIS 12. Despite significant modifications of the chronological constraints around MIS 5, now independent of speleothem records in AICC2012, the date of Termination II is very close to the EDC3 one.

  20. A glimpse beneath Antarctic sea ice : Platelet layer volume from multifrequency electromagnetic induction sounding

    OpenAIRE

    Hunkeler, Priska A.; Hoppmann, Mario; Hendricks, Stefan; Kalscheuer, Thomas; Gerdes, Ruediger

    2016-01-01

    In Antarctica, ice crystals emerge from ice-shelf cavities and accumulate in unconsolidated layers beneath nearby sea ice. Such sub-ice platelet layers form a unique habitat, and serve as an indicator for the state of an ice shelf. However, the lack of a suitable methodology impedes an efficient quantification of this phenomenon on scales beyond point measurements. In this study, we inverted multi-frequency electromagnetic (EM) induction soundings of > 100 km length, obtained on fast ice w...

  1. When a habitat freezes solid: Microorganisms over-winter within the ice column of a coastal Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, C.M.; Dieser, M.; Greenwood, M.; Cory, R.M.; Laybourn-Parry, J.; Lisle, J.T.; Jaros, C.; Miller, P.L.; Chin, Y.-P.; McKnight, Diane M.

    2011-01-01

    A major impediment to understanding the biology of microorganisms inhabiting Antarctic environments is the logistical constraint of conducting field work primarily during the summer season. However, organisms that persist throughout the year encounter severe environmental changes between seasons. In an attempt to bridge this gap, we collected ice core samples from Pony Lake in early November 2004 when the lake was frozen solid to its base, providing an archive for the biological and chemical processes that occurred during winter freezeup. The ice contained bacteria and virus-like particles, while flagellated algae and ciliates over-wintered in the form of inactive cysts and spores. Both bacteria and algae were metabolically active in the ice core melt water. Bacterial production ranged from 1.8 to 37.9??gCL-1day-1. Upon encountering favorable growth conditions in the melt water, primary production ranged from 51 to 931??gCL-1day-1. Because of the strong H2S odor and the presence of closely related anaerobic organisms assigned to Pony Lake bacterial 16S rRNA gene clones, we hypothesize that the microbial assemblage was strongly affected by oxygen gradients, which ultimately restricted the majority of phylotypes to distinct strata within the ice column. This study provides evidence that the microbial community over-winters in the ice column of Pony Lake and returns to a highly active metabolic state when spring melt is initiated. ?? 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  2. Climate links and recent extremes in antarctic sea ice, high-latitude cyclones, Southern Annular Mode and ENSO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pezza, Alexandre Bernardes; Simmonds, Ian [The University of Melbourne, School of Earth Sciences, Parkville, VIC (Australia); Rashid, Harun A. [Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (A partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology), Private Bag 1, Melbourne, VIC (Australia)

    2012-01-15

    In this article, we study the climate link between the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the southern sea-ice extent (SIE), and discuss the possible role of stationary waves and synoptic eddies in establishing this link. In doing so, we have used a combination of techniques involving spatial correlations of SIE, eddy streamfunction and wind anomalies, and statistics of high-latitude cyclone strength. It is suggested that stationary waves may be amplified by eddy anomalies associated with high latitude cyclones, resulting in more sea ice when the SAM is in its positive phase for most, but not all, longitudes. A similar association is observed during ENSO (La Nina years). Although this synergy in the SAM/ENSO response may partially reflect preferential areas for wave amplification around Antarctica, the short extent of the climate records does not allow for a definite causality connection to be established with SIE. Stronger polar cyclones are observed over the areas where the stationary waves are amplified. These deeper cyclones will break up and export ice equatorward more efficiently, but the near-coastal regions are cold enough to allow for a rapid re-freeze of the resulting ice break-up. We speculate that if global warming continues this same effect could help reverse the current (positive) Antarctic SIE trends once the ice gets thinner, similarly to what has been observed in the Northern Hemisphere. (orig.)

  3. A Bivalve Proxy for Neogene Antarctic Shelf Marine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, N. A.; Williams, M.; Quilty, P. G.; Leng, M. J.; Zalasiewicz, J. A.; Smellie, J.; Dowsett, H. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Neogene shallow-marine successions of the Antarctic Peninsula and of the East Antarctic region preserve rich assemblages of bivalve molluscs. These bivalve molluscs provide a detailed record of palaeoseasonality in the chemical signature and morphology of their shells that can be used to assess sea temperatures and sea ice extent for the Antarctic shelf during the Pliocene. Analyses identify the following. 1) Neogene bivalves from James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, comprise material of late Miocene through to late Pliocene age. Results identify warm (ca. 3-10 °C) early Pliocene sea temperatures, and cooler late Pliocene sea temperatures (ca. 0-4 °C), and flag a cooling trend which is consistent with the evolution of polar climate through this interval. 2) Neogene bivalves from the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctic, identify generally warmer than present sea temperatures (ca. 0-11 °C) in the early Pliocene consistent with data from other fossil groups of this age, including dolphins and silicoflagellates. The new data may provide significant ground truth for climate models assessing the Southern Ocean and Antarctic shelf climate.

  4. Longitudinal surface structures (flowstripes on Antarctic glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. F. Glasser

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal surface structures (''flowstripes'' are common on many glaciers but their origin and significance are poorly understood. In this paper we present observations of the development of these longitudinal structures from four different Antarctic glacier systems (the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf area, outlet glaciers in the Ross Sea sector, ice-shelf tributary glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula, and the onset zone of a tributary to the Recovery Glacier Ice Stream in the Filchner Ice Shelf area. Mapping from optical satellite images demonstrates that longitudinal surface structures develop in two main situations: (1 as relatively wide flow stripes within glacier flow units and (2 as relatively narrow flow stripes where there is convergent flow around nunataks or at glacier confluence zones. Our observations indicate that the confluence features are narrower, sharper, and more clearly defined features. They are characterised by linear troughs or depressions on the ice surface and are much more common than the former type. Longitudinal surface structures within glacier flow units have previously been explained as the surface expression of localised bed perturbations but a universal explanation for those forming at glacier confluences is lacking. Here we propose that these features are formed at zones of ice acceleration and extensional flow at glacier confluences. We provide a schematic model for the development of longitudinal surface structures based on extensional flow that can explain their ridge and trough morphology as well as their down-ice persistence.

  5. Did the continent and sea have different temperatures in the northern Antarctic Peninsula during the Middle Eocene?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.L. Cione

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The Seymour Island beds include a remarkable representation of the continental flora and fauna and marine fauna of Eocene in southern high latitudes. We suggest that, at least during the deposition of the best sampled unit, the Cucullaea I Allomember of the La Meseta Alloformation in the Seymour Island area, a cold temperate terrestrial environment co-existed with relatively warmer temperatures in the adjacent shallow shelf sea. This is suggested by the fish and invertebrate fauna and could have been due to the presence of warmer waters of a current reaching the region from the north. The temperature drop proposed for the time of deposition of the uppermost part of the La Meseta Formation (Submeseta Allomember appears to correspond to the global drop of the end of the Eocene and beginning of Oligocene and not to the establishment of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

  6. About the consistency between Envisat and CryoSat-2 radar freeboard retrieval over Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Schwegmann

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about Antarctic sea-ice volume and its changes over the past decades has been sparse due to the lack of systematic sea-ice thickness measurements in this remote area. Recently, first attempts have been made to develop a sea-ice thickness product over the Southern Ocean from space-borne radar altimetry and results look promising. Today, more than 20 years of radar altimeter data are potentially available for such products. However, data come from different sources, and the characteristics of individual sensors differ. Hence, it is important to study the consistency between single sensors in order to develop long and consistent time series over the potentially available measurement period. Here, the consistency between freeboard measurements of the Radar Altimeter 2 on-board Envisat and freeboard measurements from the Synthetic-Aperture Interferometric Radar Altimeter on-board CryoSat-2 is tested for their overlap period in 2011. Results indicate that mean and modal values are comparable over the sea-ice growth season (May–October and partly also beyond. In general, Envisat data shows higher freeboards in the seasonal ice zone while CryoSat-2 freeboards are higher in the perennial ice zone and near the coasts. This has consequences for the agreement in individual sectors of the Southern Ocean, where one or the other ice class may dominate. Nevertheless, over the growth season, mean freeboard for the entire (regional separated Southern Ocean differs generally by not more than 2 cm (5 cm, except for the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Sea between Envisat and CryoSat-2, and the differences between modal freeboard lie generally within ±10 cm and often even below.

  7. Glacial marine sediments from the Antarctic Peninsula: A record of climate change and glacial fluctuations during the late holocene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Physical oceanographic measurements (211 CTDT casts) and bottom sediment samples (>104) provide the data base for the following conclusions. Subpolar glacial regimes in the South Shetland Islands are dominated by extensive surface melting, elevated equilibrium lines (ELA) and efficient conduction of surface meltwater to the terminus of tidewater and terrestrial glaciers. These conditions control sedimentary processes in the marine realm by the efficient and widespread dispersal of suspended sediment by overflow plumes. Terrigenous facies, therefore, dominate throughout the fjord system. The transition to polar conditions within glaciers along the Danco Coast and Palmer Archipelago is characterized by lower ELA (near sea level), limited surface melting and dynamic sea ice conditions. Basal melt processes appear to dominate, especially where subglacial marine cavities exist beneath glacial termini. Most terrigenous sediment is transported by ice-rafting or by cold, mid-water plumes, which spread horizontally until restricted by bathymetric features. Biogenic (diatom) muds and ice-rafted debris dominate sedimentation in outer bay settings; the former is enhanced by warmer temperatures, increased sunlight, and minimal disturbance of surface layers within the fjords. These facies transitions are well constrained statistically by regression analyses of textural and compositional variations with respect to distance from sediment sources (glacial termini). Correlation trends within individual ice drainage systems can be applied to marine sediment cores which contain a record spanning approximately the last 3,000 years (based upon accelerator 14C and 210Pb chronologies). A period of enhanced terrigenous (surface meltwater) input following more extensive glacier ice is documented in Hughes Bay on the northern Danco Coast

  8. Extent of Low-accumulation 'Wind Glaze' Areas on the East Antarctic Plateau: Implications for Continental Ice Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scambos, Theodore A.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Haran, T.; Bohlander, J.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Jezek, K.; Long, D.; Urbini, S.; Farness, K.; Neumann, T.; Albert, M.; Winther, J.-G.

    2012-01-01

    Persistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called 'glaze' surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2-200 square kilometers in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 plus or minus 1.7%, or 950 plus or minus 143 x 10(exp 3) square kilometers, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46-82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.

  9. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Pollard

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  10. Large ensemble modeling of last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Chang, W.; Haran, M.; Applegate, P.; DeConto, R.

    2015-11-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ~ 20 000 years. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree quite well with the more advanced techniques, but only for a large ensemble with full factorial parameter sampling. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds. Each run is extended 5000 years into the "future" with idealized ramped climate warming. In the majority of runs with reasonable scores, this produces grounding-line retreat deep into the West Antarctic interior, and the analysis provides sea-level-rise envelopes with well defined parametric uncertainty bounds.

  11. Albedo of the ice covered Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, A.I.; J. C. King; Lachlan-Cope, T.A.; R. S. Ladkin

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the surface albedo of the sea ice areas adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer. Aircraft measurements of the surface albedo, which were conducted in the sea ice areas of the Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas show significant differences between these two regions. The averaged surface albedo varied between 0.13 and 0.81. The ice cover of the Bellingshausen Sea consisted mainly of first year ice and the sea surface showed an averaged sea ice albedo o...

  12. Linear sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of major West Antarctic ice basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengel, M.; Feldmann, J.; Levermann, A.

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise has recently been increasing. Whether its ice discharge will become unstable and decouple from anthropogenic forcing or increase linearly with the warming of the surrounding ocean is of fundamental importance. Under unabated greenhouse-gas emissions, ocean models indicate an abrupt intrusion of warm circumpolar deep water into the cavity below West Antarctica's Filchner-Ronne ice shelf within the next two centuries. The ice basin's retrograde bed slope would allow for an unstable ice-sheet retreat, but the buttressing of the large ice shelf and the narrow glacier troughs tend to inhibit such instability. It is unclear whether future ice loss will be dominated by ice instability or anthropogenic forcing. Here we show in regional and continental-scale ice-sheet simulations, which are capable of resolving unstable grounding-line retreat, that the sea-level response of the Filchner-Ronne ice basin is not dominated by ice instability and follows the strength of the forcing quasi-linearly. We find that the ice loss reduces after each pulse of projected warm water intrusion. The long-term sea-level contribution is approximately proportional to the total shelf-ice melt. Although the local instabilities might dominate the ice loss for weak oceanic warming, we find that the upper limit of ice discharge from the region is determined by the forcing and not by the marine ice-sheet instability.

  13. A glimpse beneath Antarctic sea ice: observation of platelet-layer thickness and ice-volume fraction with multifrequency EM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppmann, Mario; Hunkeler, Priska A.; Hendricks, Stefan; Kalscheuer, Thomas; Gerdes, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In Antarctica, ice crystals (platelets) form and grow in supercooled waters below ice shelves. These platelets rise, accumulate beneath nearby sea ice, and subsequently form a several meter thick, porous sub-ice platelet layer. This special ice type is a unique habitat, influences sea-ice mass and energy balance, and its volume can be interpreted as an indicator of the health of an ice shelf. Although progress has been made in determining and understanding its spatio-temporal variability based on point measurements, an investigation of this phenomenon on a larger scale remains a challenge due to logistical constraints and a lack of suitable methodology. In the present study, we applied a lateral constrained Marquardt-Levenberg inversion to a unique multi-frequency electromagnetic (EM) induction sounding dataset obtained on the ice-shelf influenced fast-ice regime of Atka Bay, eastern Weddell Sea. We adapted the inversion algorithm to incorporate a sensor specific signal bias, and confirmed the reliability of the algorithm by performing a sensitivity study using synthetic data. We inverted the field data for sea-ice and platelet-layer thickness and electrical conductivity, and calculated ice-volume fractions within the platelet layer using Archie's Law. The thickness results agreed well with drillhole validation datasets within the uncertainty range, and the ice-volume fraction yielded results comparable to other studies. Both parameters together enable an estimation of the total ice volume within the platelet layer, which was found to be comparable to the volume of landfast sea ice in this region, and corresponded to more than a quarter of the annual basal melt volume of the nearby Ekström Ice Shelf. Our findings show that multi-frequency EM induction sounding is a suitable approach to efficiently map sea-ice and platelet-layer properties, with important implications for research into ocean/ice-shelf/sea-ice interactions. However, a successful application of this

  14. Anomalously high arsenic concentration in a West Antarctic ice core and its relationship to copper mining in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanck, Franciele; Simões, Jefferson C.; Handley, Michael; Mayewski, Paul A.; Bernardo, Ronaldo T.; Aquino, Francisco E.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic variability records are preserved in snow and ice cores and can be utilized to reconstruct air pollution history. The Mount Johns ice core (79°55‧S; 94°23‧W and 91.2 m depth) was collected from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the 2008/09 austral summer. Here, we report the As concentration variability as determined by 2137 samples from the upper 45 m of this core using ICP-SFMS (CCI, University of Maine, USA). The record covers approximately 125 years (1883-2008) showing a mean concentration of 4.32 pg g-1. The arsenic concentration in the core follows global copper mining evolution, particularly in Chile (the largest producer of Cu). From 1940 to 1990, copper-mining production increased along with arsenic concentrations in the MJ core, from 1.92 pg g-1 (before 1900) to 7.94 pg g-1 (1950). In the last two decades, environmental regulations for As emissions have been implemented, forcing smelters to treat their gases to conform to national and international environmental standards. In Chile, decontamination plants required by the government started operating from 1993 to 2000. Thereafter, Chilean copper production more than doubled while As emission levels declined, and the same reduction was observed in the Mount Johns ice core. After 1999, arsenic concentrations in our samples decreased to levels comparable to the period before 1900.

  15. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grilli, R.; Marrocco, N.; Desbois, T. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Guillerm, C. [DT INSU CNRS, Bât. IPEV BP 74, Technopole Brest Iroise, 29280 Plouzané (France); Triest, J. [CNRS, LGGE, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Kerstel, E.; Romanini, D. [CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France); Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble (France)

    2014-11-15

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ{sup 2}H ) and CH{sub 4} concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10{sup −10} cm{sup −1} Hz{sup −1/2}, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH{sub 4} and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ{sup 2}H of H{sub 2}O within 1 min acquisition time.

  16. Invited Article: SUBGLACIOR: An optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ2H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10−10 cm−1 Hz−1/2, corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ2H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time

  17. Invited article: SUBGLACIOR: an optical analyzer embedded in an Antarctic ice probe for exploring the past climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilli, R; Marrocco, N; Desbois, T; Guillerm, C; Triest, J; Kerstel, E; Romanini, D

    2014-11-01

    This article describes the advances made in the development of a specific optical spectrometer based on the Optical Feedback-Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy technique for exploring past climate by probing the original composition of the atmosphere stored in the ice sheet of a glacier. Based on significant technological progresses and unconventional approaches, SUBGLACIOR will be a revolutionary tool for ice-core research: the optical spectrometer, directly embedded in the drilling probe, will provide in situ real-time measurements of deuterium isotopic variations (δ(2)H ) and CH4 concentrations down to 3500 m of ice depth within a single Antarctic season. The instrument will provide simultaneous and real-time vertical profiles of these two key climate signatures in order to evaluate if a target site can offer ice cores as old as 1.5 million years by providing direct insight into past temperatures and climate cycles. The spectrometer has a noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 2.8 × 10(-10) cm(-1) Hz(-1/2), corresponding to a detection limit of 0.2 ppbv for CH4 and a precision of 0.2‰ on the δ(2)H of H2O within 1 min acquisition time. PMID:25430089

  18. Constraints on ice volume changes of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and Ross Ice Shelf since the LGM based on cosmogenic exposure ages from Darwin-Hatherton outlet glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, David; Joy, Kurt; Storey, Bryan

    2013-04-01

    At the Last Glacial Maximum and during Termination-1 (~20-10 ka), marine evidence indicates that the grounding line of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advanced northwards into the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), blocking drainage of the Darwin and Hatherton outlet glaciers through the Transantarctic Mountains (TM) resulting in significant downstream thickening of glacier profiles. These outlet glaciers provide geological and glaciological records of EAIS expansion through the TMs as well as WAIS fluctuations which together suggest an LGM thickness of ~800 m lager than today at their confluence with the Ross Embayment. About 80 cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al exposure ages of erratics from 3 locations flanking the Hatherton Glacier (Dubris Valley near the EAIS source region, from Lake Wellman at its midpoint and Diamond Hill at its terminus) taken along transects covering 800 m in differential elevation from ice-sheet contact to mountain peaks documents 2.5 Ma of ice volume evolution of the Hatherton allowing a reconstruction of its quaternary paleo-ice surface. Pleistocene ice thickness is some 800 to 400 meters thicker between 2.5 to 0.5 Ma years ago than today . However at all 3 locations, exposure ages of mapped glacial drifts younger than 0.5 Ma at lower elevations down to current ice margin did not show any evidence for a distinct LGM advance. At Lake Wellman a cluster of mid-elevation moraine boulders from the Britannia Drift, previously taken to demarcate the LGM advance, have exposure ages ranging from 30 to 40 ka. At Dubris Valley, the same drift returned ages of 120-125 ka. At Diamond Hill, the confluence of the Darwin Glacier and RIS, two transects were sampled that cover an altitude range of 1100 meters. Cosmogenic dates show a similar trend to that seen further upvalley - the WAIS was approximately 900 meters thicker than the current Rose Ice Shelf configuration at ~1.5Ma and with only minor advances in the last 10ka and an absence of any LGM ages. The absence of a

  19. Enhanced tropospheric BrO concentrations over the Antarctic sea ice belt in mid winter observed from MAX-DOAS observations on board the research vessel Polarstern

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, T.; Ibrahim, O.; R. Sinreich; Frieß, U.; Platt, U.

    2007-01-01

    We present Multi AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) observations of tropospheric BrO carried out on board the German research vessel Polarstern during the Antarctic winter 2006. Polarstern entered the area of first year sea ice around Antarctica on 24 June 2006 and stayed within this area until 15 August 2006. For the period when the ship cruised inside the first year sea ice belt, enhanced BrO concentrations were almost continuously observed. One interesting excepti...

  20. Enhanced tropospheric BrO over Antarctic sea ice in mid winter observed by MAX-DOAS on board the research vessel Polarstern

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, T.; Ibrahim, O.; R. Sinreich; Frieß, U.; Glasow, R.; Platt, U.

    2007-01-01

    We present Multi AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) observations of tropospheric BrO carried out on board the German research vessel Polarstern during the Antarctic winter 2006. Polarstern entered the area of first year sea ice around Antarctica on 24 June 2006 and stayed within this area until 15 August 2006. For the period when the ship cruised inside the first year sea ice belt, enhanced BrO concentrations were almost continuously observed. Outside the first year ...

  1. Meteorites constrain the age of Antarctic ice at the Frontier Mountain blue ice field (northern Victoria Land)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folco, L.; Welten, K. C.; Jull, A. J. T.; Nishiizumi, K.; Zeoli, A.

    2006-08-01

    We show that meteorites can provide chronological constraints upon the age of the ice cropping out at the Frontier Mountain meteorite trap (Antarctica) when their terrestrial age is placed in a glaciological context. Amongst the over 700 meteorites found so far, Frontier Mountain (FRO) 84001, 99028, 93005 and 93054 were most likely not wind-drifted across the ice field, since their masses (772-1665 g) are much heavier than the local ˜ 200 g wind transport threshold. The four meteorites were found along a stretch of ice where a representative section of the Frontier Mountain blue ice crops out. Based on the bedding of englacial tephra layers, the structure of the ice along the section appears to be essentially an up-glacier dipping monocline. The 14C terrestrial age of FRO 8401, 99028 and 93005 are 13 ± 2, 21 ± 3 and 27 ± 2 ky, respectively; the 41Ca/ 36Cl age of FRO 93054 is 40 ± 10 ky. The terrestrial ages of the four meteorites increase from the top to the bottom layers of the monocline. This geographic distribution is best explained by delivery of meteorites at the ice surface through the "ice-flow model" (i.e., englacial transport from the snow accumulation zone and exhumation in the blue ice area through ablation) rather than direct fall. Since the effect of ablation in decoupling terrestrial ages of meteorites and the age of the ice on which they sit must have been minor (most likely ≤ 7 ky) based on the local ice dynamics, we conclude that the age of the bulk of the ice body currently under ablation at Frontier Mountain is up to ˜ 50 ky old. This result has implications on both the meteorite concentrations mechanism at Frontier Mountain and the regional ice dynamics.

  2. Warming, Contraction, and Freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water since the 1990s, with a Potential Ice-Sheet Melt Feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Gregory; Purkey, Sarah; Rintoul, Stephen; Swift, James

    2013-04-01

    We analyze changes in Antarctic Bottom Waters (AABW) around the deep Southern Ocean using repeat section data collected between 1981 and 2012. The international World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Hydrographic Program collected a global high-quality baseline of full-depth, accurate oceanographic transects in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the 2000s, some of these transects are being reoccupied, again through international collaboration, as part of GO-SHIP (The Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program). The average dates of the first and last data used to estimate these trends are circa 1991 and 2008. Temperature analyses reveal a nearly global-scale signature of warming in the abyssal ocean ventilated from the Antarctic. In the deep basins around Antarctica, AABW warmed at a rate of 0.02 to 0.05 °C per decade below 4000 m. In addition, the waters between 1000 and 4000 m within and south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current warmed at a rate of about 0.03 °C per decade. With this warming, cold, deep isotherms are sinking in the Southern Ocean. The 0 °C potential isotherm sinking rate is around 100 m per decade, implying a 8.2 (±2.6) Sv contraction rate of AABW, about 7% per decade. In addition to this contraction, AABW freshening is observed within the Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean. The freshening signal is stronger closer to AABW sources. Its spatial pattern implies recent changes in AABW formation, perhaps partly owing to freshening of the shelf waters, which has been linked to increases in glacial ice sheet melt. The observed rate of water-mass freshening for AABW colder than 0°C in the Indian and Pacific Sectors of the Southern Ocean is about half of the estimated increase in mass lost by glacial ice sheets there in recent years. A positive feedback loop might link the AABW contraction and ice sheet melt-influenced freshening as follows: Increased ocean heat flux drives enhanced basal melt of floating ice shelves

  3. Heterogeneous chemistry related to Antarctic ozone depletion: Reaction of ClONO2 and N2O5 on ice surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, Margaret A.; Rossi, Michel J.; Golden, David M.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory studies of heterogeneous reactions of possible importance for Antarctic ozone depletion were performed. In particular, the reactions of chlorine nitrate (ClONO2) and dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) were investigated on ice and HCl/ice surfaces. These reactions occur on the surfaces of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) over Antarctica. One reaction transforms the stable chlorine reservoir species (ClONO2 and HCl) into photochemically active chlorine in the form of HOCl and Cl2. Condensation of HNO3 in the reactions removes odd nitrogen from the stratosphere, a requirement in nearly all models of Antarctic ozone depletion. Other reactions may also be important for Antarctic ozone depletion. Like the reactions of chlorine nitrate, these reactions deplete odd nitrogen through HNO3 condensation. In addition, one reaction converts a stable chlorine reservior species (HCl) into photochemically active chlorine (ClNO2). These reactions were studied with a modified version of a Knudsen cell flow reactor.

  4. A record of Antarctic sea ice extent in the Southern Indian Ocean for the past 300 yr and its relationship with global mean temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Xiao

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The differing response of ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic to global average temperature change, over approximately the last three decades, highlights the importance of reconstructing long-term sea ice history. Here, using high-resolution ice core records of methanesulfonate (MS− from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Princess Elizabeth Land, we reconstruct southern Indian Ocean sea ice extent (SIE for the sector 70° E–100° E for the period 1708–2000 A.D. Annual MS− concentration positively correlates in this sector with satellite-derived SIE for the period 1973–2000 (P − record of proxy SIE shows multi-decadal variations, with large decreases occurring in two warm intervals during the Little Ice Age, and during the 1940s. However, after the 1980s there is a change in phase between Antarctic SIE and global temperature change, with both increasing. This paradox is probably attributable to the strong anomaly in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM in the recent three decades.

  5. Application of remotely piloted aircraft systems in observing the atmospheric boundary layer over Antarctic sea ice in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius O. Jonassen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The main aim of this paper is to explore the potential of combining measurements from fixed- and rotary-wing remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS to complement data sets from radio soundings as well as ship and sea-ice-based instrumentation for atmospheric boundary layer (ABL profiling. This study represents a proof-of-concept of RPAS observations in the Antarctic sea-ice zone. We present first results from the RV Polarstern Antarctic winter expedition in the Weddell Sea in June–August 2013, during which three RPAS were operated to measure temperature, humidity and wind; a fixed-wing small unmanned meteorological observer (SUMO, a fixed-wing meteorological mini-aerial vehicle, and an advanced mission and operation research quadcopter. A total of 86 RPAS flights showed a strongly varying ABL structure ranging from slightly unstable temperature stratification near the surface to conditions with strong surface-based temperature inversions. The RPAS observations supplement the regular upper air soundings and standard meteorological measurements made during the campaign. The SUMO and quadcopter temperature profiles agree very well and, excluding cases with strong temperature inversions, 70% of the variance in the difference between the SUMO and quadcopter temperature profiles can be explained by natural, temporal, temperature fluctuations. Strong temperature inversions cause the largest differences, which are induced by SUMO's high climb rates and slow sensor response. Under such conditions, the quadcopter, with its slower climb rate and faster sensor, is very useful in obtaining accurate temperature profiles in the lowest 100 m above the sea ice.

  6. A new Eemian record of Antarctic tephra layers retrieved from the Talos Dome ice core (Northern Victoria Land)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Langone, Antonio; Stenni, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Polar ice sheets are remarkable repositories of tephra layers. The Talos Dome ice core (72°49‧S, 159°11‧E), drilled at the edge of the East Antarctic Plateau, close to Late Quaternary volcanoes, offers considerable potential to extend the current tephra time-stratigraphic framework. A tephrochronological study was undertaken of the ice core sections related to the Last Interglacial and the transition to the subsequent glacial period. Thirteen macroscopically visible layers, interpreted to be related to primary deposition of fallout tephra, have been analysed for quantitative grain size and glass shard geochemistry. The layers, precisely framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, span in age from 111.6 ± 1.9 to 123.3 ± 2.2 ka. Coarse particle size suggests origin from regional sources. Indeed, the vast majority of the samples display an alkaline affinity and trachytic composition that are both typical geochemical features of rifting Antarctic volcanism. Using subtle differences in the geochemical signatures and the comparison with data from previous studies, a few layers are attributed to known coeval Mt. Melbourne eruptions. Another sample subset is consistent with derivation from The Pleiades and Mt. Rittmann volcanoes. One peculiar trachytic glass population appears to be related to activity of the more distant Marie Byrd Land volcanoes. The newly detected tephras provide stratigraphic markers that could facilitate future synchronisation and dating of palaeoclimatic records. The Talos Dome tephra inventory also contributes significantly to the reconstruction of the Northern Victoria Land explosive volcanism, for which chronostratigraphic data for the Last Interglacial temporal segment are poor.

  7. Negative magnetic anomaly over Mt. Resnik, a subaerially erupted volcanic peak beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Finn, C.; Morse, D.L.; Blankenship, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    Mt. Resnik is one of the previously reported 18 subaerially erupted volcanoes (in the West Antarctic rift system), which have high elevation and high bed relief beneath the WAIS in the Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey. Mt. Resnik lies 300 m below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS); it has 1.6 km topographic relief, and a conical form defined by radar ice-sounding of bed topography. It has an associated complex negative magnetic anomaly revealed by the CWA survey. We calculated and interpreted magnetic models fit to the Mt. Resnik anomaly as a volcanic source comprising both reversely and normally magnetized (in the present field direction) volcanic flows, 0.5-2.5-km thick, erupted subaerially during a time of magnetic field reversal. The Mt. Resnik 305-nT anomaly is part of an approximately 50- by 40-km positive anomaly complex extending about 30 km to the west of the Mt. Resnik peak, associated with an underlying source complex of about the same area, whose top is at the bed of the WAIS. The bed relief of this shallow source complex has a maximum of only about 400 m, whereas the modeled source is >3 km thick. From the spatial relationship we interpret that this source and Mt Resnik are approximately contemporaneous. Any subglacially (older?) erupted edifices comprising hyaloclastite or other volcanic debris, which formerly overlaid the source to the west, were removed by the moving WAIS into which they were injected as is the general case for the ???1000 volcanic centers at the base of the WAIS. The presence of the magnetic field reversal modeled for Mt. Resnik may represent the Bruhnes-Matayama reversal at 780 ka (or an earlier reversal). There are ???100 short-wavelength, steep-gradient, negative magnetic anomalies observed over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), or about 10% of the approximately 1000 short-wavelength, shallow-source, high-amplitude (50- >1000 nT) "volcanic" magnetic anomalies in the CWA survey. These

  8. Future surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet and its influence on sea level change, simulated by a regional atmospheric climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van de Berg, W.J.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Rae, J.G.L.; van Meijgaard, E.

    2013-01-01

    A regional atmospheric climate model with multi-layer snow module (RACMO2) is forced at the lateral boundaries by global climate model (GCM) data to assess the future climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Two different GCMs (ECHAM5 until 2100 and HadCM3 until 2200)

  9. A glimpse beneath Antarctic sea ice: Platelet layer volume from multifrequency electromagnetic induction sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunkeler, P. A.; Hoppmann, M.; Hendricks, S.; Kalscheuer, T.; Gerdes, R.

    2016-01-01

    In Antarctica, ice crystals emerge from ice shelf cavities and accumulate in unconsolidated layers beneath nearby sea ice. Such sub-ice platelet layers form a unique habitat and serve as an indicator for the state of an ice shelf. However, the lack of a suitable methodology impedes an efficient quantification of this phenomenon on scales beyond point measurements. In this study, we inverted multifrequency electromagnetic (EM) induction soundings, obtained on fast ice with an underlying platelet layer along profiles of 100 km length in the eastern Weddell Sea. EM-derived platelet layer thickness and conductivity are consistent with other field observations. Our results suggest that platelet layer volume is higher than previously thought in this region and that platelet layer ice volume fraction is proportional to its thickness. We conclude that multifrequency EM is a suitable tool to determine platelet layer volume, with the potential to obtain crucial knowledge of associated processes in otherwise inaccessible ice shelf cavities.

  10. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLA12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice sheet...

  11. Post-coring entrapment of modern air in polar ice cores collected near the firn-ice transition: evidence from CFC-12 measurements in Antarctic firn air and shallow ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Aydin

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we report the first measurements of CFC-12 (CCl2F2 in air extracted from shallow ice cores along with firn air CFC-12 measurements from three Antarctic sites. The firn air data are consistent with the known atmospheric history of CFC-12. In contrast, the ice core samples collected near the firn-ice transition exhibit anomalously high CFC-12 levels. Together, the ice core and firn air data provide evidence for presence of modern air entrapped in shallow ice core samples. We propose that this is due to closure of open pores after drilling, entrapping modern air and resulting in elevated CFC-12 mixing ratios. Our measurements reveal the presence of open porosity below the depth at which firn air samples can be collected and demonstrate how the composition of bubble air in shallow ice cores can be altered during the post-drilling period through purely physical processes. These results have implications for investigations involving trace gas composition of bubbles in shallow ice cores.

  12. Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Exploration

    OpenAIRE

    Edinburgh, Tom; Day, Jonathan J.

    2016-01-01

    In stark contrast to the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice, there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross Seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models. However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice...

  13. Acidity decline in Antarctic ice cores during the Little Ice Age linked to changes in atmospheric nitrate and sea salt concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasteris, Daniel; McConnell, Joseph R.; Edwards, Ross; Isaksson, Elizabeth; Albert, Mary R.

    2014-05-01

    Acidity is an important chemical variable that impacts atmospheric and snowpack chemistry. Here we describe composite time series and the spatial pattern of acidity concentration (Acy = H+ - HCO3-) during the last 2000 years across the Dronning Maud Land region of the East Antarctic Plateau using measurements in seven ice cores. Coregistered measurements of the major ion species show that sulfuric acid (H2SO4), nitric acid (HNO3), and hydrochloric acid (HCl) determine greater than 98% of the acidity value. The latter, also described as excess chloride (ExCl-), is shown mostly to be derived from postdepositional diffusion of chloride with little net gain or loss from the snowpack. A strong inverse linear relationship between nitrate concentration and inverse accumulation rate provides evidence of spatially homogenous fresh snow concentrations and reemission rates of nitrate from the snowpack across the study area. A decline in acidity during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1500-1900 Common Era) is observed and is linked to declines in HNO3 and ExCl- during that time. The nitrate decline is found to correlate well with published methane isotope data from Antarctica (δ13CH4), indicating that it is caused by a decline in biomass burning. The decrease in ExCl- concentration during the LIA is well correlated to published sea surface temperature reconstructions in the Atlantic Ocean, which suggests increased sea salt aerosol production associated with greater sea ice extent.

  14. Bimodal pattern of seismicity detected at the ocean margin of an Antarctic ice shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Denis; Benoit, Lionel; Camelbeeck, Thierry; Martin, Olivier; Meynard, Christophe; Thom, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In Antarctica, locally grounded ice, such as ice rises bordering floating ice shelves, plays a major role in the ice mass balance as it stabilizes the ice sheet flow from the hinterland. When in direct contact with the ocean, the ice rise buttressing effect may be altered in response of changing ocean forcing. To investigate this vulnerable zone, four sites near the boundary of an ice shelf with an ice rise promontory in Dronning Maud Land, East-Antarctica were monitored for a month in early 2014 with new instruments that include both seismic and GPS sensors. Our study indicated that this transition zone experiences periodic seismic activity resulting from surface crevassing during oceanic tide-induced flexure of the ice shelf. The most significant finding is the observation of apparent fortnightly tide-modulated low-frequency, long-duration seismic events at the seaward front of the ice rise promontory. A basal origin of these events is postulated with the ocean water surge at each new spring tide triggering basal crevassing or basal slip on a local bedrock asperity. Detection and monitoring of such seismicity may help identifying ice rise zones vulnerable to intensified ocean forcing.

  15. 南半球降水对南极海冰涛动异常的响应%RESPONSE OF SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE PRECIPITATION TO ANTARCTIC SEA ICE OSCILLATION ANOMALIES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    窦挺峰; 效存德

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the impact of Antarctic sea ice oscillation anomalies on Southern Hemisphere precipitation patterns using the global atmospheric general circulation model, NCAR/CAM3, and a climatic diagnosis method. We also conducted a preliminary investigation into the possible mechanism of action. Results showed that there was a significant response of precipitation to Antarctic sea ice oscillation anomalies, with a positive center over the Atlantic Ocean to the east of South America and a negative center over the Pacific Ocean to the west of South America. The spatial pattern was similar to the Antarctic sea ice oscillation. The results of numerical experiments indicated that sea ice oscillation anomalies can affect the middle troposphere by changing the surface heat flux which could drive the ascending branch of the Ferrel cell, strengthen or weaken the intensity of the Ferrel cell, and then influence the distribution of Southern Hemisphere precipitation. In the peripheral waters of the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Sea where sea ice concentration is lower than normal, upward heat flux could increase, making the ascending branch of the Ferrel cell abnormally strong. As a result, meridional transport would be enhanced and the descending branch strengthened, which would restrain the formation of precipitation in middle- and lower-latitude areas. In the peripheral waters of the Weddell Sea, where sea ice concentration is higher than normal, the responses of meridional transport and precipitation are almost the opposite. However, the response is much weaker at this longitude because of the land surface effect from the West Antarctic Peninsula and South America.%运用NCAR/CAM3全球大气环流模式,结合气候学诊断方法,分析了南极海冰涛动异常对南半球降水的影响,并对可能的作用机理进行了初步探讨.结果表明,南半球中纬度降水对海冰涛动异常的响应较为显著,且异常响应的空间分布与海冰涛动类似,分别

  16. On the influence of model physics on simulations of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Massonnet

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Two hindcast (1983–2007 simulations are performed with the global, ocean-sea ice models NEMO-LIM2 and NEMO-LIM3 driven by atmospheric reanalyses and climatologies. The two simulations differ only in their sea ice component, while all other elements of experimental design (resolution, initial conditions, atmospheric forcing are kept identical. The main differences in the sea ice models lie in the formulation of the subgrid-scale ice thickness distribution, of the thermodynamic processes, of the sea ice salinity and of the sea ice rheology. To assess the differences in model skill over the period of investigation, we develop a set of metrics for both hemispheres, comparing the main sea ice variables (concentration, thickness and drift to available observations and focusing on both mean state and seasonal to interannual variability. Based upon these metrics, we discuss the physical processes potentially responsible for the differences in model skill. In particular, we suggest that (i a detailed representation of the ice thickness distribution increases the seasonal to interannual variability of ice extent, with spectacular improvement for the simulation of the recent observed summer Arctic sea ice retreats, (ii the elastic-viscous-plastic rheology enhances the response of ice to wind stress, compared to the classical viscous-plastic approach, (iii the grid formulation and the air-sea ice drag coefficient affect the simulated ice export through Fram Strait and the ice accumulation along the Canadian Archipelago, and (iv both models show less skill in the Southern Ocean, probably due to the low quality of the reanalyses in this region and to the absence of important small-scale oceanic processes at the models' resolution (~1°.

  17. Subsurface imaging reveals a confined aquifer beneath an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dugan, H. A.; Doran, P. T.; Tulaczyk, S.;

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water oases are rare under extreme cold desert conditions found in the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys. Here we report geophysical results that indicate that Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the region, is nearly frozen and underlain by widespread cryoconcentrated brine. A ground penet...

  18. Terrestrial evidence of melting of the Antarctic ice sheet during the last glacial period

    OpenAIRE

    Sawagaki, Takanobu; Hirakawa,Kazuomi

    2002-01-01

    Antarctica at the close of a millennium : proceedings of the 8th international symposium on Antarctic earth sciences, Wellington, New Zealand, July 1999, Edited by: J.A. Gamble, D.N.B. Skinner, and S. Henrys (Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin, 35), ISBN: 1-877264-06-7, pp.404-414

  19. The FRUELA cruises.. A carbon flux study in productive areas of the Antarctic Peninsula (December 1995-February 1996)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anadón, Ricardo; Estrada, Marta

    The FRUELA (name of an 8th century king of Asturias) project, part of the Spanish contribution to the study of biogeochemical carbon fluxes in the Southern Ocean, was based on two consecutive cruises of the B.I.O.; Hespérides which took place in the Bransfield and Gerlache Straits and Belligshausen Sea between early December and early February of Austral summer 1995-1996. In addition to the cruises, data were obtained from an array of sediment traps deployed for one year in the Western Bransfield Strait Basin. The basic objectives of FRUELA were the quantification of carbon standing stocks and fluxes through the main components of the "biological pump" and the determination of carbon fluxes across different water column boundaries, including the transfer of CO 2 between the atmosphere and the ocean, the export of particulate carbon (PC) out of the euphotic zone, the vertical flux of PC in deep waters and the accumulation of carbon in sediments. The main hydrographical features found in the study region were the Southern Boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Currrent (SbyACC) and the Bransfield Front. Three major zones, with contrasting physico-chemical and biological characteristics were considered: Bellingshausen, including the Northwest Bellingshausen Sea and comprising the SbyACC, Bransfield, including the Western Bransfield Strait and the northeastern part of the Gerlache Strait, and Gerlache, with the rest of the Gerlache Strait. This paper summarizes the distribution of different properties and rate processes in these zones and discusses the major findings of the cruise concerning carbon fluxes. Our results indicate that, during the summer period, the studied area could be considered as a sink for atmospheric carbon. The amount of PC exported out of the photic layer was a moderate fraction of primary production and a low fraction of the suspended PC; high chlorophyll a systems dominated by microphytoplankton showed higher PC export fluxes than low

  20. Controls and variability of solute and sedimentary fluxes in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolinski, Zbigniew

    2015-04-01

    The currently prepared SEDIBUD Book on "Source-to-Sink Fluxes in Undisturbed Cold Environments" (edited by Achim A. Beylich, John C. Dixon and Zbigniew Zwolinski and published by Cambridge University Press) is summarizing and synthesizing the achievements of the International Association of Geomorphologists` (I.A.G./A.I.G.) Working Group SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments), which has been active since 2005 (http://www.geomorph.org/wg/wgsb.html). The book comprises five parts. One of them is part about sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Environments. This part "Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Environments" describes two different environments, namely oceanic and continental ones. Each part contains results of research on environmental drivers and rates of contemporary solute and sedimentary fluxes in selected sites. Apart from describing the environmental conditions of the whole continent of Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands (Zb.Zwolinski, M.Kejna, A.N.Lastochkin, A.Zhirov, S.Boltramovich) this part of the book characterizes terrestrial polar oases free from multi-year ice and snow covers (Zb.Zwolinski). The detailed results of geoecological and sedimentological research come from different parts of Antarctica. Antarctic continental shelf (E.Isla) is an example of sub-Antarctic oceanic environment. South Shetlands, especially King George Island (Zb.Zwolinski, M.Kejna, G.Rachlewicz, I.Sobota, J.Szpikowski), is an example of sub-Antarctic terrestrial environment. Antarctic Peninsula (G.Vieira, M.Francelino, J.C.Fernandes) and surroundings of McMurdo Dry Valleys (W.B.Lyons, K.A.Welch, J.Levy, A.Fountain, D.McKnight) are examples of Antarctic continental environments. The key goals of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic book chapters are following: (i) identify the main environmental drivers and rates of contemporary solute and sedimentary fluxes, and (ii) model possible effects of projected climate change on solute and sedimentary fluxes in cold climate environments

  1. Surface undulations of Antarctic ice streams tightly controlled by bedrock topography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. De Rydt

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Full Stokes models predict that fast-flowing ice streams transmit information about their bedrock topography most efficiently to the surface for basal undulations with length scales between 1 and 20 times the mean ice thickness. This typical behaviour is independent on the precise values of the flow law and sliding law exponents, and should be universally observable. However, no experimental evidence for this important theoretical prediction has been obtained so far, hence ignoring an important test for the physical validity of current-day ice flow models. In our work we use recently acquired airborne radar data for the Rutford Ice Stream and Evans Ice Stream, and we show that the surface response of fast-flowing ice is highly sensitive to bedrock irregularities with wavelengths of several ice thicknesses. The sensitivity depends on the slip ratio, i.e. the ratio between mean basal sliding velocity and mean deformational velocity. We find that higher values of the slip ratio generally lead to a more efficient transfer, whereas the transfer is significantly dampened for ice that attains most of its surface velocity by creep. Our findings underline the importance of bedrock topography for ice stream dynamics on spatial scales up to 20 times the mean ice thickness. Our results also suggest that local variations in the flow regime and surface topography at this spatial scale cannot be explained by variations in basal slipperiness.

  2. The Ice Core Data Gateway: The one stop gateway to ice core data held at the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, and the Arctic System Science's Data Coordination Center (ADCC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, R.; Scambos, T.; Eakin, M.; Anderson, D.; McNeave, C.

    2002-12-01

    The Ice Core Data Gateway archives and distributes physical and geochemical data from ice cores collected in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Typical data sets include age-depth relationships, oxygen and hydrogen isotope concentrations, major element chemistry, accumulation rates and pollen. The data are in general presented as ASCII files with a short text metadata description. The archive is designed to provide access to ice core data sets over the long term, thereby making them available for comparison with future data: a critical component of change detection studies. By facilitating broad data access, the center promotes interdisciplinary scientific research. Investigators are encouraged to contribute data sets derived from ice cores to the Ice Core Data Gateway. Data center staff will work with you to compile data set documentation prior to making the data available to users. Contributing scientists are given prominent recognition in the documentation, and while the data center answers technical questions about format, citations for usage, etc., it can refer scientific questions to contributors if requested. Contributing your data to the Ice Core Data Gateway and associated data centers directly supports to NSF Office of Polar Programs Guidelines and Award Conditions for Scientific Data (http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?opp991). This effort is being coordinated with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Initiative and U.S. component of the International Trans Antarctic Science Expedition (ITASE), and includes data from the Arctic System Science Program's Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core.

  3. Dry extraction of 14C02 and 14C0 from Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roijen, J.J. van; Bintanja, R.; Borg, R. van den; Broeke, M.R. van den; Jong, A.F.M. de; Oerlemans, J.

    1994-01-01

    A dry extraction method was used to obtain trapped CO, of 2-5 kg ice samples from a blue ice zone in East Antarctica. In situ produced 14C was also extracted in 14C0, and 14C0 concentrations at a ratio of 3.4 f 0.9. Correction of trapped 14C0, from in situ resulted in ice dates in the range 5-15 ka.

  4. Phase relationships between orbital forcing and the composition of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores

    OpenAIRE

    Bazin, Lucie; Landais, Amaelle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Ritz, Catherine; Picard, Ghislain; Jouzel, Jean; Dumont, Marie; Leuenberger, Markus; Prié, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Orbital tuning is central for ice core chronologies beyond annual layer counting, available back to 60 ka (i.e. thousands of years before 1950) for Greenland ice cores. While several complementary orbital tuning tools have recently been developed using δ18Oatm, δO2⁄N2 and air content with different orbital targets, quantifying their uncertainties remains a challenge. Indeed, the exact processes linking variations of these parameters, measured in the air trapped in ice,...

  5. Phase relationships between orbital forcing and the composition of air trapped in Antarctic ice cores

    OpenAIRE

    Bazin, Lucie; Landais, Amaelle; Capron, Emilie; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Ritz, Catherine; Picard, Ghislain; Jouzel, Jean; Dumont, Marie; Leuenberger, Markus; Prié, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Orbital tuning is central for ice core chronologies beyond annual layer counting, available back to 60 ka (i.e. thousands of years before 1950) for Greenland ice cores. While several complementary orbital tuning tools have recently been developed using δ¹⁸Oatm, δO₂⁄N₂ and air content with different orbital targets, quantifying their uncertainties remains a challenge. Indeed, the exact processes linking variations of these parameters, measured in the air trapped in ice, to their orbital target...

  6. Modelling the mass balance and salinity of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Vancoppenolle, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Ice formed from seawater, called sea ice, is both an important actor in and a sensitive indicator of climate change. Covering 7% of the World Ocean, sea ice damps the atmosphere-ocean exchanges of heat, radiation and momentum in polar regions. It also affects the oceanic circulation at a global scale. Recent satellite and submarine observations systems indicate a sharp decrease in the extent and volume of Arctic sea ice over the last 30 years. In addition, climate models project drastic sea i...

  7. A 30,000-yr isotope climatic record from Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simple glaciological conditions at Dome C in East Antarctica have made possible a more detailed and accurate interpretation of an ice core to 950 m depth spanning some 32,000 yr than that obtained from earlier ice cores. Measurements were made of the 180/160 ratios with a fully automatic mass spectrometer. 14C events in comparable marine core has enabled the reduction of accumulation rate during the last ice age to be estimated. Climatic events recorded in the ice core indicate that the warmest Holcene period in the Southern Hemisphere occurred at an earlier date than in the Northern Hemisphere. (author)

  8. ARISE (Antarctic Remote Ice Sensing Experiment) in the East 2003: Validation of Satellite-derived Sea-ice Data Product

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massom, Robert A.; Worby, Anthony; Lytle, Victoria; Markus, Thorsten; Allison, Ian; Scambos, Theodore; Enomoto, Hiroyuki; Tateyama, Kazutaka; Haran, Terence; Comiso, Josefino C.; Pfaffling, Andreas; Tamura, Takeshi; Muto, Atsuhiro; Kanagaratnam, Pannir; Giles, Barry; Young, Neal; Hyland, Glenn; Key, Erica

    2006-01-01

    Preliminary results are presented from the first validation of geophysical data products (ice concentration, snow thickness on sea ice (h(sub s) and ice temperature (T(sub i))fr om the NASA EOS Aqua AMSR-E sensor, in East Antarctica (in September-October 2003). The challenge of collecting sufficient measurements with which to validate the coarse-resolution AMSR-E data products adequately was addressed by means of a hierarchical approach, using detailed in situ measurements, digital aerial photography and other satellite data. Initial results from a circumnavigation of the experimental site indicate that, at least under cold conditions with a dry snow cover, there is a reasonably close agreement between satellite- and aerial-photo-derived ice concentrations, i.e. 97.2+/-.6% for NT2 and 96.5+/-2.5% for BBA algorithms vs 94.3% for the aerial photos. In general, the AMSR-E concentration represents a slight overestimate of the actual concentration, with the largest discrepancies occurring in regions containing a relatively high proportion of thin ice. The AMSR-E concentrations from the NT2 and BBA algorithms are similar on average, although differences of up to 5% occur in places, again related to thin-ice distribution. The AMSR-E ice temperature (T(sub i)) product agrees with coincident surface measurements to approximately 0.5 C in the limited dataset analyzed. Regarding snow thickness, the AMSR h(sub s) retrieval is a significant underestimate compared to in situ measurements weighted by the percentage of thin ice (and open water) present. For the case study analyzed, the underestimate was 46% for the overall average, but 23% compared to smooth-ice measurements. The spatial distribution of the AMSR-E h(sub s) product follows an expected and consistent spatial pattern, suggesting that the observed difference may be an offset (at least under freezing conditions). Areas of discrepancy are identified, and the need for future work using the more extensive dataset is

  9. Phase-sensitive radar on thick Antarctic ice - how well does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Steinhage, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Phase-sensitive radar (pRES) has become one of the mostly used tools to determine basal melt rates as well as vertical strain in ice sheets. Whereas most applications are performed on ice shelves, only few experiments were conducted on thick ice in Greenland or Antarctica. The technical constrains on an ice shelf to deduce basal melt rates are less demanding than on inland ice of more than 2 km thickness. First, the ice itself is usually only several 100s of meters thick; and, second, the reflection coefficient at the basal interface between sea water and ice is the second strongest one possible. Although the presence of marine ice with higher conductivities might increase attenuation in the lower parts, most experiments on shelves were successful. To transfer this technology to inland regions, either for the investigation of basal melt rates of subglacial hydrological networks or for determining vertical strain rates in basal regions, a reliable estimate of the current system performance is necessary. To this end we conducted an experiment at and in the vicinity of the EPICA deep ice core drill site EDML in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. That site has been explored in extraordinary detail with different geophysical methods and provides an already well-studied ice core and borehole, in particular with respect to physical properties like crystal orientation fabric, dielectric properties and matching of internal radar horizons with conductivity signals. We present data from a commercially available pRES system initially recorded in January 2015 and repeated measurements in January 2016. The pRES data are matched to existing and already depth-calibrated airborne radar data. Apart from identifying prominent internal layers, e.g. the one originating from the deposits of the Toba eruption at around 75 ka, we put special focus on the identification of the basal reflection at multiple polarizations. We discuss the potential uncertainty estimates and requirements to

  10. Synergism between elevated pCO2 and temperature on the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia lecointei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Torstensson

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Polar oceans are particularly susceptible to ocean acidification and warming. Diatoms play a significant role in sea ice biogeochemistry and provide an important food source to grazers in ice-covered oceans, especially during early spring. However, the ecophysiology of ice living organisms has received little attention in terms of ocean acidification. In this study, the synergism between temperature and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2 was investigated in relationship to the optimal growth temperature of the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia lecointei. Diatoms were kept in cultures at controlled levels of pCO2 (∼390 and ∼960 μatm} and temperature (−1.8 and 2.5 °C for 14 days. Synergism between temperature and pCO2 was detected in growth rate and acyl lipid fatty acid content. Carbon enrichment only promoted (3% growth rate closer to the optimal growth, but not at the control temperature (−1.8 °C. Optimal growth rate was observed around 5 °C in a separate experiment. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA comprised up to 98% of the total acyl lipid fatty acid pool at −1.8 °C. However, the total content of fatty acids was reduced by 39% at elevated pCO2, but only at the control temperature. PUFAs were reduced by 30% at high pCO2. Effects of carbon enrichment may be different depending on ocean warming scenario or season, e.g. reduced food quality for higher trophic levels during spring. Synergy between temperature and pCO2 may be particularly important in polar areas since a narrow thermal window generally limits cold-water organisms.

  11. Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Estimates from 2003 TO 2015 Using Icesat and CRYOSAT-2 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Huan; Hai, Gang; Chen, Lei; Liu, Shijie; Liu, Jun; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    An assessment of Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance from 2003 to 2015 has been carried out using a combination of ICESat data from 2003 to 2009 and CryoSat-2 data from 2010 to 2015. Both data sets are of L2 and are currently processed separately using different models. First, a repeat-track processing method that includes terms accounting for the trend and the first order fit of topography is applied to repeat-track measurements of all ICESat Campaigns. It uses the Least Squares fitting of the model to all observations in a box of 500 m x 500 m. The estimated trends in these boxes are then averaged inside a 30 km x 30 km cell. Similarly, the cells are used to estimate basin and ice sheet level surface elevation change trends. Mass balance calculating is performed at the cell level by multiplying the ice density by the volume change and then extended to the basin and the ice sheet level. Second, in CryoSat-2 data processing we applied a model within a cell of 5 km x 5 km considering that CryoSat-2 does not maintain repeated tracks. In this model the elevation trend, and a higher order topography are solved in an iterative way using the least squares technique. The mass change is computed at the cell level in the same way as the ICESat data. GIA correction is applied for both ICESat and CryoSat-2 estimates. Detailed information about the data processing, elevation and mass balance changes, and comparison with other studies will be introduced.

  12. Empirical estimation of present-day Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment and ice mass change

    OpenAIRE

    Gunter, B.C.; Didova, O.; Riva, R. E. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; J. T. M. Lenaerts; King, M.A.; M. R. van den Broeke; T. Urban

    2014-01-01

    This study explores an approach that simultaneously estimates Antarctic mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) through the combination of satellite gravity and altimetry data sets. The results improve upon previous efforts by incorporating a firn densification model to account for firn compaction and surface processes as well as reprocessed data sets over a slightly longer period of time. A range of different Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravity ...

  13. GLIMMER Antarctic Ice Sheet Model,an experimental research of moving boundary condition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tang Xueyuan; Sun Bo; Zhang Zhanhai; Li Yuansheng; Yang Qinghua

    2008-01-01

    A 3 D coupled ice sheet model,GLIMMER model is introduced,and an idealized ice sheet experiment under the EISMINT 1 criterion of moving boundary condition is presented.The results of the experiment reveal that for a steady state ice sheet profile the characteristic curves describe the process of evolution which are accordant with theoretical estimates.By solving the coupled thermodynamics equations of ice sheet,one may find the characteristic curves which derived from the conservation of the mass,energy and momentum to the ice flow profile.At the same time,an agreement,approximate to the GLIMMER case and the confirmed theoretical results,is found.Present study is explorihg work to introduceand discuss the handicaps of EISMINT criterion and GLIMMER,and prospect a few directions of the GLIMMER model.

  14. Health aspects of Antarctic tourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prociv, P

    1998-12-01

    Increasing numbers of seaborne tourists are visiting Antarctica, with most coming from the United States (3503 in 1996-97), Germany (777), and Australia (680; cf. 356 in 1994-95 and 410 in 1995-96). The impression among travel medicine clinicians is that, each year, more prospective travelers seek advice about the health demands of this type of adventure, mostly relating to fitness for travel, exposure to extreme cold, hazards in ice and snow, and other potential health risks. This is a recent phenomenon. While a regular shipping service had been established between the Falklands and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and the South Shetlands by 1924, the first documented tourists accompanied an Argentine expedition to the South Orkneys in 1933.1 Commercial airline flights over these islands and the Antarctic Peninsula began in 1956, from Chile, and recreational cruises to the Peninsula began in 1958. Tourist numbers subsequently grew slowly, for what was clearly an exclusive and very expensive undertaking, with few ships available for these hazardous voyages. From 1957 to 1993, 37,000 tourists visited by sea, most seeing only the Peninsula.2 The dramatic recent growth in numbers is a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The small fleet of ice-strengthened research vessels and working icebreakers, which was made redundant by withdrawal of central government support from isolated communities and military activities along the northern coast of Siberia (and from Antarctic research bases), now accounts for the bulk of charter-cruise tourism to Antarctica, at competitive prices. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators,3 7322 people traveled to Antarctica on commercially organized voyages in the 1996-97 season, and a record 10,000 shipborne visitors were expected for the 1997-98 season (November-March), traveling mainly from South America to the Peninsula on 15 ice-reinforced vessels, each carrying between 36 and 180

  15. Characteristics of change of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and the tropical Indian Ocean and its response to the change of the Antarctic ice area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    In this paper, by using ocean surface temperature data (COADS), the study is made of the characteristics of the monthly and annual changes of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and Indian Oceans, which have important influences on the climate change of the whole globe and the relation between ENSO(E1 Nino-Southern Oscillation) and the Antarctic ice area is also discussed. The result indicates that in the tropical western Pacific and the Indian Oceans the change of Sea Surface Temperture (SST) is conspicuous both monthly and armaully, and shows different change tendency between them. This result may be due to different relation in the vibration period of SST between the two Oceans. The better corresponding relationship is obvious in the annual change of SST in the tropical Indian Ocean with the occurrence El Nino and LaNlra. The change of the SST in the tropical western Pacific and the tropical Indian Oceans has a close relation to the Antarctic ice area, especially to the ice areas in the eastern-south Pole and Ross Sea, and its notable correlative relationship appears in 16 months when the SST of the tropical western Pacific and the Indian Oceans lag back the Antarctic ice area.

  16. A previously unreported type of seismic source in the firn layer of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Amanda C.; Barcheck, C. Grace; Wiens, Douglas A.; Nyblade, Andrew; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2015-11-01

    We identify a unique type of seismic source in the uppermost part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet recorded by temporary broadband seismic arrays in East Antarctica. These sources, termed "firnquakes," are characterized by dispersed surface wave trains with frequencies of 1-10 Hz detectable at distances up to 1000 km. Events show strong dispersed Rayleigh wave trains and an absence of observable body wave arrivals; most events also show weaker Love waves. Initial events were discovered by standard detection schemes; additional events were then detected with a correlation scanner using the initial arrivals as templates. We locate sources by determining the L2 misfit for a grid of potential source locations using Rayleigh wave arrival times and polarization directions. We then perform a multiple-filter analysis to calculate the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion and invert the group velocity for shear velocity structure. The resulting velocity structure is used as an input model to calculate synthetic seismograms. Inverting the dispersion curves yields ice velocity structures consistent with a low-velocity firn layer ~100 m thick and show that velocity structure is laterally variable. The absence of observable body wave phases and the relative amplitudes of Rayleigh waves and noise constrain the source depth to be less than 20 m. The presence of Love waves for most events suggests the source is not isotropic. We propose the events are linked to the formation of small crevasses in the firn, and several events correlate with shallow crevasse fields mapped in satellite imagery.

  17. Rapid changes in surface water carbonate chemistry during Antarctic sea ice melt

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Elizabeth M.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Venables, Hugh J.; Whitehouse, Michael J.; Korb, Rebecca E.; Watson, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    The effect of sea ice melt on the carbonate chemistry of surface waters in the Weddell–Scotia Confluence, Southern Ocean, was investigated during January 2008. Contrasting concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (TA) and the fugacity of carbon dioxide (fCO2) were observed in and around the receding sea ice edge. The precipitation of carbonate minerals such as ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O) in sea ice brine has the net effect of decreasing DIC and TA and increasing the fCO2 i...

  18. Basal hydraulic system of a West Antarctic ice stream: constraints from borehole observations

    OpenAIRE

    Engelhardt, Hermann; Kamb, Barclay

    1997-01-01

    Pressure and tracer measurements in boreholes drilled to the bottom of Ice Stream B, West Antarctica, are used to obtain information about the basal water conduit system in which high water pressures are developed. These high pressures presumably make possible the rapid movement of the ice stream. Pressure in the system is indicated by the borehole water level once connection to the conduit system is made. On initial connection, here also called "breakthrough" to the basal water system,...

  19. Recent sea-level contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Wingham, Duncan

    2007-03-16

    After a century of polar exploration, the past decade of satellite measurements has painted an altogether new picture of how Earth's ice sheets are changing. As global temperatures have risen, so have rates of snowfall, ice melting, and glacier flow. Although the balance between these opposing processes has varied considerably on a regional scale, data show that Antarctica and Greenland are each losing mass overall. Our best estimate of their combined imbalance is about 125 gigatons per year of ice, enough to raise sea level by 0.35 millimeters per year. This is only a modest contribution to the present rate of sea-level rise of 3.0 millimeters per year. However, much of the loss from Antarctica and Greenland is the result of the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which has accelerated over the past decade. In both continents, there are suspected triggers for the accelerated ice discharge-surface and ocean warming, respectively-and, over the course of the 21st century, these processes could rapidly counteract the snowfall gains predicted by present coupled climate models. PMID:17363663

  20. The aeromagnetic method as a tool to identify Cenozoic magmatism in the West Antarctic Rift System beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: a review; Thiel subglacial volcano as possible source of the ash layer in the WAISCOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.

    2013-01-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS). The aeromagnetic method has been the most useful geophysical tool for identification of subglacial volcanic rocks, since 1959–64 surveys, particularly combined with 1978 radar ice-sounding. The unique 1991–97 Central West Antarctica (CWA) aerogeophysical survey covering 354,000 km2 over the WAIS, (5-km line-spaced, orthogonal lines of aeromagnetic, radar ice-sounding, and aerogravity measurements), still provides invaluable information on subglacial volcanic rocks, particularly combined with the older aeromagnetic profiles. These data indicate numerous 100–>1000 nT, 5–50-km width, shallow-source, magnetic anomalies over an area greater than 1.2 × 106 km2, mostly from subglacial volcanic sources. I interpreted the CWA anomalies as defining about 1000 “volcanic centers” requiring high remanent normal magnetizations in the present field direction. About 400 anomaly sources correlate with bed topography. At least 80% of these sources have less than 200 m relief at the WAIS bed. They appear modified by moving ice, requiring a younger age than the WAIS (about 25 Ma). Exposed volcanoes in the WARS are The present rapid changes resulting from global warming, could be accelerated by subglacial volcanism.

  1. Identifying the AD 1257 Salamas volcanic event from micron-size tephra composition in two East Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Jean Robert; Narcisi, Biancamaria; Batanova, Valentina G.; Joël, Savarino; Komorowski, Jean Christophe; Michel, Agnes; Metrich, Nicole; Besson, Pascale; Vidal, Celine; Sobolev, Alexander V.

    2016-04-01

    A wealth of valuable data about the history of explosive volcanic history can be extracted from polar ice successions. Both the volatile by-products and the solid silicate (tephra) components of volcanic plumes can be incorporated into snow layers, providing tools for chronostratigraphic correlations and for interpretation of climate-volcanism interactions. Volcanic events from low-latitude regions are of particular interest as the related sulphate aerosol travelling through the stratosphere can reach the polar sheets forming inter-hemispheric (Greenland and Antarctica) signals preserved in the ice. Within the glaciological record of globally significant volcanic markers, the AD1259 signal represents one of most prominent events over the last thousands years. Its source has been long debated. On the basis of recent field investigations (Lavigne et al., 2013; Vidal et al., 2015), it has been proposed that Mount Samalas on Lombok Island (Indonesia) represents the source responsible for the polar event. With the goal of bringing distal tephrochronological evidence to source identification, we have attempted to identify volcanic ash associated to the AD 1259 sulphate pulse. To this purpose we used firn and ice-core samples from two East Antarctic Plateau sites: Concordia-Dome C (75°06' S, 123°20' E, 3233 m) and Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E, 2315 m). Our high-resolution studies included sample processing in a Class 100 clean room using established ultra-clean procedures for insoluble microparticle analyses, Coulter counter grain size measurements, scanning electron microscope observations and the geochemical (major elements) composition from the recently set ISTERRE Jeol JXA 8230 Superprobe and calibrated for small particles analysis. Despite the difficulty of studying such minute fragments, within both cores we located and characterised multiple tiny (micron-size) glass shards concomitant with the volcanic peak. We present preliminary results alongside comparison

  2. Comparison of Surface Elevation Changes of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Radar and Laser Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Barbieri, Kristine; DiMarzio, John P.; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2012-01-01

    A primary purpose of satellite altimeter measurements is determination of the mass balances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and changes with time by measurement of changes in the surface elevations. Since the early 1990's, important measurements for this purpose have been made by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and CryoSat and a laser altimeter on ICESat. One principal factor limiting direct comparisons between radar and laser measurements is the variable penetration depth of the radar signal and the corresponding location of the effective depth of the radar-measured elevation beneath the surface, in contrast to the laser-measured surface elevation. Although the radar penetration depth varies significantly both spatially and temporally, empirical corrections have been developed to account for this effect. Another limiting factor in direct comparisons is caused by differences in the size of the laser and radar footprints and their respective horizontal locations on the surface. Nevertheless, derived changes in elevation, dHldt, and time-series of elevation, H(t), have been shown to be comparable. For comparisons at different times, corrections for elevation changes caused by variations in the rate offrrn compaction have also been developed. Comparisons between the H(t) and the average dH/dt at some specific locations, such as the Vostok region of East Antarctic, show good agreement among results from ERS-l and 2, Envisat, and ICESat. However, Greenland maps of dHidt from Envisat and ICESat for the same time periods (2003-2008) show some areas of significant differences as well as areas of good agreement. Possible causes of residual differences are investigated and described.

  3. Applicability of ERTS to Antarctic iceberg resources. [harvesting icebergs for fresh water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hult, J. L.; Ostrander, N. C.

    1974-01-01

    This investigation explores the applicability of ERTS to: (1) determine the Antarctic sea ice and environmental behavior that may influence the harvesting of icebergs, and (2) monitor iceberg locations, characteristics, and evolution. Imagery sampling in the western Antarctic between the Peninsula and the Ross Sea is used in the analysis. It is found that the potential applicability of ERTS to the research, planning, and harvesting operations can contribute importantly to the glowing promise derived from broader scope studies for the use of Antarctic icebergs to relieve a growing global thirst for fresh water. Several years of comprehensive monitoring will be necessary to characterize sea-ice and environmental behavior and iceberg evolution. Live ERTS services will assist harvesting control and claiming operations and offer a means for harmonizing entitlements to iceberg resources.

  4. Nitrate and chloride in Antarctic ice cores - postdepositional effects and the preservation of atmospheric signals (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasteris, D.; McConnell, J. R.; Edwards, R.; Isaksson, E. D.; Albert, M. R.

    2013-12-01

    Continuous nitrate and chloride measurements have been made from an array of ice cores located in interior Dronning Maud Land that cover the last 2000 years. The average snow accumulation rates at the ice core sites range from 2.7 to 10 cm weq yr-1, which has enabled the study of how accumulation rate affects the preservation and diffusion of nitrate and chloride in the snow. High-resolution dating of the ice cores by tie-point matching with the WAIS Divide ice core has allowed the effects of temporal changes in accumulation rate to also be observed. Results show a strong linear dependence of nitrate concentration on site-average accumulation rate, suggesting that fresh snow concentrations and reemission rates of nitrate from the snowpack are homogenous across the study area. Bulk chloride to sodium ratios over scales greater than 1 m are close to bulk sea salt composition at all of the sites, suggesting that little net gain or loss of volatile chloride has occurred. However, the chloride signal is heavily diffused relative to sodium and the extent of diffusion does not increase with depth in the ice cores, suggesting that it is a near-surface phenomenon. Possible mechanisms behind the observed chloride diffusion pattern will be discussed. Lastly, a sustained decline in nitrate concentration occurred during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1500-1900 C.E.), but the high-resolution snow accumulation records show that it is not caused by a decrease in accumulation rate during that time. The nitrate record is highly correlated with published methane isotope data from Antarctica (δ13CH4), suggesting that the decline during the LIA was caused by a decrease in a biomass burning nitrate source. Average nitrate concentration versus site-average inverse accumulation rate Composite time series of nitrate (thick black line), δ13CH4 (thin red line with diamonds), and black carbon (dashed black line).

  5. Antarctic climate variability during the past few centuries based on ice core records from coastal Dronning Maud Land and its implications on the Recent warming

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thamban, M.; Naik, S.S.; Laluraj, C.M.; Chaturvedi, A.; Ravindra, R.

      Southern  Ocean  is  an  outcome  of  the  interplay of the ice sheet, ocean, sea ice, and atmosphere and their response to past and present  climate forcing. With ~98% of its area covered with snow and ice, the Antarctic continent reflects  most...‐dated firn/ice cores from the coastal regions of Antarctica. With this backdrop, the National  Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research has taken up studies on snow and shallow ice core from  the  central  Dronning  Maud  Land  (DML)  in  East  Antarctica.  The  initial  results  suggested  that  understanding  the  modern  biogeochemical  processes...

  6. Autonomy Software Architecture for LORAX (Life On ice Robotic Antarctic eXplorer)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Ari; McGann, Conor; Pedersen, Liam; Iatauro, Michael; Rajagopalan, Srikanth

    2005-01-01

    LORAX is a robotic astrobiological study of the ice field surrounding the Carapace Nunatak near the Allan Hills in Antarctica. The study culminates in a l00km traverse, sampling the ice at various depths (from surface to 10cm) at over 100 sites to survey microbial ecology and to record environmental parameters. The autonomy requirements from LORAX are shared by many robotic exploration tasks. Consequently, the LORAX autonomy architecture is a general architecture for on-board planning and execution in environments where science return is to be maximized against resource limitations and other constraints.

  7. Proxies and measurement techinques for mineral dust in antarctic ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruth..[], Urs; Bigler, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    To improve quantitative interpretation of ice core aeolian dust records, a systematic methodological comparison was made. This involved methods for water-insoluble particle counting (Coulter counter and laser-sensing particle detector), soluble ion analysis (ion chromatography and continuous flow...

  8. Beryllium-10 in the Taylor Dome ice core: Applications to Antarctic glaciology and paleoclimatology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steig, E.J.

    1996-12-31

    An ice core was drilled at Taylor dome, East Antarctica, reaching to bedrock at 554 meters. Oxygen-isotope measurements reveal climatic fluctuations through the last interglacial period. To facilitate comparison of the Taylor Dome paleoclimate record with geologic data and results from other deep ice cores, several glaciological issues need to be addressed. In particular, accumulation data are necessary as input for numerical ice-flow-models, for determining the flux of chemical constituents from measured concentrations, and for calculation of the offset in age between ice and trapped air in the core. The analysis of cosmogenic beryllium-10 provides a geochemical method for constraining the accumulation-rate history at Taylor Dome. High-resolution measurements were made in shallow firn cores and snow pits to determine the relationship among beryllium-10 concentrations, wet and dry deposition mechanisms, and snow-accumulation rates. Comparison between theoretical and measured variations in deposition over the last 75 years constrains the relationship between beryllium-10 deposition and global average production rates. The results indicate that variations in geomagnetically-modulated production-rate do not strongly influence beryllium-10 deposition at Taylor Dome. Although solar modulation of production rate is important for time scales of years to centuries, snow-accumulation rate is the dominant control on ice-core beryllium-10 concentrations for longer periods. Results show that the Taylor Dome core can be used to provide new constraints on regional climate over the last 130,000 years, complementing the terrestrial and marine geological record from the Dry Valley, Transantarctic Mountains and western Ross Sea.

  9. Antarctic Miocene Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Fossils from Antarctic Miocene terrestrial deposits, coupled with stratigraphic, geochemical and paleontological data from marine boreholes, provide new insights into the climatic history of the continent. During the Miocene, ice caps coalesced to form ice sheets and vegetated surfaces gave way to barren expanses. The cryospheric changes especially have global climatic implications. The fossil data consists of diatoms, pollen and spores, and macroscopic remains of plants, ostracods, insects, molluscs and a fish. Plant fossils include wood and leaves of Nothofagus (southern beech), seeds of several vascular plants, including Ranunculus (buttercup), Hippuris (mare's-tail) and Myriophyllum (watermilfoil), megaspores of Isoetes (quillwort), and moss species. The insect chitin consists of larval head capsules of Chironomidae (midges) and exoskeletal parts of Coleoptera (beetles). The molluscs include freshwater gastropods and bivalves. The majority of these taxa are likely descendants of taxa that had survived on the continent from the Paleogene or earlier. Even though early Miocene glaciations may have been large, the climate was never cold enough to cause the extinction of the biota, which probably survived in coastal refugia. Early Miocene (c. 20 Ma) macrofossils from the McMurdo Dry Valleys (77°S) support palynological interpretations from the Cape Roberts and ANDRILL marine records that the upland vegetation was a shrub tundra. Mean summer temperature (MST) in the uplands was c. 6°C and possibly higher at the coast. The climate was wet, supporting mires and lakes. By the mid-Miocene, even though the climate continued to be wet. MST was c. 4°C which was too cold to support Nothofagus and most vascular plant species. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the time between the Early and Mid-Miocene was a time of repeated ice advances and retreats of small glaciers originating from ice caps. At c. 14 Ma there appears to have been a modal shift in climate to

  10. Cloning, Expression, Purification, and Characterization of Glutaredoxin from Antarctic Sea-Ice Bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. AN178

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quanfu Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Glutaredoxins (Grxs are small ubiquitous redox enzymes that catalyze glutathione-dependent reactions to reduce protein disulfide. In this study, a full-length Grx gene (PsGrx with 270 nucleotides was isolated from Antarctic sea-ice bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. AN178. It encoded deduced 89 amino acid residues with the molecular weight 9.8 kDa. Sequence analysis of the amino acid sequence revealed the catalytic motif CPYC. Recombinant PsGrx (rPsGrx stably expressed in E. coli BL21 was purified to apparent homogeneity by Ni-affinity chromatography. rPsGrx exhibited optimal activity at 30°C and pH 8.0 and showed 25.5% of the activity at 0°C. It retained 65.0% of activity after incubation at 40°C for 20 min and still exhibited 37.0% activity in 1.0 M NaCl. These results indicated that rPsGrx was a typical cold active protein with low thermostability.

  11. Surface energy balance, clouds and radiation over Antarctic sea ice during Austral spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Ackley, S. F.; Perovich, D. K.; Tison, J.-L.

    2009-04-01

    In Sept-Oct 2007, a sea ice drift station, Ice Station Belgica, was established in the Bellingshausen Sea. Over twenty-seven days, measurements of meteorological variables, radiation and surface albedo were performed by combining ship-based and in situ data, in order to assess the surface energy balance. Visual observations of the state of the sky (clear or overcast) were also done. The sampled floe was characterized by thin (0.6m) and medium thick (1.1m) first-year ice and older, second-year ice of greater than 2m mean thickness. Snow cover depth varied from zero cm over the new ice to > 0.8m on the second year ice. The weather at Ice Station Belgica was characterized by typical spring conditions. Synoptic variability was mostly driven by the wind direction, which determines the origin - continental or oceanic - of the air masses. Under northerly winds, warm (from -5 to 0 °C) and wet (relative humidity from 90 to 100%) oceanic air was advected on the floe. Under southerlies, cold (from -20 to -10°C) and dry (70-85 %) continental air was brought on site. In turn, this also determined the state of the sky, with clear (overcast) skies mostly associated to continental (oceanic) weather. The incoming solar radiation was on average 124 W/m², with a trend of 3.5 W/m² over the ice station, while the incoming longwave radiation was on average 227 W/m², with no trend. As expected, the incoming solar radiation shows a marked diurnal cycle, while LW does not. The day-to-day variability in radiation is largely determined by changes in the state of the sky. Broadband surface albedo was measured in situ, using a bidirectional pyranometer, on two sites respectively covered by thin (10-15 cm) and deep (30-40 cm) snow. Both sites were visited every 5 days and albedo was measured on 6 points, spaced by 5 m on an 25-m long "albedo" line. Snow depth was also monitored every meter along the albedo line. The mean albedo is 0.83 ± 0.05. Variations around this mean value are

  12. Interannual surface evolution of an Antarctic blue-ice moraine using multi-temporal DEMs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westoby, Matthew J.; Dunning, Stuart A.; Woodward, John; Hein, Andrew S.; Marrero, Shasta M.; Winter, Kate; Sugden, David E.

    2016-06-01

    Multi-temporal and fine-resolution topographic data products are increasingly used to quantify surface elevation change in glacial environments. In this study, we employ 3-D digital elevation model (DEM) differencing to quantify the topographic evolution of a blue-ice moraine complex in front of Patriot Hills, Heritage Range, Antarctica. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) was used to acquire multiple topographic datasets of the moraine surface at the beginning and end of the austral summer season in 2012/2013 and during a resurvey field campaign in 2014. A complementary topographic dataset was acquired at the end of season 1 through the application of structure from motion with multi-view stereo (SfM-MVS) photogrammetry to a set of aerial photographs acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Three-dimensional cloud-to-cloud differencing was undertaken using the Multiscale Model to Model Cloud Comparison (M3C2) algorithm. DEM differencing revealed net uplift and lateral movement of the moraine crests within season 1 (mean uplift ~ 0.10 m) and surface lowering of a similar magnitude in some inter-moraine depressions and close to the current ice margin, although we are unable to validate the latter. Our results indicate net uplift across the site between seasons 1 and 2 (mean 0.07 m). This research demonstrates that it is possible to detect dynamic surface topographical change across glacial moraines over short (annual to intra-annual) timescales through the acquisition and differencing of fine-resolution topographic datasets. Such data offer new opportunities to understand the process linkages between surface ablation, ice flow and debris supply within moraine ice.

  13. Very little in situ produced radiocarbon retained in accumulating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ice samples from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were analyzed for 14CO2 and 14CO by accelerator mass spectrometry. Only a small amount (∼2%) of in situ produced radiocarbon was detected. The calibrated radiocarbon ages, corrected for in situ produced 14C, are in fair agreement with age estimates obtained from stratigraphical methods added to a gas inclusion model. The ages of the entrapped air range from recent to ca. 1200 AD

  14. Micrometeorites in Antarctic ice detected by Ir. Estimation of 120k year old accretion rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The accretion rate of micrometeorites (MMs) was estimated from Ir contents in snow around Dome Fuji Station and ice shards obtained during ice core drilling at Dome Fuji Station, Antarctica. The snow and ice shards were melted and filtered from the residues. Although MMs were not found on filters, we tried to detect them from the residues as Ir peaks determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Although Ir is very rare in the earth's crust, its concentration is high in extraterrestrial matter (e.g., chondrites). Trace amounts of Ir can be easily detected by INAA, because the cross section of Ir is relatively large (e.g., 309 barn). The accretion rates were estimated for 120k year ago, 5k year ago and at present, as (3.2 ± 0.9) x 102 t/year (8.6 ± 0.18) x 103 t/year and (1.3 ± 0.10) x 103 t/year, respectively. These estimates were comparable to those of previous studies, however the rate of 120k year ago was approximately an order of magnitudes lower than the others. (author)

  15. Particularidades genéticas de glaciares de roca en la isla James Ross, Península Antártica Genetic peculiarities of the rock glaciers in the James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A. Strelin

    2007-12-01

    morphostructural and morphogenetic environmental conditions. The most important morphostructural condition is the presence of basaltic mesas that provide the raw material for the debris cover of the rock glaciers. The morphogenetic conditions involve small polithermal glaciers that due to little summer temperature variations, subtle reduction in the precipitations, and/or changes in the intensity and direction of the main regional winds, become debris covered. An important factor related to the debris cover, particularly to the nearly homogenous debris distribution over the whole glacier surface, is related to the so called oscillation of the regelation front. Under stable climatic conditions, after the debris cover reaches a thickness similar to that of the active layer, the ice core ablation diminishes markedly, remaining only the own plastic deformation of the ice core. The debris cover of the rock glaciers studied in James Ross Island reaches around 0.3 m in thickness close to the valley head, increasing the thickness to more than 1 m in the fronts. The ice cores rarely exceed 80 m in thickness, and close to the central part of the rock glacier the horizontal flow velocity amounts about 0.15 m per year. The formation of these rock glaciers, and some ice cored moraines, goes back to the climatic change that finished the Little Ice Age. The severe climatic warming verified in the last 15 years in the northern sector of Antarctic Peninsula accelerated the collapse of some of these landforms.

  16. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet – the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary – are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74 % abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19 % is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7 % of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from ±52 m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to ±502 m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma uncertainties of surface elevations of ±3.6, ±9.6, ±11.4, ±30 and ±100 m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2 ± 71.3 m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line

  17. Getting around Antarctica: New High-Resolution Mappings of the Grounded and Freely-Floating Boundaries of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Created for the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.; Choi, H.; Wichlacz, A.; Bingham, R.; Bohlander, J.; Brunt, K.; Corr, H.; Drews, R.; Fricker, H.; Hall, M.; Hindmarsh, R.; Kohler, J.; Padman, L.; Rack, W.; Rotschkly, G.; Urbini, S.; Vornberger, P.; Young, N.

    2011-01-01

    Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet - the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary - are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma) accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from +/- 52m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to +/- 502m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma) uncertainties of surface elevations of +/-3.6, +/-9.6, +/-11.4, +/-30 and +/-100m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2+/-71.3m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounded ice

  18. Expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula in the 2012-2013 campaign with participation of the CIEMAT; Expedicion a la Peninsula Antartica en la campana 2012-2013 con participacion del CIEMAT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmid, T.; Lopez Martinez, J.; Duran Valsero, J. J.; O' Neill, T.

    2013-07-01

    Antarctica is the most remote, hostile and uninhabited continent on Earth. It is key to understand how our planet works and the impact we have on it. The Antarctic has many unique geological, glaciological and biological features. Its environment and its biological communities have a limited natural capacity for recovery from the alterations they undergo and therefore can be easily and irreversibly damaged. This is why the Antarctic Treaty and, in particular, the Protocol on Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) pay special attention to these matters. In this context, the effects of climate change and also the growing pressure of human activities, including scientific research and tourist visits, are reason for this attention. (Author)

  19. Ranges of moisture-source temperatures estimated from Antarctic ice core stable isotope records over the glacial-interglacial cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Uemura

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A single isotope ratio (δD or δ18O of water is widely used as an air-temperature proxy in Antarctic ice cores. These isotope ratios, however, do not solely depend on air-temperature but also on the extent of distillation of heavy isotopes out of atmospheric water vapor from an oceanic moisture source to a precipitation site. The temperature changes at the oceanic moisture source (ΔTsource and at the precipitation site (ΔTsite can be retrieved by using deuterium-excess (d data. A new d record from Dome Fuji, Antarctica is produced spanning the past 360 000 yr and compared with records from Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores. To retrieve ΔTsource and ΔTsite information, different linear regression equations have been proposed using theoretical isotope distillation models. A major source of uncertainty lies in the coefficient of regression, βsite which is related to the sensitivity of d to ΔTsite. We show that different ranges of temperature and selections of isotopic model outputs may increase the value of βsite by a factor of two. To explore the impacts of this coefficient on the reconstructed temperatures, we apply for the first time the exact same methodology to the isotope records from the three Antarctica ice cores. We show that uncertainties in the βsite coefficient strongly affect (i the glacial-interglacial magnitude of ΔTsource; (ii the imprint of obliquity in ΔTsource and in the site-source temperature gradient. By contrast, we highlight the robustness of ΔTsite reconstruction using water isotopes records.

  20. Rift in Antarctic Glacier: a Unique Chance to Study Ice Shelf Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howat, Ian M.; Jezek, Ken; Studinger, Michael; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Paden, John; Floricioiu, Dana; Russell, Rob; Linkswiler, Matt; Dominguez, Roseanne T.

    2012-01-01

    It happened again, but this time it was caught in the act. During the last week of September 2011 a large transverse rift developed across thefloating terminus of West Antarcticas PineIsland Glacier, less than 5 years after its lastlarge calving event, in 2007 (Figure 1). PineIsland Glaciers retreat has accelerated substantiallyin the past 2 decades, and it is nowlosing 50 gigatons of ice per year, or roughly 25 of Antarcticas total annual contributionto sea level rise [Rignot et al., 2008]. The glaciers recent accelerated retreat is likely triggered by ocean warming and increased submarine melting. As such, it is of significant interest to glaciologists and of heightened societal relevance.

  1. Analysis of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    If protoplanets formed from 10 to 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals in a runaway accretion process prior to their oligarchic growth into the terrestrial planets, it is only logical to ask where these planetesimals may have formed in order to assess the initial composition of the Earth. We have used Weidenschilling's model for the formation of comets (1997) to calculate an efficiency factor for the formation of planetesimals from the solar nebula, then used this factor to calculate the feeding zones that contribute to material contained within 10, 15 and 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals at 1 A.V. as a function of nebular mass. We find that for all reasonable nebular masses, these planetesimals contain a minimum of 3% water as ice by mass. The fraction of ice increases as the planetesimals increase in size and as the nebular mass decreases, since both factors increase the feeding zones from which solids in the final planetesimals are drawn. Is there really a problem with the current accretion scenario that makes the Earth too dry, or is it possible that the nascent Earth lost significant quantities of water in the final stages of accretion?

  2. Antarctic research today

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    With the appetite for living and dead natural resources, the political and economical interest concerning the Antarctic increases throughout the world. There are three interrelated main subjects accounting for the international interest: The shelf tectonic puzzle of the original continent of Gondwana, where the Antarctic is situated in the centre, between Australia, South Africa and South America, and the hopes concerning the existence of mineral resources under the ice of the Antarctic are based thereon. The Antarctic forms the biggest unified living space of the world. (orig.)

  3. Use of high frequency radiometer and altimeter on board AMSU-B, AMSR-E and Altika/SARAL for observations of the Antarctic ice sheet surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adodo, Fifi; Picard, Ghislain; Remy, Frederique

    2016-04-01

    Snow surface properties quickly evolved according to local weather conditions, therefore are climate change indicator. These snow surface properties such as grain size, density, accumulation rate etc... are very important for evaluation and monitoring of the impact of global warming on the polar ice sheet. In order to retrieve these snowpack properties, we explore the high frequency microwave radiometer variable( Brightness Temperature (Tb)) on the Antarctic ice sheet on-board AMSU-B , AMSR-E in combination with the ALTIKA altimeter (37GHz) waveform parameters (Backscatter coefficient, Trailing edge Slope(TeS) and Leading edge Width(LeW)). We compare the radiometer brightness temperature to calculations with the DMRT- ML radiative transfer model which simulates brightness temperature in vertical and horizontal polarizations. With some assumptions, this combination allows a good retrieval of snowpack properties. We showed positive trend of the grains size on the Antarctic plateau especially at Dome C during the two last decades. This work will provide a higher accuracy of the estimation of snowpack surfaces properties and contribute to monitoring the ice sheet surface mass balance, well constraining of meteorological and glaciological models.

  4. Solution structures, dynamics, and ice growth inhibitory activity of peptide fragments derived from an antarctic yeast protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed Hussinien H Shah

    Full Text Available Exotic functions of antifreeze proteins (AFP and antifreeze glycopeptides (AFGP have recently been attracted with much interest to develop them as commercial products. AFPs and AFGPs inhibit ice crystal growth by lowering the water freezing point without changing the water melting point. Our group isolated the Antarctic yeast Glaciozyma antarctica that expresses antifreeze protein to assist it in its survival mechanism at sub-zero temperatures. The protein is unique and novel, indicated by its low sequence homology compared to those of other AFPs. We explore the structure-function relationship of G. antarctica AFP using various approaches ranging from protein structure prediction, peptide design and antifreeze activity assays, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR studies and molecular dynamics simulation. The predicted secondary structure of G. antarctica AFP shows several α-helices, assumed to be responsible for its antifreeze activity. We designed several peptide fragments derived from the amino acid sequences of α-helical regions of the parent AFP and they also showed substantial antifreeze activities, below that of the original AFP. The relationship between peptide structure and activity was explored by NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulation. NMR results show that the antifreeze activity of the peptides correlates with their helicity and geometrical straightforwardness. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulation also suggests that the activity of the designed peptides can be explained in terms of the structural rigidity/flexibility, i.e., the most active peptide demonstrates higher structural stability, lower flexibility than that of the other peptides with lower activities, and of lower rigidity. This report represents the first detailed report of downsizing a yeast AFP into its peptide fragments with measurable antifreeze activities.

  5. Stable isotopic biogeochemistry of carbon and nitrogen in a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharton, R. A. Jr; Lyons, W. B.; Des Marais, D. J.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    Lake Hoare (77 degrees 38' S, 162 degrees 53' E) is an amictic, oligotrophic, 34-m-deep, closed-basin lake in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Its perennial ice cover minimizes wind-generated currents and reduces light penetration, as well as restricts sediment deposition into the lake and the exchange of atmospheric gases between the water column and the atmosphere. The biological community of Lake Hoare consists solely of microorganisms -- both planktonic populations and benthic microbial mats. Lake Hoare is one of several perennially ice-covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys that represent the end-member conditions of cold desert and saline lakes. The dry valley lakes provide a unique opportunity to examine lacustrine processes that operate at all latitudes, but under an extreme set of environmental conditions. The dry valley lakes may also offer a valuable record of catchment and global changes in the past and present. Furthermore, these lakes are modern-day equivalents of periglacial lakes that are likely to have been common during periods of glacial maxima at temperate latitudes. We have analyzed the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) of Lake Hoare for delta 13C and the organic matter of the sediments and sediment-trap material for delta 13C and delta 15N. The delta 13C of the DIC indicates that 12C is differentially removed in the shallow, oxic portions of the lake via photosynthesis. In the anoxic portions of the lake (27-34 m) a net addition of 12C to the DIC pool occurs via organic matter decomposition. The dissolution of CaCO3 at depth also contributes to the DIC pool. Except near the Canada Glacier where a substantial amount of allochthonous organic matter enters the lake, the organic carbon being deposited on the lake bottom at different sites is isotopically similar, suggesting an autochthonous source for the organic carbon. Preliminary inorganic carbon flux calculations suggest that a high percentage of the organic carbon fixed in the water column is

  6. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): In Situ Nondestructive Detection of Microbial Life in the Ice Covers of Antarctic Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.; Sattler, Birgit

    2009-09-01

    Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) images were obtained in situ following 532 nm excitation of cryoconite assemblages in the ice covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for orbital monitoring of photosynthetic primary productivity in polar and alpine glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and lake ice of Earth's cryosphere. The findings open up the possibility of searching from either a rover or from orbit covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for

  7. The Antarctic ice core chronology (AICC2012: an optimized multi-parameter and multi-site dating approach for the last 120 thousand years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Veres

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The deep polar ice cores provide reference records commonly employed in global correlation of past climate events. However, temporal divergences reaching up to several thousand years (ka exist between ice cores over the last climatic cycle. In this context, we are hereby introducing the Antarctic Ice Core Chronology 2012 (AICC2012, a new and coherent timescale developed for four Antarctic ice cores, namely Vostok, EPICA Dome C (EDC, EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML and Talos Dome (TALDICE, alongside the Greenlandic NGRIP record. The AICC2012 time scale has been constructed using the Bayesian tool Datice (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010 that combines glaciological inputs and data constraints, including a wide range of relative and absolute gas and ice stratigraphic markers. We focus here on the last 120 ka, whereas the companion paper by Bazin et al., (2012 focuses on the interval 120–800 ka.

    Compared to previous timescales, AICC2012 presents an improved timing for the last glacial inception respecting the glaciological constraints of all analyzed records. Moreover, with the addition of numerous new stratigraphic markers and improved calculation of the lock-in depth (LID based on δ15N data employed as the Datice background scenario, the AICC2012 presents a new timing for the bipolar sequence of events over Marine Isotope Stage 3 associated with the see-saw mechanism, with maximum differences of about 500 yr with respect to the previous Datice-derived chronology of Lemieux-Dudon et al. (2010, hereafter denoted LD2010. Our improved scenario confirms the regional differences for the millennial scale variability over the last glacial period: while the EDC isotopic record (events of triangular shape displays peaks roughly at the same time as the NGRIP abrupt isotopic increases, the EDML isotopic record (events characterized by broader peaks or even extended periods of high isotope values reached the isotopic maximum several centuries

  8. Geochemical analysis of ice cores from Antarctic crossing-preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two ice cores, IC-5 (82 Celsius degrade 30.5'S, 79 Celsius degrade 28'W, 950 m a.s.l.; 42.5 m) and one IC-6 (81 Celsius degrade 03'S, 79 Celsius degrade 51'W, 750 m a.s.l; 36 m) were collected as part of the 2004/2005 Chilean (with Brazilian collaboration) ITASE traverse from Patriot Hills to the South Pole. Mean accumulation rates in water equivalent calculated for the upper 10 m at the IC5 site is 0.37 m a-1 and 0.33 m a-1 at the site IC6. Coregistered samples (1595 for IC5 and 1368 for IC6) were obtained using a discrete continuous melter system with a pure nickel melt head at the Climate Change Institute under class 100 clean room conditions. All samples were analysed by ion chromatography (IC), inductively coupled plasma field mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS).

  9. The Pleistocene evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Prydz bay region: Stable isotopic evidence from ODP Site 1167

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, K.M.; Dunbar, R.B.; Cooper, A. K.; Mucciarone, D.A.; Hoffmann, D.

    2003-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 188, Prydz Bay, East Antarctica is part of a larger initiative to explore the Cenozoic history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet through direct drilling and sampling of the continental margins. In this paper, we present stable isotopic results from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1167 located on the Prydz Channel Trough Mouth Fan (TMF), the first Antarctic TMF to be drilled. The foraminifer-based ??18O record is interpreted along with sedimentary and downhole logging evidence to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial history of Prydz Bay and the adjacent Lambert Glacier Amery Ice Shelf System (LGAISS). We report an electron spin resonance age date of 36. 9 ?? 3.3 ka at 0.45 m below sea floor and correlate suspected glacial-interglacial cycles with the global isotopic stratigraphy to improve the chronology for Site 1167. The ??18O record based on planktonic (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (s.)) and limited benthic results (Globocassidulina crassa), indicates a trend of ice sheet expansion that was interrupted by a period of reduced ice volume and possibly warmer conditions during the early-mid-Pleistocene (0.9-1.38 Ma). An increase in ?? 18O values after ??? 900 ka appears to coincide with the mid-Pleistocene climate transition and the expansion of the northern hemisphere ice sheet. The ??18O record in the upper 50 m of the stratigraphic section indicates as few as three glacial-interglacial cycles, tentatively assigned as marine isotopic stages (MIS) 16-21, are preserved since the Brunhes/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (780 ka). This suggests that there is a large unconformity near the top of the section and/or that there may have been few extreme advances of the ice sheet since the mid-Pleistocene climate transition resulting in lowered sedimentation rates on the Prydz Channel TMF. The stable isotopic record from Site 1167 is one of the few available from the area south of the Antarctic Polar Front that has been linked with the global isotopic

  10. Water masses, ocean fronts, and the structure of Antarctic seabird communities: Putting the eastern Bellingshausen Sea in perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribic, Christine A.; Ainley, David G.; Glenn Ford, R.; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.

    2011-07-01

    Waters off the western Antarctic Peninsula (i.e., the eastern Bellingshausen Sea) are unusually complex owing to the convergence of several major fronts. Determining the relative influence of fronts on occurrence patterns of top-trophic species in that area, therefore, has been challenging. In one of the few ocean-wide seabird data syntheses, in this case for the Southern Ocean, we analyzed ample, previously collected cruise data, Antarctic-wide, to determine seabird species assemblages and quantitative relationships to fronts as a way to provide context to the long-term Palmer LTER and the winter Southern Ocean GLOBEC studies in the eastern Bellingshausen Sea. Fronts investigated during both winter (April-September) and summer (October-March) were the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which separates the High Antarctic from the Low Antarctic water mass, and within which are embedded the marginal ice zone and Antarctic Shelf Break Front; and the Antarctic Polar Front, which separates the Low Antarctic and the Subantarctic water masses. We used clustering to determine species' groupings with water masses, and generalized additive models to relate species' densities, biomass and diversity to distance to respective fronts. Antarctic-wide, in both periods, highest seabird densities and lowest species diversity were found in the High Antarctic water mass. In the eastern Bellingshausen, seabird density in the High Antarctic water mass was lower (as low as half that of winter) than found in other Antarctic regions. During winter, Antarctic-wide, two significant species groups were evident: one dominated by Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae) (High Antarctic water mass) and the other by petrels and prions (no differentiation among water masses); in eastern Bellingshausen waters during winter, the one significant species group was composed of species from both Antarctic-wide groups. In summer, Antarctic-wide, a High Antarctic group dominated

  11. Benthic microbial communities of coastal terrestrial and ice shelf Antarctic meltwater ponds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen David James Archer

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The numerous perennial meltwater ponds distributed throughout Antarctica represent diverse and productive ecosystems central to the ecological functioning of the surrounding ultra oligotrophic environment. The dominant taxa in the pond benthic communities have been well described however, little is known regarding their regional dispersal and local drivers to community structure. The benthic microbial communities of twelve meltwater ponds in the McMurdo Sound of Antarctica were investigated to examine variation between pond microbial communities and their biogeography. Geochemically comparable but geomorphologically distinct ponds were selected from Bratina Island (ice shelf and Miers Valley (terrestrial (<40 km between study sites, and community structure within ponds was compared using DNA fingerprinting and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. More than 85% of total sequence reads were shared between pooled benthic communities at different locations (OTU0.05, which in combination with favorable prevailing winds suggests aeolian regional distribution. Consistent with previous findings Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla representing over 50% of total sequences; however, a large number of other phyla (21 were also detected in this ecosystem. Although dominant Bacteria were ubiquitous between ponds, site and local selection resulted in heterogeneous community structures and with more than 45% of diversity being pond specific. Potassium was identified as the most significant contributing factor to the cosmopolitan community structure and aluminum to the location unique community based on a BEST analysis (Spearman’s P of 0.632 and 0.806 respectively. These results indicate that the microbial communities in meltwater ponds are easily dispersed regionally and that the local geochemical environment drives the ponds community structure.

  12. Phytoplankton-bacterial interactions mediate micronutrient colimitation at the coastal Antarctic sea ice edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, Erin M; McCrow, John P; Moustafa, Ahmed; Zheng, Hong; McQuaid, Jeffrey B; Delmont, Tom O; Post, Anton F; Sipler, Rachel E; Spackeen, Jenna L; Xu, Kai; Bronk, Deborah A; Hutchins, David A; Allen, Andrew E

    2015-08-11

    Southern Ocean primary productivity plays a key role in global ocean biogeochemistry and climate. At the Southern Ocean sea ice edge in coastal McMurdo Sound, we observed simultaneous cobalamin and iron limitation of surface water phytoplankton communities in late Austral summer. Cobalamin is produced only by bacteria and archaea, suggesting phytoplankton-bacterial interactions must play a role in this limitation. To characterize these interactions and investigate the molecular basis of multiple nutrient limitation, we examined transitions in global gene expression over short time scales, induced by shifts in micronutrient availability. Diatoms, the dominant primary producers, exhibited transcriptional patterns indicative of co-occurring iron and cobalamin deprivation. The major contributor to cobalamin biosynthesis gene expression was a gammaproteobacterial population, Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a. This group also contributed significantly to metagenomic cobalamin biosynthesis gene abundance throughout Southern Ocean surface waters. Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a displayed elevated expression of organic matter acquisition and cell surface attachment-related genes, consistent with a mutualistic relationship in which they are dependent on phytoplankton growth to fuel cobalamin production. Separate bacterial groups, including Methylophaga, appeared to rely on phytoplankton for carbon and energy sources, but displayed gene expression patterns consistent with iron and cobalamin deprivation. This suggests they also compete with phytoplankton and are important cobalamin consumers. Expression patterns of siderophore- related genes offer evidence for bacterial influences on iron availability as well. The nature and degree of this episodic colimitation appear to be mediated by a series of phytoplankton-bacterial interactions in both positive and negative feedback loops. PMID:26221022

  13. Microbial Mat Communities along an Oxygen Gradient in a Perennially Ice-Covered Antarctic Lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungblut, Anne D; Hawes, Ian; Mackey, Tyler J; Krusor, Megan; Doran, Peter T; Sumner, Dawn Y; Eisen, Jonathan A; Hillman, Colin; Goroncy, Alexander K

    2016-01-01

    Lake Fryxell is a perennially ice-covered lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, with a sharp oxycline in a water column that is density stabilized by a gradient in salt concentration. Dissolved oxygen falls from 20 mg liter(-1) to undetectable over one vertical meter from 8.9- to 9.9-m depth. We provide the first description of the benthic mat community that falls within this oxygen gradient on the sloping floor of the lake, using a combination of micro- and macroscopic morphological descriptions, pigment analysis, and 16S rRNA gene bacterial community analysis. Our work focused on three macroscopic mat morphologies that were associated with different parts of the oxygen gradient: (i) "cuspate pinnacles" in the upper hyperoxic zone, which displayed complex topography and were dominated by phycoerythrin-rich cyanobacteria attributable to the genus Leptolyngbya and a diverse but sparse assemblage of pennate diatoms; (ii) a less topographically complex "ridge-pit" mat located immediately above the oxic-anoxic transition containing Leptolyngbya and an increasing abundance of diatoms; and (iii) flat prostrate mats in the upper anoxic zone, dominated by a green cyanobacterium phylogenetically identified as Phormidium pseudopriestleyi and a single diatom, Diadesmis contenta. Zonation of bacteria was by lake depth and by depth into individual mats. Deeper mats had higher abundances of bacteriochlorophylls and anoxygenic phototrophs, including Chlorobi and Chloroflexi. This suggests that microbial communities form assemblages specific to niche-like locations. Mat morphologies, underpinned by cyanobacterial and diatom composition, are the result of local habitat conditions likely defined by irradiance and oxygen and sulfide concentrations. PMID:26567300

  14. Biodiversity and biogeography of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mollusca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linse, Katrin; Griffiths, Huw J.; Barnes, David K. A.; Clarke, Andrew

    2006-04-01

    For many decades molluscan data have been critical to the establishment of the concept of a global-scale increase in species richness from the poles to the equator. Low polar diversity is key to this latitudinal cline in diversity. Here we investigate richness patterns in the two largest classes of molluscs at both local and regional scales throughout the Southern Ocean. We show that biodiversity is very patchy in the Southern Ocean (at the 1000-km scale) and test the validity of historical biogeographic sub-regions and provinces. We used multivariate analysis of biodiversity patterns at species, genus and family levels to define richness hotspots within the Southern Ocean and transition areas. This process identified the following distinct sub-regions in the Southern Ocean: Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, East Antarctic—Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctic—Enderby Land, East Antarctic—Wilkes Land, Ross Sea, and the independent Scotia arc and sub Antarctic islands. Patterns of endemism were very different between the bivalves and gastropods. On the basis of distributional ranges and radiation centres of evolutionarily successful families and genera we define three biogeographic provinces in the Southern Ocean: (1) the continental high Antarctic province excluding the Antarctic Peninsula, (2) the Scotia Sea province including the Antarctic Peninsula, and (3) the sub Antarctic province comprising the islands in the vicinity of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

  15. Threshold behavior of a marine-based sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in response to early Pliocene ocean warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Melissa A.; Passchier, Sandra; Khim, Boo-Keun; Song, Buhan; Williams, Trevor

    2015-06-01

    We investigate the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) on the Wilkes Land continental margin, Antarctica, utilizing a high-resolution record of ice-rafted debris (IRD) mass accumulation rates (MAR) from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1359. The relationship between orbital variations in the IRD record and climate drivers was evaluated to capture changes in the dynamics of a marine-based ice sheet in response to early Pliocene warming. Three IRD MAR excursions were observed and confirmed via scanning electron microscope microtextural analysis of sand grains. Time series analysis of the IRD MAR reveals obliquity-paced expansions of the ice sheet to the outer shelf prior to ~4.6 Ma. A decline in the obliquity and a transition into a dominant precession response of IRD MAR occur at ~4.6 Ma along with a decline in the amplitude of IRD MAR maxima to low background levels between ~4.0 and ~3.5 Ma. We speculate that as sea surface temperatures began to peak above 3°C during the early Pliocene climatic optimum, the ice shelves thinned, leading to a greater susceptibility to precession-forced summer insolation and the onset of persistent retreat of a marine-based portion of the EAIS.

  16. Chemoautotrophic Bacterial Production in the Redoxycline of an Ice-Covered Antarctic Lake (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikucki, J.; Kong, W.; Priscu, J. C.; Morgan-Kiss, R.

    2010-12-01

    Chemolithoautotrophic organisms obtain energy for growth from inorganic substrates and use simple inorganic carbon molecules to construct biomass. As such, chemosynthetic processes are tightly linked to biogeochemical cycles. In polar regions, winter darkness shuts down photosynthetic inputs and the contribution of chemosynthesis to total ecosystem energetics and carbon fixation may be significant. Few reports exist on chemosynthesis in polar environments and the rates of these processes remain largely unexplored. Here we present data on chemoautotrophic activity in the redoxycline (~15m depth) of the permanently ice-covered Lake Bonney in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (MCM). Rates of radio-labeled bicarbonate incorporation were measured under light and dark conditions using whole community and bacterial sized-fraction (< 3 μm) samples. Rates of uptake in the bacterial sized-fraction (0.18 μg C L-1 d-1) were comparable to that of heterotrophic bacterial activity (0.16 μg C L-1 d-1) as measured by radio-labeled thymidine incorporation. Molecular analyses of the (cbbM) Rubisco gene, a key enzyme in the Calvin cycle, revealed relatives to the Thiobacillus genera confirming the genomic potential for in situ bacterial carbon fixation. Further, quantification of cbbM gene copy number by real time PCR from samples collected throughout the trophogenic zones of the west and east lobes of Lake Bonney confirmed that chemotrophic bacteria harboring form II RubisCO are restricted to depths at or below the redoxycline of the west lobe. These data provide insight into the structure-function relationship between the microbial consortia and carbon budget and imply that chemoautotrophic production in the MCM may provide a significant source of previously un-quantified fixed carbon to the lake system. Studies on other icy systems, including dark, isolated subglacial environments report evidence for chemolithoautotrophy suggesting that chemoautotrophic production can sustain

  17. Atmospheric and oceanic forcing of Larsen C Ice Shelf thinning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. R. Holland

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The catastrophic collapses of Larsen A and B ice shelves on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula have caused their tributary glaciers to accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise and freshening the Antarctic Bottom Water formed nearby. The surface of Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS, the largest ice shelf on the peninsula, is lowering. This could be caused by unbalanced ocean melting (ice loss or enhanced firn melting and compaction (englacial air loss. Using a novel method to analyse eight radar surveys, this study derives separate estimates of ice and air thickness changes during a 15 year period. The uncertainties are considerable, but the primary estimate is that the surveyed lowering (0.066 ± 0.017 m yr−1 is caused by both ice loss (0.28 ± 0.18 m yr−1 and firn air loss (0.037 ± 0.026 m yr−1. Though the ice loss is much larger, ice and air loss contribute approximately equally to the lowering. The ice loss could be explained by high basal melting and/or ice divergence, and the air loss by low surface accumulation or high surface melting and/or compaction. The primary estimate therefore requires that at least two forcings caused the surveyed lowering. Mechanisms are discussed by which LCIS stability could be compromised in future, suggesting destabilisation timescales of a few centuries. The most rapid pathways to collapse are offered by a flow perturbation arising from the ungrounding of LCIS from Bawden Ice Rise, or ice-front retreat past a "compressive arch" in strain rates.

  18. Dating ice shelf edge marine sediments: A new approach using single-grain quartz luminescence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berger, G.W.; Murray, A.S.; Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov;

    2010-01-01

    14C ages of 1 ka to 9.7 ka from core top living calcite and acid-insoluble organic matter. These SGQ results establish the likely utility of this single-grain dating approach in such settings to provide chronologies for calving line histories of ice shelves. To take advantage of this utility, core......To develop an alternative dating tool for the Antarctic Peninsula (where the 14C method requires large, spatially variable reservoir corrections), we tested the clock-zeroing assumption of photon-stimulated luminescence (PSL) dating using a variety of PSL procedures. At ice shelf edges around the...... Antarctic Peninsula, sediment-water-interface (“zero-age” analogs), silt-rich short cores were collected in 2001–2003, originally only for fine silt dating tests. Later access to suitable instrumentation also permitted testing the potential of single-grain quartz (SGQ) dating of sand grains from these cores...

  19. Water-soluble organic carbon in snow and ice deposited at Alpine, Greenland, and Antarctic sites: a critical review of available data and their atmospheric relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Legrand

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available While it is now recognized that organic matter dominates the present-day atmospheric aerosol load over continents, its sources remain poorly known. The studies of organic species or organic fractions trapped in ice cores may help to overcome this lack of knowledge. Available data on the dissolved (or total organic carbon (DOC or TOC content of snow and ice often appear largely inconsistent and until now no critical review was conducted to understand the causes of these inconsistencies. To draw a more consistent picture of the organic carbon amount present in solid precipitation that accumulates on cold glaciers, we here review available data and, when needed, complete the data set with analyses of selected samples. The different data sets are then discussed by considering the age (modern versus pre-industrial, Holocene versus last glacial maximum and type (surface snow, firn, or ice of investigated samples, the deployed method (DOC, TOC and the applied contamination control. Finally, the OC levels of Antarctic, Greenland and Alpine ice cores are compared and discussed with respect to natural (biomass burning, vegetation emissions and anthropogenic source (fossil fuel combustion contributions to atmospheric OC aerosol.

  20. Heterogeneous reactions of N2O5 with H2O and HCl on ice surfaces - Implications for Antarctic ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leu, Ming-Taun

    1988-01-01

    This paper reports on the measurements of reaction probabilities for heterogeneous reaction of N2O5 with H2O and HCl on ice surfaces at 195 K, using a fast-flow reactor coupled with a quadrupole mass spectrometer. The reaction probability for N2O5 on pure-water ice was found to be 0.028 + or - 0.011, with nitric acid in the solid phase as the sole product. In the presence of HCl in ice, the probability of N2O5 reaction was enhanced (to 0.037); the reaction produced, besides solid-phase nitric acid, ClNO2 and ClONO which were released into the gas phase within a few milliseconds. The latter two compounds can be readily photolyzed in the austral spring to form active chlorine which would remove stratospheric ozone. It is suggested that, since the polar stratospheric clouds are believed to contain HCl-ice mixture on the surface, the reactions of N2O5 on H2O/HCl particles is a major factor in the Antarctic springtime ozone depletion.

  1. Water-soluble organic carbon in snow and ice deposited at Alpine, Greenland, and Antarctic sites: a critical review of available data and their atmospheric relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Legrand

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available While it is now recognized that organic matter dominates the present-day atmospheric aerosol load over continents, its sources remain poorly known. The studies of organic species or organic fractions trapped in ice cores may help to overcome this lack of knowledge. Available data on the dissolved (or total organic carbon (DOC or TOC content of snow and ice often appear largely inconsistent, and, until now, no critical review has been conducted to understand the causes of these inconsistencies. To draw a more consistent picture of the organic carbon amount present in solid precipitation that accumulates on cold glaciers, we here review available data and, when needed, complete the data set with analyses of selected samples. The different data sets are then discussed by considering the age (modern versus pre-industrial, Holocene versus Last glacial Maximum and type (surface snow, firn, or ice of investigated samples, the deployed method, and the applied contamination control. Finally, the OC (DOC or TOC levels of Antarctic, Greenland, and Alpine ice cores are compared and discussed with respect to natural (biomass burning, vegetation emissions and anthropogenic sources (fossil fuel combustion contributing to atmospheric OC aerosol.

  2. Arctic and Antarctic Ice Pack Changes during the Past Decade from a High Resolution Global Coupled Sea Ice-Ocean Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, D. P.; McClean, J. L.; Thoppil, P.; Hunke, E.; Stark, D.; Maltrud, M. E.; Lipscomb, W.

    2004-12-01

    Changes over the past decade in the global ice pack are analyzed using a coupled ice-ocean model and observational data sets. The model consists of the latest versions of the Los Alamos Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and sea ice model (CICE) and is configured on a moderately high-resolution global grid (0.4° and 40 vertical levels). A model simulation forced with high frequency daily NCEP/NCAR atmospheric fields was integrated for 23 years (1979-2002). Following a decade-long ice spin-up, the model's ability to reproduce observed ice extent, ice thickness and ice drift distributions is evaluated by statistical comparisons using satellite, upward looking sonar and ice drift buoy data. In particular, the realism of the ice mean state and variability on time scales from daily to interannual are examined. To better understand ocean-ice interaction processes, coupled model results are compared to stand alone integrations of the ice and ocean models. Mean ice states are examined during the positive/negative phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation in the last decade of the coupled simulation. Particularly ice export from the Fram and Bering Straits during these phases will be considered.

  3. Eco-environmental Change Records of Antarctic Ice-free Areas in the Sediments Influenced by Marine Animals%南极无冰区生态与环境变化在粪土层中的记录

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙立广; 刘晓东

    2007-01-01

    The accumulative profiles of seabird and sea animal excrement together with the depositional sequences influenced by the excrement have been utilized to reconstruct the historical populations of Antarctic penguins and seals, also to study the eco-geology in the ice-free areas of Antarctica and Arctic. The historical populations of Antarctic penguins show dramatic fluctuations, the period of sharp decrease coincides well with Neoglaciation, and extremely cold or warm climate conditions are unfavorable for the survival of Antarctic penguin. The historical change of seal population seems to be related to climatic variations, sea-ice coverage and its forage behavior. The fluctuations of Hg (mercury) in the seal hairs and the sediments influenced by seal excrement were found to be closely associated with ancient gold and silver mining activities and the ancient civilization over the past several thousand years.

  4. Origin and fate of Lake Vostok water frozen to the base of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E; Studinger, Michael; Tikku, Anahita A; Clarke, Garry K C; Gutner, Michael M; Meertens, Chuck

    2002-03-21

    The subglacial Lake Vostok may be a unique reservoir of genetic material and it may contain organisms with distinct adaptations, but it has yet to be explored directly. The lake and the overlying ice sheet are closely linked, as the ice-sheet thickness drives the lake circulation, while melting and freezing at the ice-sheet base will control the flux of water, biota and sediment through the lake. Here we present a reconstruction of the ice flow trajectories for the Vostok core site, using ice-penetrating radar data and Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of surface ice velocity. We find that the ice sheet has a significant along-lake flow component, persistent since the Last Glacial Maximum. The rates at which ice is frozen (accreted) to the base of the ice sheet are greatest at the shorelines, and the accreted ice layer is subsequently transported out of the lake. Using these new flow field and velocity measurements, we estimate the time for ice to traverse Lake Vostok to be 16,000-20,000 years. We infer that most Vostok ice analysed to date was accreted to the ice sheet close to the western shoreline, and is therefore not representative of open lake conditions. From the amount of accreted lake water we estimate to be exported along the southern shoreline, the lake water residence time is about 13,300 years. PMID:11907573

  5. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Altimetry Data (HDF5) V033

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — GLAH12 contains the ice sheet elevation and elevation distribution corrected for geodetic and atmospheric affects calculated from algorithms fine-tuned for ice...

  6. Spatially Extensive Standardized Surveys Reveal Widespread, Multi-Decadal Increase in East Antarctic Adélie Penguin Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwell, Colin; Emmerson, Louise; McKinlay, John; Newbery, Kym; Takahashi, Akinori; Kato, Akiko; Barbraud, Christophe; DeLord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Seabirds are considered to be useful and practical indicators of the state of marine ecosystems because they integrate across changes in the lower trophic levels and the physical environment. Signals from this key group of species can indicate broad scale impacts or response to environmental change. Recent studies of penguin populations, the most commonly abundant Antarctic seabirds in the west Antarctic Peninsula and western Ross Sea, have demonstrated that physical changes in Antarctic marine environments have profound effects on biota at high trophic levels. Large populations of the circumpolar-breeding Adélie penguin occur in East Antarctica, but direct, standardized population data across much of this vast coastline have been more limited than in other Antarctic regions. We combine extensive new population survey data, new population estimation methods, and re-interpreted historical survey data to assess decadal-scale change in East Antarctic Adélie penguin breeding populations. We show that, in contrast to the west Antarctic Peninsula and western Ross Sea where breeding populations have decreased or shown variable trends over the last 30 years, East Antarctic regional populations have almost doubled in abundance since the 1980’s and have been increasing since the earliest counts in the 1960’s. The population changes are associated with five-year lagged changes in the physical environment, suggesting that the changing environment impacts primarily on the pre-breeding age classes. East Antarctic marine ecosystems have been subject to a number of changes over the last 50 years which may have influenced Adélie penguin population growth, including decadal-scale climate variation, an inferred mid-20th century sea-ice contraction, and early-to-mid 20th century exploitation of fish and whale populations. PMID:26488299

  7. Cosmic ray event of A.D. 774-775 shown in quasi-annual 10Be data from the Antarctic Dome Fuji ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyake, Fusa; Suzuki, Asami; Masuda, Kimiaki; Horiuchi, Kazuho; Motoyama, Hideaki; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Motizuki, Yuko; Takahashi, Kazuya; Nakai, Yoichi

    2015-01-01

    content in tree rings and 10Be concentration records in polar ice core provide information about past cosmic ray intensities. The A.D. 774-775 cosmic ray event has been identified by 14C measurement in several tree rings from all over the world. Although the quasi-decadal 10Be Dome Fuji data in the Antarctic ice core also shows a sharp peak around A.D. 775, annual 10Be variations in the Dome Fuji core or in other cores have not been revealed. We have measured quasi-annual 10Be concentrations from approximately A.D. 763-794 in the Dome Fuji ice core, and detected a clear increase (~80% above the baseline) in 10Be concentration around A.D. 775. However, an accurate height of this increase is not straightforwardly estimated due to the background variation in 10Be concentration. The 10Be increase can be due to the same cosmic ray event as shown in the 14C content in A.D. 774-775.

  8. Temperature regulates fatty acid desaturases at a transcriptional level and modulates the fatty acid profile in the Antarctic microalga Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Meiling; Mou, Shanli; Zhang, Xiaowen; Ye, Naihao; Zheng, Zhou; Cao, Shaona; Xu, Dong; Fan, Xiao; Wang, Yitao; Miao, Jinlai

    2013-04-01

    Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L which can thrive in extreme environments of the Antarctic is a major biomass producer. The FAD genes in Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L were obtained and sequence alignment showed that these genes are homologous to known FADs with conserved histidine motifs. In this study, we analyzed the transcription of five FADs and FA compositions at different temperatures. The results showed that the expressions of Δ9CiFAD, ω3CiFAD1 and ω3CiFAD2 were apparently up-regulated at 0°C, however, the up-regulation of Δ6CiFAD intensified with rising temperature. Meanwhile, analysis of the FA compositions showed that PUFAs were dominant compositions, accounting for more than 75% TFA in Chlamydomonas sp. ICE-L. Furthermore, PUFAs were significantly increased at 0 and 5°C, which may be attributed to higher proportions of C18:3 and C20:3. Moreover, PUFAs were significantly decreased at 15°C whereas SFAs were significantly increased. PMID:23500572

  9. Observed rift propagation in the Larsen C Ice Shelf from Sentinel 1-A radar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Daniela; Helm, Veit; Neckel, Niklas; Luckman, Adrian; Bevan, Suzanne

    2016-04-01

    The Larsen C Ice Shelf is the most northerly of the remaining major Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves and is vulnerable to changes in both to ocean and atmospheric forcing. It is the largest ice shelf in the region and its loss would lead to a significant drawdown of ice from the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet. There have been observations of widespread thinning, melt ponding in the northern inlets, and, in the northern part, a speed-up in ice flow, all processes which have been linked to former ice shelf collapses. Previous studies have also highlighted the vulnerability of Larsen C Ice Shelf to specific potential changes in its geometry including a retreat from the Bawden and Gipps Ice Rise. In a change from the usual pattern, a northwards-propagating rift from Gipps Ice Rise has recently advanced towards the center of the ice shelf. It is now more than halfway towards calving a large section of the ice shelf and continues to widen. We followed the rift propagation on MODIS and Landsat imagery and, during the austral winter 2015, on Sentinel-1A radar data. Due to the very cloudy weather conditions during the austral Summer 2015 / 2016 the Sentinel data became an essential part of the monitoring. By calculating differential interferograms it was possible to clearly identify the active tip of the rift, which was not always obvious on the Landsat images. Further, surface velocities were derived from recent Sentinel-1A acquisitions by means of offset intensity tracking. In order to investigate a possible speed-up of the ice shelf we extended the study area to the north including Bawden ice rise.

  10. Major collapse event of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Pliocene%东南极冰盖上新世大规模退缩事件

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘小汉; 韦利杰; 黄费新; 方爱民; 琚宜太; 李潇丽; 周学君

    2013-01-01

    The multi-disciplinary study of past ice surface elevations in the Grove Mountains of interior East Antarctica provide direct land based data on the behaviour of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Pliocene. The glacial geology,the ages of cold desert soils,the depositional environment of younger moraine sedimentary boulders and their spore pollen assemblages combine to imply a possible significant shrinkage of the ice sheet before the Middle Pliocene Epoch,with the ice sheet margin retreating south of the Grove Mountains( -400 km south from its present coastal position). Exposure age measurements of bedrock indicate that the elevation of the ice surface in the Grove Mountains region subsequently rose at about Mid-Pliocene to at least 400 m higher than today's levels. The ice surface then progressively lowered, with some minor fluctuations. Middle to Late Pleistocene exposure ages found on the lowest samples,at the ice/bedrock contact line, indicate a long period with ice surface elevations was kept at current level or complex fluctuation history during the Quaternary Epoch. Such event of Antarctic ice sheet collapse should correspond with some of huge tectonic events in north hemisphere in global scale,such as the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean region.%笔者近年对东南极内陆格罗夫山(Grove Mountains)开展了上新世以来冰盖表面波动的综合研究,运用冰川地质、地貌、土壤、沉积岩、孢粉组合及宇宙核素等各种方法手段,提出东南极大冰盖形成以后并非稳定演化至今,而在上新世早期时发生过大规模退缩,其前缘至少曾经退缩到格罗夫山地区,距现今冰盖边缘约400 km.之后,冰盖又迅速膨胀,到距今2.3 Ma时,冰面至少超过现今高度约400 m.以后冰面缓慢平稳下降,至1.6 Ma时,东南极冰盖进入第四纪振荡期,但重新上升的冰面再也没有超过现今高度的100 m以上.东南极冰盖大规模消融事件在全球尺度上也

  11. Varying depositional environments across the Oligocene-Miocene boundary and their relevance for East Antarctic ice sheet history: IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salabarnada, Ariadna; Escutia, Carlota; Nelson, Hans; Damuth, John E.; Brinkhuis, Henk

    2014-05-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled seven sites in two transects across the Wilkes Land (WL) margin of Antarctica. The objective was to obtain a long-term record of the Cenozoic Antarctic glaciation in response to climatic changes, including major transitions. Our work focuses on the study of nearly 300 meters of Oligocene-early Miocene sediments from Site 1356 (cores 42R to 72R) located on a channel levee in the lower continental rise. Shipboard core descriptions reported these sediments to consist of strongly bioturbated claystone and calcareous claystone with Zoophycos or Nereites ichnofacies. Subordinate lithofacies include: 1) laminated silty claystones, 2) convoluted claystones, sandstones and conglomerates; 3) mudstones and sandstones, with a few dispersed to common clasts; and 4) graded or cross-laminated siltstones and sandstones. Based on our study of facies associations in the cores, we differentiate 3 major sedimentary phases, representing important changes in the depositional environments off the WL margin. During the early-late Oligocene, sediments record deposition in a deep-water setting, with bottom currents reworking hemipelagic sediments. Late Oligocene sedimentary processes are dominated by successive fine- to coarse-grained debris-flow mass transport deposits. In the early Miocene, turbidites and hemipelagic sedimentation, characteristic of levee deposition, dominate. With this interpretation of sedimentary environments, plus the correlation between Site U1356 and seismic reflection profiles at the site and vicinity, we can begin to link the relation between along-slope and down-slope processes to the evolution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  12. Biogeochemical properties of Antarctic multi-year fast ice and underlying seawater around Syowa Station during austral summer

    OpenAIRE

    高村, 友海; 橋田, 元; 小達, 恒夫

    2013-01-01

    The Southern Ocean plays an important role in modulating the global carbon cycle by transporting and storing anthropogenic carbon dioxide. This region is predicted to be greatly influenced by global change, given that polar marine ecosystems are particularly sensitive to carbonate change. Sea ice influences the global carbon cycle through biotic and abiotic transformations that occur within the ice. For biotic example, 10-28% of primary production within the seasonally ice-covered regions of ...

  13. Reconstruction of Antarctic climate change using ice core proxy records from the coastal Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thamban, M.; Laluraj, C.M.; Naik, S.S.; Chaturvedi, A.

    provides information on the trace gas content of the atmosphere at the time of ice formation. Since the snow and firn deposits are porous and continuously interact with the atmosphere, the trace gas records are reliable only after the firn-ice transition... of aerosols trapped in snow and the interpretation of these records within firn and ice in terms of composition of the past atmosphere has opened up a powerful new avenue of ice core research called glaciochemistry (Legrand and Mayewski, 1997). In combination...

  14. Enhanced tropospheric BrO concentrations over the Antarctic sea ice belt in mid winter observed from MAX-DOAS observations on board the research vessel Polarstern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wagner

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available We present Multi AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS observations of tropospheric BrO carried out on board the German research vessel Polarstern during the Antarctic winter 2006. Polarstern entered the area of first year sea ice around Antarctica on 24 June 2006 and stayed within this area until 15 August 2006. For the period when the ship cruised inside the first year sea ice belt, enhanced BrO concentrations were almost continuously observed. One interesting exception appeared on 7 July 2006, when the sun elevation angle was < about –2.8° indicating that for low insulation the photolysis of Br2 and/or HOBr is too slow to provide sufficient amounts of Br radicals. Before and after the period inside the first year sea ice belt, typically low BrO concentrations were observed. Our observations indicate that enhanced BrO concentrations around Antarctica exist about one month earlier than observed by satellite instruments. The small BrO concentrations over the open oceans indicate a short atmospheric lifetime of activated bromine without contact to areas of first year sea ice. From detailed radiative transfer simulations we find that MAX-DOAS observations are about one order of magnitude more sensitive to near-surface BrO than satellite observations. In contrast to satellite observations the MAX-DOAS sensitivity hardly decreases for large solar zenith angles and is almost independent from the ground albedo. Thus this technique is very well suited for observations in polar regions close to the solar terminator. Furthermore, combination of both techniques could yield additional information on the vertical distribution of BrO in the lower troposphere.

  15. Climate-induced changes in carbon and nitrogen cycling in the rapidly warming Antarctic coastal ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Henley, Sian Frances

    2013-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a hotspot of climatic and oceanographic change, with a 6°C rise in winter atmospheric temperatures and >1°C warming of the surface ocean since the 1950s. These trends are having a profound impact on the physical environment at the WAP, with widespread glacial retreat, a 40% decline in sea ice coverage and intensification of deep water upwelling. The main objective of this study is to assess the response of phytoplankton productivity to t...

  16. Deposition of [sup 210]Pb, [sup 137]Cs, [sup 239+240]Pu, [sup 238]Pu, and [sup 241]Am in the Antarctic peninsula area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roos, P.; Holm, E.; Persson, R.B.R. (Lund Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Radiation Physics); Aarkrog, A.; Nielsen, S.P. (Risoe National Lab., Roskilde (Denmark))

    1994-01-01

    [sup 210]Pb, [sup 137]Cs, [sup 239+240]Pu, [sup 238]Pu, and [sup 241]Am were analysed in lichen, moss, grass and soil samples, as well as in lake sediments, from the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic, in order to evaluate the flux and deposition of these elements. Average inventories of the analysed radionuclides in 1988 are given. The ratios [sup 238]Pu/[sup 239+240]Pu and [sup 241]Am/[sup 239+240]Pu of 0.21 [+-] 0.04 and 0.35 [+-] 0.08 respectively agree well with expected values in this area. A significant difference in [sup 137]Cs/[sup 239+240]Pu ratios between lichens and moss/grass/soil is observed which may be an effect of submerging and melt water altering radionuclide ratios. From one of three lakes studied it is possible to perform [sup 210]Pb dating with reasonable accuracy showing an average annual sediment accumulation in this lake of about 45 g m[sup -2]. (author).

  17. Enhanced tropospheric BrO over Antarctic sea ice in mid winter observed by MAX-DOAS on board the research vessel Polarstern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wagner

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available We present Multi AXis-Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS observations of tropospheric BrO carried out on board the German research vessel Polarstern during the Antarctic winter 2006. Polarstern entered the area of first year sea ice around Antarctica on 24 June 2006 and stayed within this area until 15 August 2006. For the period when the ship cruised inside the first year sea ice belt, enhanced BrO concentrations were almost continuously observed. Outside the first year sea ice belt, typically low BrO concentrations were found. Based on back trajectory calculations we find a positive correlation between the observed BrO differential slant column densities (ΔSCDs and the duration for which the air masses had been in contact with the sea ice surface prior to the measurement. While we can not completely rule out that in several cases the highest BrO concentrations might be located close to the ground, our observations indicate that the maximum BrO concentrations might typically exist in a (possibly extended layer around the upper edge of the boundary layer. Besides the effect of a decreasing pH of sea salt aerosol with altitude and therefore an increase of BrO with height, this finding might be also related to vertical mixing of air from the free troposphere with the boundary layer, probably caused by convection over the warm ocean surface at polynyas and cracks in the ice. Strong vertical gradients of BrO and O3 could also explain why we found enhanced BrO levels almost continuously for the observations within the sea ice. Based on our estimated BrO profiles we derive BrO mixing ratios of several ten ppt, which is slightly higher than many existing observations. Our observations indicate that enhanced BrO concentrations around Antarctica exist about one month earlier than observed by satellite instruments. From detailed radiative transfer simulations we find that MAX-DOAS observations are up to about one order of

  18. Geología del Nunatak Pedersen, Cretácico Inferior, Península Antártica Geology of the Pedersen Nunatak, Early Cretaceous, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. del Valle

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available La Formación Pedersen (Hauteriviano alto en el nunatak homónimo forma parte de la sucesión del Mesozoico superior-Cenozoico inferior de la cuenca Larsen; está afectada por fallas inversas y pliegues producidos por fuerzas transpresivas que actuaron en forma normal a la costa oriental de la península Antártica durante la deformación ocurrida en la cuenca durante el Cretácico medio. En el nunatak Pedersen se identificaron ocho facies sedimentarias, en una sucesión que tiene un espesor máximo de 215 metros, la cual está compuesta mayormente de rocas conglomerádicas con cantidades menores de areniscas y fangolitas. Contiene restos de plantas inidentificables; la fauna marina incluye fragmoconos de belemnites y fragmentos de amonites asignados al género Favrella. Los amonites hallados confirman una edad Hauteriviano alto para estos depósitos.The Pedersen Formation (Late Hauterivian beds forming part of the upper Mesozoic-lower Cenozoic Larsen Basin succession are affected by reverse faults and folds produced by transpressional forces acting normal to the Weddell Sea coast of the Antarctic Peninsula during mid-Cretaceous compression of the Larsen Basin. Eight sedimentary facies were identified in the 215 m-thick sedimentary succession exposed at Pedersen Nunatak, which is composed mainly of conglomeratic rocks with minor amounts of sandstones and mudstones, containing unidentifiable plant remains, and a marine fauna that includes belemnite phragmocones and ammonite fragments of the Favrella genus. This ammonite assigns a Late Hauterivian age to these deposits.

  19. Biogeochemistry and limnology in Antarctic subglacial weathering: molecular evidence of the linkage between subglacial silica input and primary producers in a perennially ice-covered lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Yoshinori; Kojima, Hisaya; Takeda, Eriko; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Fukui, Manabu

    2015-12-01

    We report a 6,000 years record of subglacial weathering and biogeochemical processes in two perennially ice-covered glacial lakes at Rundvågshetta, on the Soya Coast of Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica. The two lakes, Lake Maruwan Oike and Lake Maruwan-minami, are located in a channel that drains subglacial water from the base of the East Antarctic ice sheet. Greenish-grayish organic-rich laminations in sediment cores from the lakes indicate continuous primary production affected by the inflow of subglacial meltwater containing relict carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and other essential nutrients. Biogenic silica, amorphous hydrated silica, and DNA-based molecular signatures of sedimentary facies indicate that diatom assemblages are the dominant primary producers, supported by the input of inorganic silicon (Si) from the subglacial inflow. This study highlights the significance of subglacial water-rock interactions during physical and chemical weathering processes and the importance of such interactions for the supply of bioavailable nutrients.

  20. Large ensemble modeling of the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: comparison of simple and advanced statistical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; Chang, Won; Haran, Murali; Applegate, Patrick; DeConto, Robert

    2016-05-01

    A 3-D hybrid ice-sheet model is applied to the last deglacial retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet over the last ˜ 20 000 yr. A large ensemble of 625 model runs is used to calibrate the model to modern and geologic data, including reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea-level records, elevation-age data and uplift rates, with an aggregate score computed for each run that measures overall model-data misfit. Two types of statistical methods are used to analyze the large-ensemble results: simple averaging weighted by the aggregate score, and more advanced Bayesian techniques involving Gaussian process-based emulation and calibration, and Markov chain Monte Carlo. The analyses provide sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds, but the simple averaging method only provides robust results with full-factorial parameter sampling in the large ensemble. Results for best-fit parameter ranges and envelopes of equivalent sea-level rise with the simple averaging method agree well with the more advanced techniques. Best-fit parameter ranges confirm earlier values expected from prior model tuning, including large basal sliding coefficients on modern ocean beds.

  1. Exploring the Effects of Subfreezing Temperature and Salt Concentration on Ice Growth Inhibition of Antarctic Gram-Negative Bacterium Marinomonas Primoryensis Using Coarse-Grained Simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung; Dac Van, Thanh; Tran, Nhut; Le, Ly

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this work is to study the freezing process of water molecules surrounding Antarctic Gram-negative bacterium Marinomonas primoryensis antifreeze protein (MpAFP) and the MpAFP interactions to the surface of ice crystals under various marine environments (at different NaCl concentrations of 0.3, 0.6, and 0.8 mol/l). Our result indicates that activating temperature region of MpAFPs reduced as NaCl concentration increased. Specifically, MpAFP was activated and functioned at 0.6 mol/l with temperatures equal or larger 278 K, and at 0.8 mol/l with temperatures equal or larger 270 K. Additionally, MpAFP was inhibited by ice crystal network from 268 to 274 K and solid-liquid hybrid from 276 to 282 K at 0.3 mol/l concentration. Our results shed lights on structural dynamics of MpAFP among different marine environments. PMID:26758589

  2. Paleo ice flow and subglacial meltwater dynamics in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. O. Nitsche

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence for an elaborate subglacial drainage network underneath modern Antarctic ice sheets suggests that basal meltwater has an important influence on ice stream flow. Swath bathymetry surveys from previously glaciated continental margins display morphological features indicative of subglacial meltwater flow in inner shelf areas of some paleo ice stream troughs. Over the last few years several expeditions to the Eastern Amundsen Sea embayment (West Antarctica have investigated the paleo ice streams that extended from the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. A compilation of high-resolution swath bathymetry data from inner Pine Island Bay reveals details of a rough seabed topography including several deep channels that connect a series of basins. This complex basin and channel network is indicative of meltwater flow beneath the paleo-Pine Island and Thwaites ice streams, along with substantial subglacial water inflow from the east. This meltwater could have enhanced ice flow over the rough bedrock topography. Meltwater features diminish with the onset of linear features north of the basins. Similar features have previously been observed in several other areas, including the Dotson-Getz Trough (Western Amundsen Sea embayment and Marguerite Bay (SW Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting that these features may be widespread around the Antarctic margin and that subglacial meltwater drainage played a major role in past ice-sheet dynamics.

  3. Paleo ice flow and subglacial meltwater dynamics in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. O. Nitsche

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence for an elaborate subglacial drainage network underneath modern Antarctic ice sheets suggests that basal meltwater has an important influence on ice stream flow. Swath bathymetry surveys from previously glaciated continental margins display morphological features indicative of subglacial meltwater flow in inner shelf areas of some paleo ice stream troughs. Over the last few years several expeditions to the eastern Amundsen Sea embayment (West Antarctica have investigated the paleo ice streams that extended from the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. A compilation of high-resolution swath bathymetry data from inner Pine Island Bay reveals details of a rough seabed topography including several deep channels that connect a series of basins. This complex basin and channel network is indicative of meltwater flow beneath the paleo-Pine Island and Thwaites ice streams, along with substantial subglacial water inflow from the east. This meltwater could have enhanced ice flow over the rough bedrock topography. Meltwater features diminish with the onset of linear features north of the basins. Similar features have previously been observed in several other areas, including the Dotson-Getz Trough (western Amundsen Sea embayment and Marguerite Bay (SW Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting that these features may be widespread around the Antarctic margin and that subglacial meltwater drainage played a major role in past ice-sheet dynamics.

  4. Simulating the mass balance and salinity of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. 1. Model description and validation

    OpenAIRE

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Fichefet, T.; Goosse, H.; S. Bouillon; Madec, G.; Maqueda, M. A. M.

    2009-01-01

    This paper is the first part of a twofold contribution dedicated to the new version of the Louvain-la-Neuve sea ice model LIM3. In this part, LIM3 is described and its results arc, compared with observations. LIM3 is a C-grid dynamic-thermodynamic model, including the representation of the subgrid-scale distributions of ice thickness, enthalpy, salinity and age. Brine entrapment and drainage as well as brine impact on ice thermodynamics are explicitly included. LIM3 is embedded into the ocean...

  5. Peat accumulation in drained thermokarst lake basins in continuous, ice-rich permafrost, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Miriam C.; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Anthony, Katey Walter

    2012-01-01

    Thermokarst lakes and peat-accumulating drained lake basins cover a substantial portion of Arctic lowland landscapes, yet the role of thermokarst lake drainage and ensuing peat formation in landscape-scale carbon (C) budgets remains understudied. Here we use measurements of terrestrial peat thickness, bulk density, organic matter content, and basal radiocarbon age from permafrost cores, soil pits, and exposures in vegetated, drained lake basins to characterize regional lake drainage chronology, C accumulation rates, and the role of thermokarst-lake cycling in carbon dynamics throughout the Holocene on the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Most detectable lake drainage events occurred within the last 4,000 years with the highest drainage frequency during the medieval climate anomaly. Peat accumulation rates were highest in young (50–500 years) drained lake basins (35.2 g C m−2 yr−1) and decreased exponentially with time since drainage to 9 g C m−2 yr−1 in the oldest basins. Spatial analyses of terrestrial peat depth, basal peat radiocarbon ages, basin geomorphology, and satellite-derived land surface properties (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI); Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF)) from Landsat satellite data revealed significant relationships between peat thickness and mean basin NDVI or MNF. By upscaling observed relationships, we infer that drained thermokarst lake basins, covering 391 km2 (76%) of the 515 km2 study region, store 6.4–6.6 Tg organic C in drained lake basin terrestrial peat. Peat accumulation in drained lake basins likely serves to offset greenhouse gas release from thermokarst-impacted landscapes and should be incorporated in landscape-scale C budgets.

  6. Byers Peninsula: A reference site for coastal, terrestrial and limnetic ecosystem studies in maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesada, A.; Camacho, A.; Rochera, C.; Velázquez, D.

    2009-11-01

    This article describes the development of an international and multidisciplinary project funded by the Spanish Polar Programme on Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, South Shetlands). The project adopted Byers Peninsula as an international reference site for coastal and terrestrial (including inland waters) research within the framework of the International Polar Year initiative. Over 30 scientists from 12 countries and 26 institutions participated in the field work, and many others participated in the processing of the samples. The main themes investigated were: Holocene changes in climate, using both lacustrine sediment cores and palaeo-nests of penguins; limnology of the lakes, ponds, rivers and wetlands; microbiology of microbial mats, ecology of microbial food webs and viral effects on aquatic ecosystems; ornithology, with investigations on a Gentoo penguin rookery ( Pygoscelis papua) as well as the flying ornithofauna; biocomplexity and life cycles of species from different taxonomic groups; analysis of a complete watershed unit from a landscape perspective; and human impacts, specifically the effect of trampling on soil characteristics and biota. Byers Peninsula offers many features as an international reference site given it is one of the largest ice-free areas in the Antarctic Peninsula region, it has a variety of different landscape units, and it hosts diverse aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, the Byers Peninsula is a hotspot for Antarctic biodiversity, and because of its high level of environmental protection, it has been very little affected by human activities. Finally, the proximity to the Spanish polar installations on Livingston Island and the experience derived from previous expeditions to the site make it logistically feasible as a site for ongoing monitoring and research.

  7. Comparing past accumulation rate reconstructions in East Antarctic ice cores using 10Be, water isotopes and CMIP5-PMIP3 models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Cauquoin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Ice cores are exceptional archives which allow us to reconstruct a wealth of climatic parameters as well as past atmospheric composition over the last 800 kyr in Antarctica. Inferring the variations in past accumulation rate in polar regions is essential both for documenting past climate and for ice core chronology. On the East Antarctic Plateau, the accumulation rate is so small that annual layers cannot be identified and accumulation rate is mainly deduced from the water isotopic composition assuming constant temporal relationships between temperature, water isotopic composition and accumulation rate. Such an assumption leads to large uncertainties on the reconstructed past accumulation rate. Here, we use high-resolution beryllium-10 (10Be as an alternative tool for inferring past accumulation rate for the EPICA Dome C ice core, in East Antarctica. We present a high-resolution 10Be record covering a full climatic cycle over the period 269 to 355 ka from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS 9 to 10, including a period warmer than pre-industrial (MIS 9.3 optimum. After correcting 10Be for the estimated effect of the palaeomagnetic field, we deduce that the 10Be reconstruction is in reasonably good agreement with EDC3 values for the full cycle except for the period warmer than present. For the latter, the accumulation is up to 13% larger (4.46 cm ie yr−1 instead of 3.95. This result is in agreement with the studies suggesting an underestimation of the deuterium-based accumulation for the optimum of the Holocene (Parrenin et al. 2007a. Using the relationship between accumulation rate and surface temperature from the saturation vapour relationship, the 10Be-based accumulation rate reconstruction suggests that the temperature increase between the MIS 9.3 optimum and present day may be 2.4 K warmer than estimated by the water isotopes reconstruction. We compare these reconstructions to the available model results from CMIP5-PMIP3 for a glacial and an

  8. Antarctic and Southern Ocean Mineral Dust Aerosol Transport Pathways: Forward-Trajectory Modeling and Source Constraints Derived from the RICE Ice Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, P. D.; Tuohy, A.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Edwards, R.

    2014-12-01

    Mineral dust fertilization of Southern Ocean surface waters, and mixing with Antarctic deep-water, influences oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide and draws down global atmospheric CO2concentration during glacial periods. Quantifying modern variability in dust source and transport strength, especially with respect to high- and low-latitude climate phenomena (e.g. SAM, ENSO), will improve understanding of this important aspect of the global carbon cycle. Here we present data from a new intermediate-depth, coastal ice core drilled at Roosevelt Island, Antarctica as part of the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project. Using HySPLIT forward trajectories, climate reanalysis and geochemistry data, this work explores variability in atmospheric transport for modern Southern Hemisphere dust source areas (primarily Australia, southern South America and southern Africa). While New Zealand represents a relatively small dust source at present, it is strongly-connected to the Antarctic due to its position within the circumpolar westerly winds and was a major dust source during the last glacial period. Geochemical data from the RICE ice core (79.36ºS, 161.71ºW, 550 m a.s.l.) are used to constrain sources of dust in this sector. The lanthanide elements—common in crustal material and not susceptible to fractionation—can preserve the signature of their original source material, allowing for characterisation of dust provenance. Initial results suggest that only air trajectories originating in New Zealand regularly reach the Ross Sea, Marie Byrd Land and Roosevelt Island within 3 to 5 days (see Figure 1), a characteristic travel time of suspended dust particles. We discuss estimates of the relative source strength of New Zealand compared with other dust source areas to evaluate its overall contribution. Figure 1: Daily 96-hour forward trajectories for Southern Hemisphere dust source areas, 2010-2013 (NOAA HySPLIT, NCEP reanalysis). NCEP reanalysis 1980

  9. Simulating the Antarctic ice sheet in the late-Pliocene warm period: PLISMIP-ANT, an ice-sheet model intercomparison project

    OpenAIRE

    B. de Boer; Dolan, A. M.; Bernales, J.; Gasson, E.; Goelzer, H.; Golledge, N.R.; Sutter, J.; P. Huybrechts; G. Lohmann; I. Rogozhina; A. Abe-Ouchi; Saito, F.; R. S. W. van de Wal

    2015-01-01

    In the context of future climate change, understanding the nature and behaviour of ice sheets during warm intervals in Earth history is of fundamental importance. The Late-Pliocene warm period (also known as the PRISM interval: 3.264 to 3.025 million years before present) can serve as a potential analogue for projected future climates. Although Pliocene ice locations and extents are still poorly constrained, a significant contribution to sea-level rise shoul...

  10. Air-snow transfer of nitrate on the East Antarctic Plateau - Part 2: An isotopic model for the interpretation of deep ice-core records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbland, J.; Savarino, J.; Morin, S.; France, J. L.; Frey, M. M.; King, M. D.

    2015-10-01

    Unraveling the modern budget of reactive nitrogen on the Antarctic Plateau is critical for the interpretation of ice-core records of nitrate. This requires accounting for nitrate recycling processes occurring in near-surface snow and the overlying atmospheric boundary layer. Not only concentration measurements but also isotopic ratios of nitrogen and oxygen in nitrate provide constraints on the processes at play. However, due to the large number of intertwined chemical and physical phenomena involved, numerical modeling is required to test hypotheses in a quantitative manner. Here we introduce the model TRANSITS (TRansfer of Atmospheric Nitrate Stable Isotopes To the Snow), a novel conceptual, multi-layer and one-dimensional model representing the impact of processes operating on nitrate at the air-snow interface on the East Antarctic Plateau, in terms of concentrations (mass fraction) and nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen isotopic composition (17O excess, Δ17O) in nitrate. At the air-snow interface at Dome C (DC; 75° 06' S, 123° 19' E), the model reproduces well the values of δ15N in atmospheric and surface snow (skin layer) nitrate as well as in the δ15N profile in DC snow, including the observed extraordinary high positive values (around +300 ‰) below 2 cm. The model also captures the observed variability in nitrate mass fraction in the snow. While oxygen data are qualitatively reproduced at the air-snow interface at DC and in East Antarctica, the simulated Δ17O values underestimate the observed Δ17O values by several per mill. This is explained by the simplifications made in the description of the atmospheric cycling and oxidation of NO2 as well as by our lack of understanding of the NOx chemistry at Dome C. The model reproduces well the sensitivity of δ15N, Δ17O and the apparent fractionation constants (15ϵapp, 17Eapp) to the snow accumulation rate. Building on this development, we propose a framework for the interpretation of nitrate records

  11. Oligocene environmental changes on the Wilkes Land margin in response to a developing East Antarctic ice sheet

    OpenAIRE

    Houben, A. J. P.; Bijl, P.K; Brinkhuis, H.; Bendle, J.A.; J. Pross; Stickley, C.E.; Olney, M.; Röhl, U.; Tauxe, L.; S. M. Bohaty; Schouten, S.; Ebbing, A.P.J.; Sangiorgi, F.; Stocchi, P.; Vermeersen, B.

    2011-01-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled several sites on the Wilkes Land margin of East Antarctica in Jan.–Feb. 2010. The principle objective of the cruise was to obtain a better understanding of the Cenozoic cryospheric evolution of Antarctica, in conjunction with the dating of major regional seismic unconformities WL-U3 thru U8. Unconformity WL-U3 was suggested to be related to the inception of Antarctic glaciation during the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (~34 Ma). Changes in biotic assemblages distinctl...

  12. The Holocene deglaciation of the Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, Antarctica) based on the dating of lake sedimentary records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, M.; Antoniades, D.; Giralt, S.; Granados, I.; Pla-Rabes, S.; Toro, M.; Liu, E. J.; Sanjurjo, J.; Vieira, G.

    2016-05-01

    The process of deglaciation in the Antarctic Peninsula region has large implications for the geomorphological and ecological dynamics of the ice-free environments. However, uncertainties still remain regarding the age of deglaciation in many coastal environments, as is the case in the South Shetland Islands. This study focuses on the Byers Peninsula, the largest ice-free area in this archipelago and the one with greatest biodiversity in Antarctica. A complete lacustrine sedimentary sequence was collected from five lakes distributed along a transect from the western coast to the Rotch Dome glacier front: Limnopolar, Chester, Escondido, Cerro Negro and Domo lakes. A multiple dating approach based on 14C, thermoluminescence and tephrochronology was applied to the cores in order to infer the Holocene environmental history and identify the deglaciation chronology in the Byers Peninsula. The onset of the deglaciation started during the Early Holocene in the western fringe of the Byers Peninsula according to the basal dating of Limnopolar Lake (ca. 8.3 cal. ky BP). Glacial retreat gradually exposed the highest parts of the Cerro Negro nunatak in the SE corner of Byers, where Cerro Negro Lake is located; this lake was glacier-free since at least 7.5 ky. During the Mid-Holocene the retreat of the Rotch Dome glacier cleared the central part of the Byers plateau of ice, and Escondido and Chester lakes formed at 6 cal. ky BP and 5.9 ky, respectively. The dating of the basal sediments of Domo Lake suggests that the deglaciation of the current ice-free easternmost part of the Byers Peninsula occurred before 1.8 cal. ky BP.

  13. Overview of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance and Dynamics from ICESat Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2010-01-01

    The primary purpose of the ICESat mission was to determine the present-day mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, identify changes that may be occurring in the surface-mass flux and ice dynamics, and estimate their contributions to global sea-level rise. Although ICESat's three lasers were planned to make continuous measurements for 3 to 5 years, the mission was re-planned to operate in 33-day campaigns 2 to 3 times each year following failure of the first laser after 36 days. Seventeen campaigns were conducted with the last one in the Fall of 2009. Mass balance maps derived from measured ice-sheet elevation changes show that the mass loss from Greenland has increased significantly to about 170 Gt/yr for 2003 to 2007 from a state of near balance in the 1990's. Increased losses (189 Gt/yr) from melting and dynamic thinning are over seven times larger'than increased gains (25 gt/yr) from precipitation. Parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula are losing mass at an increasing rate, but other parts of West Antarctica and the East Antarctic ice sheet are gaining mass at an increasing rate. Increased losses of 35 Gt/yr in Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd.Coast are more than balanced by gains in base of Peninsula and ice stream C, D, & E systems. From the 1992-2002 to 2003-2007 period, the overall mass balance for Antarctica changed from a loss of about 60 Gt/yr to near balance or slightly positive.

  14. Analogue modelling of the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice sheets grounded below sea-level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corti, Giacomo; Zeoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The sudden breakup of ice shelves is expected to result in significant acceleration of inland glaciers, a process related to the removal of the buttressing effect exerted by the ice shelf on the tributary glaciers. This effect has been tested in previous analogue models, which however applied to ice sheets grounded above sea level (e.g., East Antarctic Ice Sheet; Antarctic Peninsula and the Larsen Ice Shelf). In this work we expand these previous results by performing small-scale laboratory models that analyse the influence of ice shelf collapse on the flow of ice streams draining an ice sheet grounded below sea level (e.g., the West Antarctic Ice Sheet). The analogue models, with dimensions (width, length, thickness) of 120x70x1.5cm were performed at the Tectonic Modelling Laboratory of CNR-IGG of Florence, Italy, by using Polydimethilsyloxane (PDMS) as analogue for the flowing ice. This transparent, Newtonian silicone has been shown to well approximate the rheology of natural ice. The silicone was allowed to flow into a water reservoir simulating natural conditions in which ice streams flow into the sea, terminating in extensive ice shelves which act as a buttress for their glaciers and slow their flow. The geometric scaling ratio was 10(-5), such that 1cm in the models simulated 1km in nature; velocity of PDMS (a few mm per hour) simulated natural velocities of 100-1000 m/year. Instability of glacier flow was induced by manually removing a basal silicone platform (floating on water) exerting backstresses to the flowing analogue glacier: the simple set-up adopted in the experiments isolates the effect of the removal of the buttressing effect that the floating platform exerts on the flowing glaciers, thus offering insights into the influence of this parameter on the flow perturbations resulting from a collapse event. The experimental results showed a significant increase in glacier velocity close to its outlet following ice shelf breakup, a process similar to what

  15. D ISTRIBUTION OF SURFACE SED IMENTS IN THE SEA AREA SURROUND ING THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND THEIR SED IMENTARY ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNIFICANCE%南极半岛周边海域表层沉积物粒度分布特征及其环境指示意义

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王春娟; 陈志华; 李传顺; 杜德文; 闫仕娟; 朱志伟

    2014-01-01

    Using investigations of and data processing on the surface sediments in the sea area surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula,we analyzed the grain compositions to study the sediment types and distributions,and to discuss the va-riety within the deposits.The samples taken from the study area contain gravel,sand,silt and clay.From the ba-thymetry and morphology,the area contains neritic,hemi-pelagic and pelagic deposits.The glacial-marine sedi-ments can be divided into two types:residual paratill and compound paratill,which are primarily transported by glaciers and ice-rafted.The effects of ocean currents on the deposition are more obvious,and the deposit types vary regularly with variations in the terrain.%基于南极半岛周边海域表层沉积物调查以及收集的资料,并通过分析表层沉积物粒度数据研究沉积物类型和分布特征,探讨沉积物的变化规律。南极半岛周边海域的沉积物类型比较丰富,主要分为四大类:砾质、砂质、粉砂质以及泥质沉积物;根据不同的水深和地貌单元可分为陆架(或岛架)碎屑沉积物、陆坡(或岛坡)沉积物和深海沉积物。研究区沉积物属于冰海沉积物,并可划分为残副冰碛物和混合副冰碛物。沉积物的搬运介质以冰川、冰筏为主,海流对沉积物的影响较为明显,沉积物类型随地形变化而呈有规律的分布。

  16. Carbon dioxide effects research and assessment program. Environmental and societal consequences of a possible CO/sub 2/-induced climate change: volume II, part I. Response of the West Antarctic ice sheet to CO/sub 2/-induced climatic warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bentley, C.

    1982-04-01

    The paper proposes a research plan to deal with the question of what the response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would be to a rise in global temperatures caused by an anthropogenic CO/sub 2/ buildup in the atmosphere. The plan is designed to answer the following questions: (1) how fast is the ice mass changing now, and why; (2) how will the boundary conditions that affect the ice sheet respond to an atmospheric temperature change and how are those boundary conditions changing now; (3) what will be the response of the ice sheet to changes in boundary conditions; and (4) what can be learned by analogy with what has happened in the past. (ACR)

  17. Trace metal suites in Antarctic pre-industrial ice are consistent with emissions from quiescent degassing of volcanoes worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Akikazu; Hinkley, Todd K.

    2001-03-01

    Trace metals are more abundant in atmospheric load and deposition material than can be due to rock and soil dusts and ocean salt. In pre-industrial ice from coastal west Antarctica, dust and salt account for only a few percent of the lead, cadmium, and indium that is present in most samples, less than half in any sample. For these trace metals, the deposition rate to the pre-industrial ice is approximately matched by the output rate to the atmosphere by quiescent (non-explosive) degassing of volcanoes worldwide, according to a new estimate. The basis of the match is the masses and proportions of the metals, and the proportions of Pb isotopes, in ice and in volcano emissions. The isotopic compositions of Pb in ice are similar to those of a suite of ocean island volcanoes, mostly in the southern hemisphere. The natural baseline values for pre-industrial atmospheric deposition fluxes of trace metal suites at Taylor Dome, and the worldwide quiescent volcano emissions fluxes to which they are linked, constitute a reasonably well-constrained baseline component for deposition fluxes of metals in modern times.

  18. Integrated Science and Logistical Planning to Support Big Questions in Antarctic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, D. G.; Stockings, T. M.

    2015-12-01

    Each year, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) supports an extensive programme of science at five Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations, ranging from the tiny Bird Island Research Station at 54°S in the South Atlantic, to the massive, and fully re-locatable, Halley Research Station on Brunt Ice Shelf at 75°S. The BAS logistics hub, Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula supports deployment of deep-field and airborne field campaigns through much of the Antarctic continent, and an innovative new UK polar res