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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scambos, T. A.; Berthier, E.; Haran, T.; Shuman, C. A.; Cook, A. J.; Ligtenberg, S. R M; Bohlander, J.

    2014-01-01

    The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, < 66° S) is one of the most rapidly changing glaciated regions on earth, yet the spatial patterns of its ice mass loss at the glacier basin scale have to date been poorly documented. We use satellite laser altimetry and satellite stereo-image topography

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

    OpenAIRE

    Grosvenor, D. P.; Choularton, T. W.; Lachlan-Cope, T.; Gallagher, M. W.; Crosier, J.; Bower, K. N.; Ladkin, R. S.; Dorsey, J. R.

    2012-01-01

    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 phas...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Surface and Subsurface Meltwater Ponding and Refreezing on the Bach Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    Willis, I.; Haggard, E.; Benedek, C. L.; MacAyeal, D. R.; Banwell, A. F.

    2017-12-01

    There is growing concern about the stability and fate of Antarctic ice shelves, as four major ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have completely disintegrated since the 1950s. Their collapse has been linked to the southward movement of the -9 oC mean annual temperature isotherm. The proximal causes of ice shelf instability are not fully known, but an increase in surface melting leading to water ponding and ice flexure, fracture and calving has been implicated. Close to the recently collapsed Wilkins Ice Shelf, the Bach Ice Shelf (72°S 72°W) may be at risk from break up in the near future. Here, we document the changing surface hydrology of the Bach Ice Shelf between 2001 and 2017 using Landsat 7 & 8 imagery. Extensive surface water is identified across the Bach Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers. Two types of drainage system are observed, drainage into firn via simple stream networks and drainage into the ocean via more complex networks. There are differences between the surface hydrology on the ice shelf and the tributary glaciers, as well as variations within and between summer seasons linked to surface air temperature fluctuations. We also document the changing subsurface hydrology of the ice shelf between 2014 and 2017 using Sentinel 1 A/B SAR imagery. Forty-five subsurface features are identified and analysed for their patterns and temporal evolution. Fourteen of the features show similar characteristics to previously-identified buried lakes and some occur in areas associated with surface lakes in previous years. The buried lakes show seasonal variability in area and surface backscatter, which varies with surface air temperature, and are consistent with the presence, enlargement and contraction of liquid water bodies. Buried lakes are an overlooked source of water loading on ice shelves, which may contribute to ice shelf flexure and potential fracture.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Variable Basal Melt Rates of Antarctic Peninsula Ice Shelves, 1994-2016

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    Adusumilli, Susheel; Fricker, Helen Amanda; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Padman, Laurie; Paolo, Fernando S.; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.

    2018-05-01

    We have constructed 23-year (1994-2016) time series of Antarctic Peninsula (AP) ice-shelf height change using data from four satellite radar altimeters (ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat, and CryoSat-2). Combining these time series with output from atmospheric and firn models, we partitioned the total height-change signal into contributions from varying surface mass balance, firn state, ice dynamics, and basal mass balance. On the Bellingshausen coast of the AP, ice shelves lost 84 ± 34 Gt a-1 to basal melting, compared to contributions of 50 ± 7 Gt a-1 from surface mass balance and ice dynamics. Net basal melting on the Weddell coast was 51 ± 71 Gt a-1. Recent changes in ice-shelf height include increases over major AP ice shelves driven by changes in firn state. Basal melt rates near Bawden Ice Rise, a major pinning point of Larsen C Ice Shelf, showed large increases, potentially leading to substantial loss of buttressing if sustained.

  8. 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

    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...... thickness. We further constrain the best fitting Earth model by including six cGPS stations deployed after 2009 (the LARISSA network), with vertical velocities in the range 1.7 to 14.9 mm/yr. This results in a best fitting Earth model with lithospheric thickness of 100–140 km and upper mantle viscosity of 6...

  9. Recent dynamic changes on Fleming Glacier after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

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    Friedl, Peter; Seehaus, Thorsten C.; Wendt, Anja; Braun, Matthias H.; Höppner, Kathrin

    2018-04-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the world's regions most affected by climate change. Several ice shelves have retreated, thinned or completely disintegrated during recent decades, leading to acceleration and increased calving of their tributary glaciers. Wordie Ice Shelf, located in Marguerite Bay at the south-western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, completely disintegrated in a series of events between the 1960s and the late 1990s. We investigate the long-term dynamics (1994-2016) of Fleming Glacier after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf by analysing various multi-sensor remote sensing data sets. We present a dense time series of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) surface velocities that reveals a rapid acceleration of Fleming Glacier in 2008 and a phase of further gradual acceleration and upstream propagation of high velocities in 2010-2011.The timing in acceleration correlates with strong upwelling events of warm circumpolar deep water (CDW) into Wordie Bay, most likely leading to increased submarine melt. This, together with continuous dynamic thinning and a deep subglacial trough with a retrograde bed slope close to the terminus probably, has induced unpinning of the glacier tongue in 2008 and gradual grounding line retreat between 2010 and 2011. Our data suggest that the glacier's grounding line had retreated by ˜ 6-9 km between 1996 and 2011, which caused ˜ 56 km2 of the glacier tongue to go afloat. The resulting reduction in buttressing explains a median speedup of ˜ 1.3 m d-1 ( ˜ 27 %) between 2008 and 2011, which we observed along a centre line extending between the grounding line in 1996 and ˜ 16 km upstream. Current median ice thinning rates (2011-2014) along profiles in areas below 1000 m altitude range between ˜ 2.6 to 3.2 m a-1 and are ˜ 70 % higher than between 2004 and 2008. Our study shows that Fleming Glacier is far away from approaching a new equilibrium and that the glacier dynamics are not primarily controlled by the loss of the

  10. Seafloor geomorphology of western Antarctic Peninsula bays: a signature of ice flow behaviour

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    Y. P. Munoz

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Glacial geomorphology is used in Antarctica to reconstruct ice advance during the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent retreat across the continental shelf. Analogous geomorphic assemblages are found in glaciated fjords and are used to interpret the glacial history and glacial dynamics in those areas. In addition, understanding the distribution of submarine landforms in bays and the local controls exerted on ice flow can help improve numerical models by providing constraints through these drainage areas. We present multibeam swath bathymetry from several bays in the South Shetland Islands and the western Antarctic Peninsula. The submarine landforms are described and interpreted in detail. A schematic model was developed showing the features found in the bays: from glacial lineations and moraines in the inner bay to grounding zone wedges and drumlinoid features in the middle bay and streamlined features and meltwater channels in the outer bay areas. In addition, we analysed local variables in the bays and observed the following: (1 the number of landforms found in the bays scales to the size of the bay, but the geometry of the bays dictates the types of features that form; specifically, we observe a correlation between the bay width and the number of transverse features present in the bays. (2 The smaller seafloor features are present only in the smaller glacial systems, indicating that short-lived atmospheric and oceanographic fluctuations, responsible for the formation of these landforms, are only recorded in these smaller systems. (3 Meltwater channels are abundant on the seafloor, but some are subglacial, carved in bedrock, and some are modern erosional features, carved on soft sediment. Lastly, based on geomorphological evidence, we propose the features found in some of the proximal bay areas were formed during a recent glacial advance, likely the Little Ice Age.

  11. Seafloor geomorphology of western Antarctic Peninsula bays: a signature of ice flow behaviour

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    Munoz, Yuribia P.; Wellner, Julia S.

    2018-01-01

    Glacial geomorphology is used in Antarctica to reconstruct ice advance during the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent retreat across the continental shelf. Analogous geomorphic assemblages are found in glaciated fjords and are used to interpret the glacial history and glacial dynamics in those areas. In addition, understanding the distribution of submarine landforms in bays and the local controls exerted on ice flow can help improve numerical models by providing constraints through these drainage areas. We present multibeam swath bathymetry from several bays in the South Shetland Islands and the western Antarctic Peninsula. The submarine landforms are described and interpreted in detail. A schematic model was developed showing the features found in the bays: from glacial lineations and moraines in the inner bay to grounding zone wedges and drumlinoid features in the middle bay and streamlined features and meltwater channels in the outer bay areas. In addition, we analysed local variables in the bays and observed the following: (1) the number of landforms found in the bays scales to the size of the bay, but the geometry of the bays dictates the types of features that form; specifically, we observe a correlation between the bay width and the number of transverse features present in the bays. (2) The smaller seafloor features are present only in the smaller glacial systems, indicating that short-lived atmospheric and oceanographic fluctuations, responsible for the formation of these landforms, are only recorded in these smaller systems. (3) Meltwater channels are abundant on the seafloor, but some are subglacial, carved in bedrock, and some are modern erosional features, carved on soft sediment. Lastly, based on geomorphological evidence, we propose the features found in some of the proximal bay areas were formed during a recent glacial advance, likely the Little Ice Age.

  12. Dynamic response of Sjögren Inlet glaciers, Antarctic Peninsula, to ice shelf breakup derived from multi-mission remote sensing time series.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seehaus, T.C.; Marinsek, S.; Skvarca, P.; van Wessem, J.M.; Reijmer, C.H.; Seco, J.L.; Braun, M.

    2016-01-01

    The substantial retreat or disintegration of numerous ice shelves has been observed on the Antarctic Peninsula. The ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel has retreated gradually since the late 1980s and broke up in 1995. Tributary glaciers reacted with speed-up, surface lowering and increased ice

  13. Rapid ice unloading in the Fleming Glacier region, southern Antarctic Peninsula, and its effect on bedrock uplift rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Chen; King, Matt A.; Watson, Christopher S.

    2017-01-01

    deformation. We subtract modeled elastic deformation rates, and a suite of modeled viscous rates, from GPS-derived three-dimensional bedrock velocities at sites to the south of Fleming Glacier to infer properties of Earth rheology. Assuming the pre-breakup bedrock uplift was positive due to post-Last Glacial...... Maximum (LGM) ice retreat, our viscoelastic-corrected GPS uplift rates suggest upper mantle viscosities are >2×1019 Pas and likely >1×1020 Pas in this region, 1–2 orders of magnitude greater than previously found for the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Horizontal velocities at the GPS site nearest...

  14. Ice-dammed lateral lake and epishelf lake insights into Holocene dynamics of Marguerite Trough Ice Stream and George VI Ice Shelf, Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula

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    Davies, Bethan J.; Hambrey, Michael J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Holt, Tom; Rodés, Angél; Smellie, John L.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Blockley, Simon P. E.

    2017-12-01

    We present new data regarding the past dynamics of Marguerite Trough Ice Stream, George VI Ice Shelf and valley glaciers from Ablation Point Massif on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula. This ice-free oasis preserves a geological record of ice stream lateral moraines, ice-dammed lakes, ice-shelf moraines and valley glacier moraines, which we dated using cosmogenic nuclide ages. We provide one of the first detailed sediment-landform assemblage descriptions of epishelf lake shorelines. Marguerite Trough Ice Stream imprinted lateral moraines against eastern Alexander Island at 120 m at Ablation Point Massif. During deglaciation, lateral lakes formed in the Ablation and Moutonnée valleys, dammed against the ice stream in George VI Sound. Exposure ages from boulders on these shorelines yielded ages of 13.9 to 9.7 ka. Following recession of the ice stream, George VI Ice Shelf formed in George VI Sound. An epishelf lake formed at 15-20 m asl in Ablation and Moutonnée valleys, dated from 9.4 to 4.6 ka, suggesting that the lake was stable and persistent for some 5000 years. Lake-level lowering occurred after this, with the lake level at 12 m at 3.1 ± 0.4 ka and at 5 m asl today. A readvance of the valley glaciers on Alexander Island at 4.4 ± 0.7 ka is recorded by valley glacier moraines overlying epishelf lake sediments. We speculate that the glacier readvance, which occurred during a period of warmth, may have been caused by a dynamic response of the glaciers to a lowering in surface elevation of George VI Ice Shelf.

  15. 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

  16. Ice melt influence on summertime net community production along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

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    Eveleth, R.; Cassar, N.; Sherrell, R. M.; Ducklow, H.; Meredith, M. P.; Venables, H. J.; Lin, Y.; Li, Z.

    2017-05-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a highly productive marine environment that is undergoing rapid change, with consequences for productivity and total ecosystem carbon cycling. We present continuous underway O2/Ar estimates of net community production (NCPO2Ar) in austral summer 2012, 2013 and 2014 at sub-kilometer horizontal resolution within the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Pal-LTER) grid region of the WAP. Substantial spatial variability is observed with NCPO2Ar ranging from 0 to 790 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 and considerable interannual variability with mean values in the grid region of 54.4±48.5, 44.6±40.5, and 85.6±75.9 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Based on a strong correlation (r2=0.83) between residence time integrated NCPO2Ar and NCPDIC derived from seasonal DIC drawdown, we find the observed NCPO2Ar spatial and interannual variability to be consistent with the December-January NCPDIC magnitude. Seeking to explain the mechanistic drivers of NCP in the WAP, we observe a linear relationship between NCPO2Ar and meteoric water content derived from δ18O and salinity. This correlation may be due to Fe supply from glacial melt and/or strengthening of stratification and relief of light limitation. Elevated surface Fe availability, as indicated by Fv/Fm and measurements of surface water dissolved Fe and Mn (a rough proxy for recent potential Fe availability), and shallower, more stable mixed layers are present where meteoric water and/or sea ice melt is high near the coast. Light limitation is evident in the WAP when mixed layer depths are greater than 40 m. Additionally we document hotspots of NCP associated with submarine canyons along the WAP. While it is difficult to predict how the physical-biological system might evolve under changing climatic conditions, it is evident that NCP, and potentially carbon flux out of the mixed layer, along the WAP will be sensitive to shifts in meltwater input and timing.

  17. 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

  18. Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, B.; Martin-Espanol, A.; Helm, V.; Flament, T.; van Wessem, J. M.; Ligtenberg, S. R. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence has demonstrated the importance of ice shelf buttressing on the inland grounded ice, especially if it is resting on bedrock below sea level. Much of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula satisfies this condition and also possesses a bed slope that deepens inland. Such ice sheet geometry

  19. On Land Ice Mass Change in Southernmost South America, Antarctic Peninsula and Coastal Antarctica consistent with GRACE, GPS and Reconstructed Ice History for Past 1000 years.

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    Ivins, Erik; Wiese, David; Watkins, Michael; Yuan, Dah-Ning; Landerer, Felix; Simms, Alex; Boening, Carmen

    2014-05-01

    The improved spatial coverage provided by high-quality Global Positioning System observing systems on exposed bedrock has allowed these space geodetic experiments to play an increasingly important role in constraining both glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) processes and viscoelastic responses to present-day glacial mass changes (PGMC). Improved constraints on models of ice mass change in the Southern Hemisphere at present-day, during the Little Ice Age, and during the Late Holocene are invaluable for reconciling climate and sea-level variability on a global scale during the present solar radiation forcing and Milankovic orbital configuration. Studies by Jacobs et al. (1992), Whitehouse et al. (2012), King et al. (2012), Boening et al (2012), and others, support the contention that GRACE observations of both GIA and PGMC in the Southern Hemisphere are dominated by the geography and climate of coastal environments. This makes the proper masking of those environments for GRACE-determinations of secular mass balance especially sensitive, and downscaling, rescaling, and use of correlation mascon methods a non-trivial part of the analysis. Here we employ two analysis methods to determine the mass balances of the Antarctic Peninsula and Patagonia and incorporate GPS observations of ongoing uplift for GIA correction into both. Using data that roughly span 2002-2013, we determine -25 ± 5 Gt/yr for the uncorrected Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and -12 Gt/yr for southern Patagonia and the Cordillera Darwin (PCD). With corrections for GIA these are increased to -34 ± 8 Gt/yr for AP and -22 ± 6 Gt/yr for PCD.

  20. Glacier History of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula Region Since the End of the Last Ice Age and Implications for Southern Hemisphere Westerly-Climate Changes

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    Kaplan, M. R.; Schaefer, J. M.; Strelin, J. A.; Peltier, C.; Southon, J. R.; Lepper, K. E.; Winckler, G.

    2017-12-01

    For the area around James Ross Island, we present new cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages on glacial deposits, and 14C ages on associated fossil materials. These data allow us to reconstruct in detail when and how the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet retreated around the Island as the last Ice Age ended, and afterward when local land-based glaciers fluctuated. Similar to other studies, we found widespread deglaciation during the earliest Holocene, with fjords and bays becoming ice free between about 11,000 and 8,000 years ago. After 7,000 years ago, neoglacial type advances initiated. Then, both expansions and ice free periods occurred from the middle to late Holocene. We compare the new glacier record to those in southern Patagonia, which is on the other side of the Drake Passage, and published Southern Ocean marine records, in order to infer past middle to high latitude changes in the Southern Hemisphere Westerlies. Widespread warmth in the earliest Holocene, to the north and south of the Drake Passage, led to small glacier systems in Patagonia and wide-ranging glacier recession around the northern Antarctic Peninsula. We infer that this early Holocene period of overall glacier recession - from Patagonia to the northern Peninsula - was caused by a persistent far-southerly setting of the westerlies and accompanying warm climates. Subsequently, during the middle Holocene renewed glacier expansions occurred on both sides of the Drake Passage, which reflects that the Westerlies and associated colder climate systems were generally more equatorward. From the middle to late Holocene, glacier expansions and ice free periods (and likely related ice shelf behavior) document how the Westerlies and associated higher-latitude climate systems varied.

  1. 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.

  2. Characterisation of the nematode community of a low-activity cold seep in the recently ice-shelf free Larsen B area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula.

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    Freija Hauquier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995 and B (2002 areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage, as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm(2 and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2-3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable (13C isotopic signals (ranging between -21.97±0.86‰ and -24.85±1.89‰ were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. CONCLUSION: The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual

  3. Changing pattern of ice flow and mass balance for glaciers discharging into the Larsen A and B embayments, Antarctic Peninsula, 2011 to 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rott, Helmut; Abdel Jaber, Wael; Wuite, Jan; Scheiblauer, Stefan; Floricioiu, Dana; Melchior van Wessem, Jan; Nagler, Thomas; Miranda, Nuno; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2018-04-01

    We analysed volume change and mass balance of outlet glaciers on the northern Antarctic Peninsula over the periods 2011 to 2013 and 2013 to 2016, using high-resolution topographic data from the bistatic interferometric radar satellite mission TanDEM-X. Complementary to the geodetic method that applies DEM differencing, we computed the net mass balance of the main outlet glaciers using the mass budget method, accounting for the difference between the surface mass balance (SMB) and the discharge of ice into an ocean or ice shelf. The SMB values are based on output of the regional climate model RACMO version 2.3p2. To study glacier flow and retrieve ice discharge we generated time series of ice velocity from data from different satellite radar sensors, with radar images of the satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X as the main source. The study area comprises tributaries to the Larsen A, Larsen Inlet and Prince Gustav Channel embayments (region A), the glaciers calving into the Larsen B embayment (region B) and the glaciers draining into the remnant part of the Larsen B ice shelf in Scar Inlet (region C). The glaciers of region A, where the buttressing ice shelf disintegrated in 1995, and of region B (ice shelf break-up in 2002) show continuing losses in ice mass, with significant reduction of losses after 2013. The mass balance numbers for the grounded glacier area of region A are -3.98 ± 0.33 Gt a-1 from 2011 to 2013 and -2.38 ± 0.18 Gt a-1 from 2013 to 2016. The corresponding numbers for region B are -5.75 ± 0.45 and -2.32 ± 0.25 Gt a-1. The mass balance in region C during the two periods was slightly negative, at -0.54 ± 0.38 Gt a-1 and -0.58 ± 0.25 Gt a-1. The main share in the overall mass losses of the region was contributed by two glaciers: Drygalski Glacier contributing 61 % to the mass deficit of region A, and Hektoria and Green glaciers accounting for 67 % to the mass deficit of region B. Hektoria and Green glaciers accelerated significantly in 2010

  4. Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Ice and Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    In this view of Antarctic ice and clouds, (56.5S, 152.0W), the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica is almost totally clear, showing stress cracks in the ice surface caused by wind and tidal drift. Clouds on the eastern edge of the picture are associated with an Antarctic cyclone. Winds stirred up these storms have been known to reach hurricane force.

  5. Geomorphology and vegetation mapping the ice-free terrains of the Western Antarctic Peninsula region using very high resolution imagery from an UAV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, G.; Mora, C.; Pina, P.; Bandeira, L.; Hong, S. G.

    2014-12-01

    The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is one of the Earth's regions with a fastest warming signal since the 1950's with an increase of over +2.5 ºC in MAAT. Significant changes have been reported for glaciers, ice-shelves, sea-ice and also for the permafrost environment. Mapping and monitoring the ice-free areas of the WAP has been until recently limited by the available aerial photo surveys, but also by the scarce high resolution satellite imagery (e.g. QuickBird, WorldView, etc.) that are seriously constrained by the high cloudiness of the region. Recent developments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's), which have seen significant technological advances and price reduction in the last few years, allow for its systematical use for mapping and monitoring in remote environments. In the framework of projects PERMANTAR-3 (PTDC/AAG-GLO/3908/2012 - FCT) and 3DAntártida (Ciência Viva), we complement traditional terrain surveying and mapping, satellite remote sensing (SAR and optical) and D-GPS deformation monitoring, with the application of an UAV. In this communication, we present the results from the application of a Sensefly ebee UAV in mapping the vegetation and geomorphological processes (e.g. sorted circles), as well as for digital elevation model generation in a test site in Barton Pen., King George Isl.. The UAV is a lightweight (ci. 700g) aircraft, with a 96 cm wingspan, which is portable and easy to transport. It allows for up to 40 min flight time, with application of RGB or NIR cameras. We have tested the ebee successfully with winds up to 10 m/s and obtained aerial photos with a ground resolution of 4 cm/pixel. The digital orthophotomaps, high resolution DEM's together with field observations have allowed for deriving geomorphological maps with unprecedented detail and accuracy, providing new insight into the controls on the spatial distribution of geomorphological processes. The talk will focus on the first results from the field surveys of February and

  6. Modelling the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jens Olaf Pepke; Holm, A.

    2015-01-01

    to sea level high stands during past interglacial periods. A number of AIS models have been developed and applied to try to understand the workings of the AIS and to form a robust basis for future projections of the AIS contribution to sea level change. The recent DCESS (Danish Center for Earth System......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...

  7. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingham, D J; Shepherd, A; Muir, A; Marshall, G J

    2006-07-15

    The Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise has long been uncertain. While regional variability in ice dynamics has been revealed, a picture of mass changes throughout the continental ice sheet is lacking. Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992-2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5-+85Gtyr-1. We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend-growth of 27+/-29Gtyr-1-is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica. The result exacerbates the difficulty of explaining twentieth century sea-level rise.

  8. Changes in glacier dynamics in the northern Antarctic Peninsula since 1985

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seehaus, Thorsten; Cook, Alison J.; Silva, Aline B.; Braun, Matthias

    2018-02-01

    The climatic conditions along the northern Antarctic Peninsula have shown significant changes within the last 50 years. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of temporally and spatially detailed observations of the changes in ice dynamics along both the east and west coastlines of the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Temporal evolutions of glacier area (1985-2015) and ice surface velocity (1992-2014) are derived from a broad multi-mission remote sensing database for 74 glacier basins on the northern Antarctic Peninsula ( disintegration showed the largest retreat by 208.59 km2. Glaciers on the east coast north of the former Prince Gustav Ice Shelf extent in 1986 receded by only 21.07 km2 (1985-2015) and decelerated by about 58 % on average (1992-2014). A dramatic acceleration after ice shelf disintegration with a subsequent deceleration is observed at most former ice shelf tributaries on the east coast, combined with a significant frontal retreat. In 2014, the flow speed of the former ice shelf tributaries was 26 % higher than before 1996. Along the west coast the average flow speeds of the glaciers increased by 41 %. However, the glaciers on the western Antarctic Peninsula revealed a strong spatial variability of the changes in ice dynamics. By applying a hierarchical cluster analysis, we show that this is associated with the geometric parameters of the individual glacier basins (hypsometric indexes, maximum surface elevation of the basin, flux gate to catchment size ratio). The heterogeneous spatial pattern of ice dynamic evolutions at the northern Antarctic Peninsula shows that temporally and spatially detailed observations as well as further monitoring are necessary to fully understand glacier change in regions with such strong topographic and climatic variances.

  9. Increased West Antarctic and unchanged East Antarctic ice discharge over the last 7 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S.; Moholdt, Geir; Scambos, Ted; Fahnstock, Mark; Ligtenberg, Stefan; van den Broeke, Michiel; Nilsson, Johan

    2018-02-01

    Ice discharge from large ice sheets plays a direct role in determining rates of sea-level rise. We map present-day Antarctic-wide surface velocities using Landsat 7 and 8 imagery spanning 2013-2015 and compare to earlier estimates derived from synthetic aperture radar, revealing heterogeneous changes in ice flow since ˜ 2008. The new mapping provides complete coastal and inland coverage of ice velocity north of 82.4° S with a mean error of image pairs acquired during the daylight period. Using an optimized flux gate, ice discharge from Antarctica is 1929 ± 40 Gigatons per year (Gt yr-1) in 2015, an increase of 36 ± 15 Gt yr-1 from the time of the radar mapping. Flow accelerations across the grounding lines of West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, Getz Ice Shelf and Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula, account for 88 % of this increase. In contrast, glaciers draining the East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been remarkably constant over the period of observation. Including modeled rates of snow accumulation and basal melt, the Antarctic ice sheet lost ice at an average rate of 183 ± 94 Gt yr-1 between 2008 and 2015. The modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years is contrasted by high rates of ice sheet mass loss and distinct spatial patters of elevation lowering. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is experiencing high rates of mass loss and displays distinct patterns of elevation lowering that point to a dynamic imbalance. We find modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years, which suggests that the recent pattern of mass loss in Antarctica is part of a longer-term phase of enhanced glacier flow initiated in the decades leading up to the first continent-wide radar mapping of ice flow.

  10. Spring-summer net community production, new production, particle export and related water column biogeochemical processes in the marginal sea ice zone of the Western Antarctic Peninsula 2012-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducklow, Hugh W; Stukel, Michael R; Eveleth, Rachel; Doney, Scott C; Jickells, Tim; Schofield, Oscar; Baker, Alex R; Brindle, John; Chance, Rosie; Cassar, Nicolas

    2018-06-28

    New production (New P, the rate of net primary production (NPP) supported by exogenously supplied limiting nutrients) and net community production (NCP, gross primary production not consumed by community respiration) are closely related but mechanistically distinct processes. They set the carbon balance in the upper ocean and define an upper limit for export from the system. The relationships, relative magnitudes and variability of New P (from 15 NO 3 - uptake), O 2  : argon-based NCP and sinking particle export (based on the 238 U :  234 Th disequilibrium) are increasingly well documented but still not clearly understood. This is especially true in remote regions such as polar marginal ice zones. Here we present a 3-year dataset of simultaneous measurements made at approximately 50 stations along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) continental shelf in midsummer (January) 2012-2014. Net seasonal-scale changes in water column inventories (0-150 m) of nitrate and iodide were also estimated at the same stations. The average daily rates based on inventory changes exceeded the shorter-term rate measurements. A major uncertainty in the relative magnitude of the inventory estimates is specifying the start of the growing season following sea-ice retreat. New P and NCP(O 2 ) did not differ significantly. New P and NCP(O 2 ) were significantly greater than sinking particle export from thorium-234. We suggest this is a persistent and systematic imbalance and that other processes such as vertical mixing and advection of suspended particles are important export pathways.This article is part of the theme issue 'The marine system of the west Antarctic Peninsula: status and strategy for progress in a region of rapid change'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  11. Tephra compositions from Late Quaternary volcanoes around the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, S.

    2009-12-01

    /Hf ratios lower than N-MORB, all other volcanoes including the Larsen Rift centers display Zr/Hf higher than N-MORB. It is expected that the correlation of the new data with published data from tephra layers found in ice, lake and marine sediment cores will contribute to a better constrained timing of individual climatic events identified in the northern Antarctic Peninsula area. Late Quaternary volcanoes around the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

  12. Controls on turbulent mixing on the West Antarctic Peninsula shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brearley, J. Alexander; Meredith, Michael P.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Venables, Hugh J.; Inall, Mark E.

    2017-05-01

    The ocean-to-atmosphere heat budget of the West Antarctic Peninsula is controlled in part by the upward flux of heat from the warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) layer that resides below 200 m to the Antarctic Surface Water (AASW), a water mass which varies strongly on a seasonal basis. Upwelling and mixing of CDW influence the formation of sea ice in the region and affect biological productivity and functioning of the ecosystem through their delivery of nutrients. In this study, 2.5-year time series of both Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) data are used to quantify both the diapycnal diffusivity κ and the vertical heat flux Q at the interface between CDW and AASW. Over the period of the study, a mean upward heat flux of 1 W m-2 is estimated, with the largest heat fluxes occurring shortly after the loss of winter fast ice when the water column is first exposed to wind stress without being strongly stratified by salinity. Differences in mixing mechanisms between winter and summer seasons are investigated. Whilst tidally-driven mixing at the study site occurs year-round, but is likely to be relatively weak, a strong increase in counterclockwise-polarized near-inertial energy (and shear) is observed during the fast-ice-free season, suggesting that the direct impact of storms on the ocean surface is responsible for much of the observed mixing at the site. Given the rapid reduction in sea-ice duration in this region in the last 30 years, a shift towards an increasingly wind-dominated mixing regime may be taking place.

  13. Meltwater produced by wind–albedo interaction stored in an East Antarctic ice shelf

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, JTM; Lhermitte, S.L.M.; Drews, R.; Ligtenberg, SRM; Berger, S.; Helm, V.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.; van den Broeke, MR; van de Berg, W.J.; van Meijgaard, E; Eijkelboom, M.; Eisen, O.; Pattyn, F.

    2017-01-01

    Surface melt and subsequent firn air depletion can ultimately lead to disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves1, 2 causing grounded glaciers to accelerate3 and sea level to rise. In the Antarctic Peninsula, foehn winds enhance melting near the grounding line4, which in the recent past has led to the

  14. Past Penguin Colony Linkages to Climate Change and Catastrophic Volcanism on the Northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, S. J.; Monien, P.; Foster, L. C.; Loftfield, J.; Schnetger, B.; Pearson, E. J.; Hocking, E. P.; Fretwell, P.; Ireland, L.; Ochyra, R.; Haworth, A.; Allen, C. S.; Brumsack, H. J.; Bentley, M.; Hodgson, D.

    2016-12-01

    Recent warming and reductions in sea-ice in some parts of Antarctica are thought to be having a negative impact on populations of `ice-dependent' penguin species (e.g., Emperor, Adélie) that feed at the sea-ice edge because populations of `ice-avoiding'/more `adaptable' species (e.g., Gentoo, Chinstrap) have remained stable or increased, and some Adélie colonies located in areas of sea-ice expansion have increased. This hypothesis is based on short observational records and limited subfossil evidence, but has not been tested over longer, mid-late Holocene, timescales on the Antarctic Peninsula. Between 1950-1997, the northern Antarctic Peninsula was one of the most rapidly warming regions in the Southern Hemisphere and, over the last 30 years, the largest breeding population of Gentoo penguins in Antarctica on Ardley Island, north-western Antarctic Peninsula, has increased. We tracked past changes in the Ardley Island penguin colony size by comparing detailed biogeochemical analysis of an 8,500-year Ardley Lake sediment profile with past records of penguin presence, climate and sea-ice extent across the Antarctic Peninsula and found that the colony also responded positively during some local-regionally warmer parts of the late Holocene. However, at least three large volcanic eruptions from nearby Deception Island had a devastating impact on the colony between 7000-2000 years ago, with colony recovery taking up to 800 years following the most disruptive period of volcanic activity c. 5500-5000 years ago.

  15. Stable isotopes and Antarctic moss banks: Plants and soil microbes respond to recent warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royles, Jessica; Amesbury, Matthew; Ogée, Jérôme; Wingate, Lisa; Convey, Peter; Hodgson, Dominic; Griffiths, Howard; Leng, Melanie; Charman, Dan

    2014-05-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, with air temperature increases of as much as 3°C recorded since the 1950s. However, the longer-term context of this change is limited and existing records, largely relying on ice core data, are not suitably located to be able to trace the spatial signature of change over time. We are working on a project exploiting stable isotope records preserved in moss peat banks spanning 10 degrees of latitude along the Antarctic Peninsula as an archive of late Holocene climate variability. Here we present a unique time series of past moss growth and soil microbial activity that has been produced from a 150 year old moss bank at Lazarev Bay, Alexander Island (69°S), a site at the southern limit of significant plant growth in the Antarctic Peninsula region. These moss banks are ideal archives for palaeoclimate research as they are well-preserved by freezing, generally monospecific, easily dated by radiocarbon techniques, and have sufficiently high accumulation rates to permit decadal resolution. We use accumulation rates, cellulose δ13C and fossil testate amoebae to show that growth rates, assimilation and microbial productivity rose rapidly in the 1960s, consistent with temperature change, although recently may have stalled, concurrent with other evidence. The increase in biological activity is unprecedented in the last 150 years. Along with work completed on Signy Island (60°S), in the South Orkney Islands, in which we used carbon isotope evidence to show recent climate-related enhancement of CO2 assimilation and peat accumulation rates in Antarctica, the observed relationships between moss growth, microbial activity and climate suggests that moss bank records have the potential to test the regional expression of temperature variability shown by instrumental data on the Antarctic Peninsula over centennial to millennial timescales, by providing long-term records of summer growth conditions

  16. Early Spring Phytoplankton Dynamics in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; van Dijken, Gert L.; Alderkamp, Anne-Carlijn; Erickson, Zachary K.; Lewis, Kate M.; Lowry, Kate E.; Joy-Warren, Hannah L.; Middag, Rob; Nash-Arrigo, Janice E.; Selz, Virginia; van de Poll, Willem

    2017-12-01

    The Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research program has sampled waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula (wAP) annually each summer since 1990. However, information about the wAP prior to the peak of the phytoplankton bloom in January is sparse. Here we present results from a spring process cruise that sampled the wAP in the early stages of phytoplankton bloom development in 2014. Sea ice concentrations were high on the shelf relative to nonshelf waters, especially toward the south. Macronutrients were high and nonlimiting to phytoplankton growth in both shelf and nonshelf waters, while dissolved iron concentrations were high only on the shelf. Phytoplankton were in good physiological condition throughout the wAP, although biomass on the shelf was uniformly low, presumably because of heavy sea ice cover. In contrast, an early stage phytoplankton bloom was observed beneath variable sea ice cover just seaward of the shelf break. Chlorophyll a concentrations in the bloom reached 2 mg m-3 within a 100-150 km band between the SBACC and SACCF. The location of the bloom appeared to be controlled by a balance between enhanced vertical mixing at the position of the two fronts and increased stratification due to melting sea ice between them. Unlike summer, when diatoms overwhelmingly dominate the phytoplankton population of the wAP, the haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica dominated in spring, although diatoms were common. These results suggest that factors controlling phytoplankton abundance and composition change seasonally and may differentially affect phytoplankton populations as environmental conditions within the wAP region continue to change.

  17. 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

  18. Plants and soil microbes respond to recent warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amesbury, M. J.; Royles, J.; Hodgson, D.; Convey, P.; Griffiths, H.; Charman, D.

    2013-12-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, with temperature increases of as much as 3°C recorded since the 1950s. However, the longer-term context of this change is limited and existing records are not suitably located to be able to trace the spatial signature of change over time. This paper will present the first published results from a wider project exploiting peat moss banks spanning 10 degrees of latitude along the Antarctic Peninsula as an archive of late Holocene climate variability. These moss banks are ideal archives for palaeoclimate research as they are well-preserved by freezing, generally monospecific, easily dated by radiocarbon techniques and have sufficiently high accumulation rates to permit decadal resolution. A unique time series of past moss growth and soil microbial activity has been produced from a 150 year old moss bank at Lazarev Bay, Alexander Island, a site at the southern limit of significant plant growth in the Antarctic Peninsula region. We use accumulation rates, cellulose δ13C and fossil testate amoebae to provide an indication of ecosystem productivity. We show that both moss and microbial population growth rates rose rapidly in the 1960s, consistent with temperature change, although recently may have stalled, concurrent with other evidence. The increase in terrestrial plant growth rates and soil microbial activity is unprecedented in the last 150 years. The observed relationship between moss growth, microbial activity and climate at Lazarev Bay suggests that moss bank records have the potential to test the regional expression of temperature variability shown by instrumental data on the Antarctic Peninsula over centennial to millennial timescales, by providing long-term records of summer growth conditions, complementing the more distant and widely dispersed ice core records. As a result, we will conclude by placing the Lazarev Bay record into the wider context of the latest progress of analysis of

  19. Increased West Antarctic and unchanged East Antarctic ice discharge over the last 7 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Gardner

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Ice discharge from large ice sheets plays a direct role in determining rates of sea-level rise. We map present-day Antarctic-wide surface velocities using Landsat 7 and 8 imagery spanning 2013–2015 and compare to earlier estimates derived from synthetic aperture radar, revealing heterogeneous changes in ice flow since ∼ 2008. The new mapping provides complete coastal and inland coverage of ice velocity north of 82.4° S with a mean error of < 10 m yr−1, resulting from multiple overlapping image pairs acquired during the daylight period. Using an optimized flux gate, ice discharge from Antarctica is 1929 ± 40 Gigatons per year (Gt yr−1 in 2015, an increase of 36 ± 15 Gt yr−1 from the time of the radar mapping. Flow accelerations across the grounding lines of West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, Getz Ice Shelf and Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula, account for 88 % of this increase. In contrast, glaciers draining the East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been remarkably constant over the period of observation. Including modeled rates of snow accumulation and basal melt, the Antarctic ice sheet lost ice at an average rate of 183 ± 94 Gt yr−1 between 2008 and 2015. The modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years is contrasted by high rates of ice sheet mass loss and distinct spatial patters of elevation lowering. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is experiencing high rates of mass loss and displays distinct patterns of elevation lowering that point to a dynamic imbalance. We find modest increase in ice discharge over the past 7 years, which suggests that the recent pattern of mass loss in Antarctica is part of a longer-term phase of enhanced glacier flow initiated in the decades leading up to the first continent-wide radar mapping of ice flow.

  20. An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zunli; Rickaby, Rosalind E. M.; Kennedy, Hilary; Kennedy, Paul; Pancost, Richard D.; Shaw, Samuel; Lennie, Alistair; Wellner, Julia; Anderson, John B.

    2012-04-01

    Calcium carbonate can crystallize in a hydrated form as ikaite at low temperatures. The hydration water in ikaite grown in laboratory experiments records the δ18O of ambient water, a feature potentially useful for reconstructing δ18O of local seawater. We report the first downcore δ18O record of natural ikaite hydration waters and crystals collected from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), a region sensitive to climate fluctuations. We are able to establish the zone of ikaite formation within shallow sediments, based on porewater chemical and isotopic data. Having constrained the depth of ikaite formation and δ18O of ikaite crystals and hydration waters, we are able to infer local changes in fjord δ18O versus time during the late Holocene. This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.

  1. 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

  2. 222Rn in the Antarctic Peninsula during 1986

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira, E.B.; Setzer, A.W.; Cavalcanti, I.F.A.

    1988-01-01

    222 Rn was continuously measured at the Brazilian Antarctic Station (62 0 S, 58 0 W) during the year of 1986. Baseline radon concentration averaged 0.02 Bq.m -3 with surges peaking 0.4 Bq.m -3 . The data exhibited a characteristic periodicity of about 25 days and a strong positive association with short term fluctuations of atmospheric temperature. No seasonal variations of radon were observed. Interpretation of the radon surges with reference to synoptic charts and weather satellite pictures showed that the continental influence of radon at the Antarctic Peninsula is very small and comes only from the tip of the South American cone. (author)

  3. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R.; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A.; Shaw, Justine D.; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-01

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  4. Changes in ice dynamics and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes.

  5. Geochemical signatures of tephras from Quaternary Antarctic Peninsula volcanoes

    OpenAIRE

    Kraus,Stefan; Kurbatov,Andrei; Yates,Martin

    2013-01-01

    In the northern Antarctic Peninsula area, at least 12 Late Plelstocene-Holocene volcanic centers could be potential sources of tephra layers in the region. We present unique geochemical fingerprints for ten of these volcanoes using major, trace, rare earth element, and isotope data from 95 samples of tephra and other eruption products. The volcanoes have predominantly basaltic and basaltic andesitic compositions. The Nb/Y ratio proves useful to distinguish between volcanic centers located on ...

  6. Advective pathways near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula: Trends, variability and ecosystem implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Angelika H. H.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Heywood, Karen J.; Murphy, Eugene J.; Watkins, Jon L.; Meredith, Michael P.

    2012-05-01

    Pathways and rates of ocean flow near the Antarctic Peninsula are strongly affected by frontal features, forcings from the atmosphere and the cryosphere. In the surface mixed layer, the currents advect material from the northwestern Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Peninsula around the tip of the Peninsula to its western side and into the Scotia Sea, connecting populations of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and supporting the ecosystem of the region. Modelling of subsurface drifters using a particle tracking algorithm forced by the velocity fields of a coupled sea ice-ocean model (ORCA025-LIM2) allows analysis of the seasonal and interannual variability of drifter pathways over 43 years. The results show robust and persistent connections from the Weddell Sea both to the west into the Bellingshausen Sea and across the Scotia Sea towards South Georgia, reproducing well the observations. The fate of the drifters is sensitive to their deployment location, in addition to other factors. From the shelf of the eastern Antarctic Peninsula, the majority enter the Bransfield Strait and subsequently the Bellingshausen Sea. When originating further offshore over the deeper Weddell Sea, drifters are more likely to cross the South Scotia Ridge and reach South Georgia. However, the wind field east and southeast of Elephant Island, close to the tip of the Peninsula, is crucial for the drifter trajectories and is highly influenced by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Increased advection and short travel times to South Georgia, and reduced advection to the western Antarctic Peninsula can be linked to strong westerlies, a signature of the positive phase of the SAM. The converse is true for the negative phase. Strong westerlies and shifts of ocean fronts near the tip of the Peninsula that are potentially associated with both the SAM and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation restrict the connection from the Weddell Sea to the west, and drifters then predominantly follow the open

  7. Structural Uncertainty in Antarctic sea ice simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D. P.

    2016-12-01

    The inability of the vast majority of historical climate model simulations to reproduce the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice has motivated many studies about the quality of the observational record, the role of natural variability versus forced changes, and the possibility of missing or inadequate forcings in the models (such as freshwater discharge from thinning ice shelves or an inadequate magnitude of stratospheric ozone depletion). In this presentation I will highlight another source of uncertainty that has received comparatively little attention: Structural uncertainty, that is, the systematic uncertainty in simulated sea ice trends that arises from model physics and mean-state biases. Using two large ensembles of experiments from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), I will show that the model is predisposed towards producing negative Antarctic sea ice trends during 1979-present, and that this outcome is not simply because the model's decadal variability is out-of-synch with that in nature. In the "Tropical Pacific Pacemaker" ensemble, in which observed tropical Pacific SST anomalies are prescribed, the model produces very realistic atmospheric circulation trends over the Southern Ocean, yet the sea ice trend is negative in every ensemble member. However, if the ensemble-mean trend (commonly interpreted as the forced response) is removed, some ensemble members show a sea ice increase that is very similar to the observed. While this results does confirm the important role of natural variability, it also suggests a strong bias in the forced response. I will discuss the reasons for this systematic bias and explore possible remedies. This an important problem to solve because projections of 21st -Century changes in the Antarctic climate system (including ice sheet surface mass balance changes and related changes in the sea level budget) have a strong dependence on the mean state of and changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover. This problem is not unique to

  8. Environmental constraints on West Antarctic ice-sheet formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindstrom, D R; MacAyeal, D R

    1987-01-01

    Small perturbations in Antarctic environmental conditions can culminate in the demise of the Antarctic ice sheet's western sector. This may have happened during the last interglacial period, and could recur within the next millennium due to atmospheric warming from trace gas and CO/sub 2/ increases. In this study, we investigate the importance of sea-level, accumulation rate, and ice influx from the East Antarctic ice sheet in the re-establishment of the West Antarctic ice sheet from a thin cover using a time-dependent numerical ice-shelf model. Our results show that a precursor to the West Antarctic ice sheet can form within 3000 years. Sea-level lowering caused by ice-sheet development in the Northern Hemisphere has the greatest environmental influence. Under favorable conditions, ice grounding occurs over all parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet except up-stream of Thwaites Glacier and in the Ross Sea region.

  9. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K.A; Smith, Raymond C

    2006-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading. PMID:17405211

  10. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K A; Smith, Raymond C

    2007-01-29

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading.

  11. 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.

  12. Past penguin colony responses to explosive volcanism on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Stephen J.; Monien, Patrick; Foster, Louise C.; Loftfield, Julia; Hocking, Emma P.; Schnetger, Bernhard; Pearson, Emma J.; Juggins, Steve; Fretwell, Peter; Ireland, Louise; Ochyra, Ryszard; Haworth, Anna R.; Allen, Claire S.; Moreton, Steven G.; Davies, Sarah J.; Brumsack, Hans-Jürgen; Bentley, Michael J.; Hodgson, Dominic A.

    2017-04-01

    Changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula have been linked to several environmental factors, but the potentially devastating impact of volcanic activity has not been considered. Here we use detailed biogeochemical analyses to track past penguin colony change over the last 8,500 years on Ardley Island, home to one of the Antarctic Peninsula's largest breeding populations of gentoo penguins. The first sustained penguin colony was established on Ardley Island c. 6,700 years ago, pre-dating sub-fossil evidence of Peninsula-wide occupation by c. 1,000 years. The colony experienced five population maxima during the Holocene. Overall, we find no consistent relationships with local-regional atmospheric and ocean temperatures or sea-ice conditions, although the colony population maximum, c. 4,000-3,000 years ago, corresponds with regionally elevated temperatures. Instead, at least three of the five phases of penguin colony expansion were abruptly ended by large eruptions from the Deception Island volcano, resulting in near-complete local extinction of the colony, with, on average, 400-800 years required for sustainable recovery.

  13. A 25-year Record of Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Muir, A. S.; Sundal, A.; McMillan, M.; Briggs, K.; Hogg, A.; Engdahl, M.; Gilbert, L.

    2017-12-01

    Since 1992, the European Remote-Sensing (ERS-1 and ERS-2), ENVISAT, and CryoSat-2 satellite radar altimeters have measured the Antarctic ice sheet surface elevation, repeatedly, at approximately monthly intervals. These data constitute the longest continuous record of ice sheet wide change. In this paper, we use these observations to determine changes in the elevation, volume and mass of the East Antarctic and West Antarctic ice sheets, and of parts of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet, over a 25-year period. The root mean square difference between elevation rates computed from our survey and 257,296 estimates determined from airborne laser measurements is 54 cm/yr. The longevity of the satellite altimeter data record allows to identify and chart the evolution of changes associated with meteorology and ice flow, and we estimate that 3.6 % of the continental ice sheet, and 21.7 % of West Antarctica, is in a state of dynamical imbalance. Based on this partitioning, we estimate the mass balance of the East and West Antarctic ice sheet drainage basins and the root mean square difference between these and independent estimates derived from satellite gravimetry is less than 5 Gt yr-1.

  14. Distribution and abundance of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) along the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Volker; Reiss, Christian S.; Dietrich, Kimberly S.; Haraldsson, Matilda; Rohardt, Gerhard

    2013-07-01

    Net-based data on the abundance, distribution, and demographic patterns of Antarctic krill are quantified from a contemporaneous two ship survey of the Antarctic Peninsula during austral summer 2011. Two survey areas were sampled focussed on Marguerite Bay in the south, and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the north. Data from 177 stations showed that the highest concentrations of krill were found in the southern sampling area. Differences between areas were associated with a few large catches of one year old krill found in anomalously warm and productive waters in Marguerite Bay, and small krill catches in the less-productive, offshore waters in the north. Estimated krill density across the survey area was 3.4 krill m-2, and was low compared to the long-term average of 45 krill m-2 for the Elephant Island area. Overall recruitment between the two survey regions was similar, but per capita recruitment was about 60% lower than historical mean recruitment levels measured at Elephant Island since the late 1970s. Demographic patterns showed small krill concentrated near the coast, and large krill concentrated offshore on the shelf and slope all along the survey area. The offshore distribution of adult krill was delineated by the warm (˜1 °C), low salinity (33.8) water at 30 m, suggesting that most krill were present shoreward of the southern boundary of Antarctic Circumpolar Current Front. Distributions of larvae indicated that three hotspot areas were important for the production of krill: slope areas outside Marguerite Bay and north of the South Shetland Islands, and near the coast around Antarctic Sound. Successful spawning, as inferred from larval abundance, was roughly coincident with the shelf break and not with inshore waters. Given the rapid changes in climate along the Antarctic Peninsula and the lower per capita recruitment observed in recent years, studies comparing and contrasting production, growth, and recruitment across the Peninsula will be

  15. EBSD in Antarctic and Greenland Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan; Pennock, Gill; Sepp, Kipfstuhl; Drury, Martyn

    2017-04-01

    boundaries. However, an almost equal number of tilt subgrain boundaries were measured, involving dislocations gliding on non-basal planes (prism or prism slip). A few subgrain boundaries involving prism edge dislocation glide, as well as boundaries involving basal twist dislocation slip, were also identified. The finding that subgrain boundaries built up by dislocations gliding on non-basal planes are as frequent as those originating from basal plane slip is surprising and has impact on the discussion on rate-controlling processes for the ice flow descriptions of large ice masses with respect to sea-level evolution. Weikusat, I.; Miyamoto, A.; Faria, S. H.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Azuma, N. & Hondoh, T.: Subgrain boundaries in Antarctic ice quantified by X-ray Laue diffraction J. Glaciol., 2011, 57, 85-94

  16. 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.

  17. Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    that depends on compacting the thin 3350 true. There was also a crosswind runway snow cover on the hard ice. aligned with the storm wind direction. No...expire onl 31 December 1991.) flights. It Is suggested that the USAP should adopt tile The place known to us as lte Peg .-asus site can concept of

  18. The late Cainozoic East Antarctic ice sheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colhoun, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    A review, mainly of East Antarctic late Cainozoic (post 40 Ma) geological and geomorphological evidence, supports the hypothesis of the continuous presence of an ice sheet, of about the present size, since the late Miocene. Evidence is presented and the view advanced that, during the late Wisconsin maximum of isotope stage 2, ice was not nearly as thick or extensive over the continental shelf as required by the model of 'maximum' Antarctic glaciation. Some of the factors influencing the contribution of Antarctica to post-glacial sea-level rise are discussed. It is considered that Antarctica's contribution was probably considerably less than previously estimated. The dating of marine and freshwater sequences in the Vestfold and Bunger Hills is consistent with deglaciation around the Pleistocene Holocene boundary, after the Late Wisconsin maximum. A date of ∼25 ka BP from permafrost in the Larsemann Hills means that either the Larsemann Hills were not glaciated during the Late Wisconsin or the ice failed to erode much of the permafrost surface. The degree of weathering of rock and glacial drifts in the Vestfold, Larsemann and Bunger Hills suggests a long time for formation, perhaps considerably longer than indicated by the dated marine and freshwater sediment sequences. Cosmogenic isotope dating in the Vestfold Hills has provided equivocal ages for deglaciation. While the results could indicate deglaciation before 80 ka BP, they do not confirm such early deglaciation. If the ice cover was thin and failed to remove the previous rock exposure profile, then the assays could predate the last ice advance. Weathered iron crust fragments in the till suggest little erosion. The raised beaches of the oases are Holocene. Assuming they have been produced by post Late Wisconsin isostatic uplift and by the Holocene transgression, calculations show that the Antarctic continental ice sheet could not have been more than ∼500 m thicker in the inner shelf-coastal zone. The

  19. Irregularities of ionospheric VTEC during lightning activity over Antarctic Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suparta, W; Wan Mohd Nor, W N A

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigates the irregularities of vertical total electron content (VTEC) during lightning activity and geomagnetic quiet days over Antarctic Peninsula in year 2014. During the lightning event, the ionosphere may be disturbed which may cause disruption in the radio signal. Thus, it is important to understand the influence of lightning on VTEC in the study of upper-lower interaction. The lightning data is obtained from World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) and the VTEC data has analyzed from Global Positioning System (GPS) for O’Higgins (OHI3), Palmer (PALV), and Rothera (ROTH). The results demonstrate the VTEC variation of ∼0.2 TECU during low lightning activity which could be caused by energy dissipation through lightning discharges from troposphere into the thermosphere. (paper)

  20. Revision of Eocene Antarctic carpet sharks (Elasmobranchii, Orectolobiformes) from Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelbrecht, Andrea; Mörs, Thomas; Reguero, Marcelo A; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, was once called the 'Rosetta Stone' of Southern Hemisphere palaeobiology, because this small island provides the most complete and richly fossiliferous Palaeogene sequence in Antarctica. Among fossil marine vertebrate remains, chondrichthyans seemingly were dominant elements in the Eocene Antarctic fish fauna. The fossiliferous sediments on Seymour Island are from the La Meseta Formation, which was originally divided into seven stratigraphical levels, TELMs 1-7 (acronym for Tertiary Eocene La Meseta) ranging from the upper Ypresian (early Eocene) to the late Priabonian (late Eocene). Bulk sampling of unconsolidated sediments from TELMs 5 and 6, which are Ypresian (early Eocene) and Lutetian (middle Eocene) in age, respectively, yielded very rich and diverse chondrichthyan assemblages including over 40 teeth of carpet sharks representing two new taxa, Notoramphoscyllium woodwardi gen. et sp. nov. and Ceolometlaouia pannucae gen. et sp. nov. Two additional teeth from TELM 5 represent two different taxa that cannot be assigned to any specific taxon and thus are left in open nomenclature. The new material not only increases the diversity of Eocene Antarctic selachian faunas but also allows two previous orectolobiform records to be re-evaluated. Accordingly, Stegostoma cf. faciatum is synonymized with Notoramphoscyllium woodwardi gen. et sp. nov., whereas Pseudoginglymostoma cf. brevicaudatum represents a nomen dubium . The two new taxa, and probably the additional two unidentified taxa, are interpreted as permanent residents, which most likely were endemic to Antarctic waters during the Eocene and adapted to shallow and estuarine environments.

  1. A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton-Johnson, A.; Halpin, J.; Whittaker, J. M.; Graham, F. S.; Watson, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present recently published findings (Burton-Johnson et al., 2017) on the variability of Antarctic sub-glacial heat flux and the impact from upper crustal geology. Our new method reveals that the upper crust contributes up to 70% of the Antarctic Peninsula's subglacial heat flux, and that heat flux values are more variable at smaller spatial resolutions than geophysical methods can resolve. Results indicate a higher heat flux on the east and south of the Peninsula (mean 81 mWm-2) where silicic rocks predominate, than on the west and north (mean 67 mWm-2) where volcanic arc and quartzose sediments are dominant. Whilst the data supports the contribution of HPE-enriched granitic rocks to high heat flux values, sedimentary rocks can be of comparative importance dependent on their provenance and petrography. Models of subglacial heat flux must utilize a heterogeneous upper crust with variable radioactive heat production if they are to accurately predict basal conditions of the ice sheet. Our new methodology and dataset facilitate improved numerical model simulations of ice sheet dynamics. The most significant challenge faced remains accurate determination of crustal structure, particularly the depths of the HPE-enriched sedimentary basins and the sub-glacial geology away from exposed outcrops. Continuing research (particularly detailed geophysical interpretation) will better constrain these unknowns and the effect of upper crustal geology on the Antarctic ice sheet. Burton-Johnson, A., Halpin, J.A., Whittaker, J.M., Graham, F.S., and Watson, S.J., 2017, A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 44, doi: 10.1002/2017GL073596.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Icebergs, sea ice, blue carbon and Antarctic climate feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, David K A; Fleming, Andrew; Sands, Chester J; Quartino, Maria Liliana; Deregibus, Dolores

    2018-06-28

    Sea ice, including icebergs, has a complex relationship with the carbon held within animals (blue carbon) in the polar regions. Sea-ice losses around West Antarctica's continental shelf generate longer phytoplankton blooms but also make it a hotspot for coastal iceberg disturbance. This matters because in polar regions ice scour limits blue carbon storage ecosystem services, which work as a powerful negative feedback on climate change (less sea ice increases phytoplankton blooms, benthic growth, seabed carbon and sequestration). This resets benthic biota succession (maintaining regional biodiversity) and also fertilizes the ocean with nutrients, generating phytoplankton blooms, which cascade carbon capture into seabed storage and burial by benthos. Small icebergs scour coastal shallows, whereas giant icebergs ground deeper, offshore. Significant benthic communities establish where ice shelves have disintegrated (giant icebergs calving), and rapidly grow to accumulate blue carbon storage. When 5000 km 2 giant icebergs calve, we estimate that they generate approximately 10 6 tonnes of immobilized zoobenthic carbon per year (t C yr -1 ). However, their collisions with the seabed crush and recycle vast benthic communities, costing an estimated 4 × 10 4  t C yr -1 We calculate that giant iceberg formation (ice shelf disintegration) has a net potential of approximately 10 6  t C yr -1 sequestration benefits as well as more widely known negative impacts.This article is part of the theme issue 'The marine system of the West Antarctic Peninsula: status and strategy for progress in a region of rapid change'. © 2018 The Authors.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Pearson, Gareth A; Lago-Leston, Asuncion; Cá novas, Fernando; Cox, Cymon J; Verret, Frederic; Lasternas, Sebastian; Duarte, Carlos M.; Agusti, Susana; Serrã o, Ester A

    2015-01-01

    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.

  9. P-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Y.; Kim, K.; Jin, Y.

    2010-12-01

    We have imaged tomographically the tree-dimensional velocity structure of the upper mantle beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula using teleseismic P waves. The data came from the seven land stations of the Seismic Experiment in Patagonia and Antarctica (SEPA) campaigned during 1997-1999, a permanent IRIS/GSN station (PMSA), and 3 seismic stations installed at scientific bases, Esperanza (ESPZ), Jubany (JUBA), and King Sejong (KSJ), in South Shetland Islands. All of the seismic stations are located in coast area, and the signal to noise ratios (SNR) are very low. The P-wave model was inverted from 95 earthquakes resulting in 347 ray paths with P- and PKP-wave arrivals. The inverted model shows a strong low velocity anmaly beneath the Bransfield Strait, and a fast anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands. The low velocity anomaly beneath the Bransfield might be due to a back arc extension, and the fast velocity anomaly beneath the South Shetland Islands could indicates the cold subducted slab.

  10. 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.

  11. Different Oceanographic Regimes in the Vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula Reflected in Benthic Nematode Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freija Hauquier

    Full Text Available Marine free-living nematode communities were studied at similar depths (~500 m at two sides of the Antarctic Peninsula, characterised by different environmental and oceanographic conditions. At the Weddell Sea side, benthic communities are influenced by cold deep-water formation and seasonal sea-ice conditions, whereas the Drake Passage side experiences milder oceanic conditions and strong dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This resulted in different surface primary productivity, which contrasted with observed benthic pigment patterns and varied according to the area studied: chlorophyll a concentrations (as a proxy for primary production were high in the Weddell Sea sediments, but low in the surface waters above; this pattern was reversed in the Drake Passage. Differences between areas were largely mirrored by the nematode communities: nematode densities peaked in Weddell stations and showed deeper vertical occurrence in the sediment, associated with deeper penetration of chlorophyll a and indicative of a strong bentho-pelagic coupling. Generic composition showed some similarities across both areas, though differences in the relative contribution of certain genera were noted, together with distinct community shifts with depth in the sediment at all locations.

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brasso, Rebecka L.; Polito, Michael J.; Lynch, Heather J.; Naveen, R.; Emslie, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    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 (δ 15 N and δ 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 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 δ 15 N or δ 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: ► 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

  14. 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.

  15. Natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbons in the Antarctic pack ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2004-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted near the Russian Antarctic stations in May, 2001 in the Pridz Bay and coastal part of the Davies Sea to examine the content of dissolved and suspended forms of aliphatic hydrocarbons in melted snow samples, pack ice and ice cores. The site included clean control areas and polluted test areas. A spill was performed by covering the bare ice surface with marine diesel fuel. The different physical characteristics of clean and polluted ice were measured. This included radiation balance, reflected solar radiation, integral albedo radiation, surface temperature, seawater temperature, salinity at depth, and ice salinity. The study showed that accumulation of natural and anthropogenic hydrocarbon took place in the ice-water barrier zone, mostly in suspended form. It was concluded that for oil spills in pack Antarctic ice, the mechanism of filtration due to convection-diffusion plays an important role in the transformation of diesel fuel. 14 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  16. The Antarctic Ice Sheet, Sea Ice, and the Ozone Hole: Satellite Observations of how they are Changing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2012-01-01

    Antarctica is the Earth's coldest and highest continent and has major impacts on the climate and life of the south polar vicinity. It is covered almost entirely by the Earth's largest ice sheet by far, with a volume of ice so great that if all the Antarctic ice were to go into the ocean (as ice or liquid water), this would produce a global sea level rise of about 60 meters (197 feet). The continent is surrounded by sea ice that in the wintertime is even more expansive than the continent itself and in the summertime reduces to only about a sixth of its wintertime extent. Like the continent, the expansive sea ice cover has major impacts, reflecting the sun's radiation back to space, blocking exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere, and providing a platform for some animal species while impeding other species. Far above the continent, the Antarctic ozone hole is a major atmospheric phenomenon recognized as human-caused and potentially quite serious to many different life forms. Satellites are providing us with remarkable information about the ice sheet, the sea ice, and the ozone hole. Satellite visible and radar imagery are providing views of the large scale structure of the ice sheet never seen before; satellite laser altimetry has produced detailed maps of the topography of the ice sheet; and an innovative gravity-measuring two-part satellite has allowed mapping of regions of mass loss and mass gain on the ice sheet. The surrounding sea ice cover has a satellite record that goes back to the 1970s, allowing trend studies that show a decreasing sea ice presence in the region of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas, to the west of the prominent Antarctic Peninsula, but increasing sea ice presence around much of the rest of the continent. Overall, sea ice extent around Antarctica has increased at an average rate of about 17,000 square kilometers per year since the late 1970s, as determined from satellite microwave data that can be collected under both light and

  17. A new 100-m Digital Elevation Model of the Antarctic Peninsula derived from ASTER Global DEM: methods and accuracy assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Cook

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A high resolution surface topography Digital Elevation Model (DEM is required to underpin studies of the complex glacier system on the Antarctic Peninsula. A complete DEM with better than 200 m pixel size and high positional and vertical accuracy would enable mapping of all significant glacial basins and provide a dataset for glacier morphology analyses. No currently available DEM meets these specifications. We present a new 100-m DEM of the Antarctic Peninsula (63–70° S, based on ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM data. The raw GDEM products are of high-quality on the rugged terrain and coastal-regions of the Antarctic Peninsula and have good geospatial accuracy, but they also contain large errors on ice-covered terrain and we seek to minimise these artefacts. Conventional data correction techniques do not work so we have developed a method that significantly improves the dataset, smoothing the erroneous regions and hence creating a DEM with a pixel size of 100 m that will be suitable for many glaciological applications. We evaluate the new DEM using ICESat-derived elevations, and perform horizontal and vertical accuracy assessments based on GPS positions, SPOT-5 DEMs and the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA imagery. The new DEM has a mean elevation difference of −4 m (± 25 m RMSE from ICESat (compared to −13 m mean and ±97 m RMSE for the original ASTER GDEM, and a horizontal error of less than 2 pixels, although elevation accuracies are lower on mountain peaks and steep-sided slopes. The correction method significantly reduces errors on low relief slopes and therefore the DEM can be regarded as suitable for topographical studies such as measuring the geometry and ice flow properties of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. The DEM is available for download from the NSIDC website: http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html (Increased West Antarctic and unchanged East Antarctic ice discharge over the last 7 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gardner, Alex S.; Moholdt, Geir; Scambos, Ted; Fahnstock, Mark; Ligtenberg, Stefan; van den Broeke, Michiel; Nilsson, Johan

    2018-01-01

    Ice discharge from large ice sheets plays a direct role in determining rates of sea-level rise. We map present-day Antarctic-wide surface velocities using Landsat 7 and 8 imagery spanning 2013–2015 and compare to earlier estimates derived from synthetic aperture radar, revealing heterogeneous

  18. 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.

  19. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Changes and Impacts (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.

    2013-12-01

    The extent of springtime Arctic perennial sea ice, important to preconditioning summer melt and to polar sunrise photochemistry, continues its precipitous reduction in the last decade marked by a record low in 2012, as the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) was conducted around Barrow, Alaska, to investigate impacts of sea ice reduction on photochemical processes, transport, and distribution in the polar environment. In spring 2013, there was further loss of perennial sea ice, as it was not observed in the ocean region adjacent to the Alaskan north coast, where there was a stretch of perennial sea ice in 2012 in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. In contrast to the rapid and extensive loss of sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has a trend of a slight increase in the past three decades. Given the significant variability in time and in space together with uncertainties in satellite observations, the increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice may arguably be considered as having a low confidence level; however, there was no overall reduction of Antarctic sea ice extent anywhere close to the decreasing rate of Arctic sea ice. There exist publications presenting various factors driving changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. After a short review of these published factors, new observations and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, and geological mechanisms contributed to different behaviors of sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are presented. The contribution from of hydrologic factors may provide a linkage to and enhance thermal impacts from lower latitudes. While geological factors may affect the sensitivity of sea ice response to climate change, these factors can serve as the long-term memory in the system that should be exploited to improve future projections or predictions of sea ice changes. Furthermore, similarities and differences in chemical impacts of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice changes are discussed. Understanding sea ice changes and

  1. High-resolution climate modelling of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wessem, J.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/413533085

    2016-01-01

    In this thesis we have used a high-resolution regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2.3) to simulate the present-day climate (1979-2014) of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. We have evaluated the model results with several observations, such as in situ surface energy balance (SEB)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calle, Paola; Alvarado, Omar; Monserrate, Lorena; Cevallos, Juan Manuel; Calle, Nastenka; Alava, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. 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.)

  4. Expanding Antarctic Sea Ice: Anthropogenic or Natural Variability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitz, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic sea ice extent has increased over the last 36 years according to the satellite record. Concurrent with Antarctic sea-ice expansion has been broad cooling of the Southern Ocean sea-surface temperature. Not only are Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends at odds with expectations from greenhouse gas-induced warming, the trend patterns are not reproduced in historical simulations with comprehensive global climate models. While a variety of different factors may have contributed to the observed trends in recent decades, we propose that it is atmospheric circulation changes - and the changes in ocean circulation they induce - that have emerged as the most likely cause of the observed Southern Ocean sea ice and SST trends. I will discuss deficiencies in models that could explain their incorrect response. In addition, I will present results from a series of experiments where the Antarctic sea ice and ocean are forced by atmospheric perturbations imposed within a coupled climate model. Figure caption: Linear trends of annual-mean SST (left) and annual-mean sea-ice concentration (right) over 1980-2014. SST is from NOAA's Optimum Interpolation SST dataset (version 2; Reynolds et al. 2002). Sea-ice concentration is from passive microwave observations using the NASA Team algorithm. Only the annual means are shown here for brevity and because the signal to noise is greater than in the seasonal means. Figure from Armour and Bitz (2015).

  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. Switch of flow direction in an Antarctic ice stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, H; Catania, G; Raymond, C F; Gades, A M; Scambos, T A; Engelhardt, H

    2002-10-03

    Fast-flowing ice streams transport ice from the interior of West Antarctica to the ocean, and fluctuations in their activity control the mass balance of the ice sheet. The mass balance of the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now positive--that is, it is growing--mainly because one of the ice streams (ice stream C) slowed down about 150 years ago. Here we present evidence from both surface measurements and remote sensing that demonstrates the highly dynamic nature of the Ross drainage system. We show that the flow in an area that once discharged into ice stream C has changed direction, now draining into the Whillans ice stream (formerly ice stream B). This switch in flow direction is a result of continuing thinning of the Whillans ice stream and recent thickening of ice stream C. Further abrupt reorganization of the activity and configuration of the ice streams over short timescales is to be expected in the future as the surface topography of the ice sheet responds to the combined effects of internal dynamics and long-term climate change. We suggest that caution is needed when using observations of short-term mass changes to draw conclusions about the large-scale mass balance of the ice sheet.

  7. Antarctic krill under sea ice: elevated abundance in a narrow band just south of ice edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brierley, Andrew S; Fernandes, Paul G; Brandon, Mark A; Armstrong, Frederick; Millard, Nicholas W; McPhail, Steven D; Stevenson, Peter; Pebody, Miles; Perrett, James; Squires, Mark; Bone, Douglas G; Griffiths, Gwyn

    2002-03-08

    We surveyed Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) under sea ice using the autonomous underwater vehicle Autosub-2. Krill were concentrated within a band under ice between 1 and 13 kilometers south of the ice edge. Within this band, krill densities were fivefold greater than that of open water. The under-ice environment has long been considered an important habitat for krill, but sampling difficulties have previously prevented direct observations under ice over the scale necessary for robust krill density estimation. Autosub-2 enabled us to make continuous high-resolution measurements of krill density under ice reaching 27 kilometers beyond the ice edge.

  8. Surface Mass Balance Contributions to Acceleration of Antarctic Ice Mass Loss during 2003- 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, K. W.; Wilson, C. R.; Scambos, T. A.; Kim, B. M.; Waliser, D. E.; Tian, B.; Kim, B.; Eom, J.

    2015-12-01

    Recent observations from satellite gravimetry (the GRACE mission) suggest an acceleration of ice mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). The contribution of surface mass balance changes (due to variable precipitation) is compared with GRACE-derived mass loss acceleration by assessing the estimated contribution of snow mass from meteorological reanalysis data. We find that over much of the continent, the acceleration can be explained by precipitation anomalies. However, on the Antarctic Peninsula and other parts of West Antarctica mass changes are not explained by precipitation and are likely associated with ice discharge rate increases. The total apparent GRACE acceleration over all of the AIS between 2003 and 2013 is -13.6±7.2 GTon/yr2. Of this total, we find that the surface mass balance component is -8.2±2.0 GTon/yr2. However, the GRACE estimate appears to contain errors arising from the atmospheric pressure fields used to remove air mass effects. The estimated acceleration error from this effect is about 9.8±5.8 GTon/yr2. Correcting for this yields an ice discharge acceleration of -15.1±6.5 GTon/yr2.

  9. Tracking the El Nino events from Antarctic ice core records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keskin, S.S.; Oelmez, I.

    2004-01-01

    Sodium and chlorine measurements were made by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) on stratigraphically dated ice core samples from Byrd Station, Antarctica, for the last three centuries. The time period between 1969 and 1989 showed an enhanced impact on the Antarctic ice sheets from oceans in the form of marine aerosols. A disturbed ocean-atmosphere interface due to El Ni Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events seems to be a candidate for this observation in Antarctica. (author)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rugenstein, Maria; Stocchi, Paolo; von der Heydt, Anna; Dijkstra, Hendrik; Brinkhuis, Henk

    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 dynamic

  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

  12. Calving fluxes and basal melt rates of Antarctic ice shelves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Depoorter, M.A.; Bamber, J.L.; Griggs, J.A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Moholdt, G.

    2013-01-01

    Iceberg calving has been assumed to be the dominant cause of mass loss for the Antarctic ice sheet, with previous estimates of the calving flux exceeding 2,000 gigatonnes per year1, 2. More recently, the importance of melting by the ocean has been demonstrated close to the grounding line and near

  13. Long-Term Patterns in Production and Export of Fecal Pellets by Krill and Salps along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, D. K.; Ruck, K. E.; Cope, J. S.

    2016-02-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and where climate-induced changes in zooplankton abundance and species composition could dramatically affect the pelagic food web and biogeochemical cycling. We examined long-term (1993 to the present) and spatial trends in summer abundance of, and fecal pellet production (FPP) by, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and gelatinous salps (Salpa thompsoni) and their relationship with physical and other environmental parameters. Zooplankton were collected as part of the Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research Program (PAL LTER) from the epipelagic zone in a region divided into latitudinal (North, South, and Far South) and cross-shelf (coastal, shelf, slope) sub-regions. Beginning in 2009, FPP and sinking rate experiments were conducted at representative stations along these gradients. FPP peaks occurred every 4-6 years in both species in the north and south, but alternated such that some years were characterized by high krill-mediated export, and others by high salp-mediated export. In the far south (where perennial sea ice still persists), and in both coastal and shelf sub-regions, krill FFP exceeded that of salps. Conversely, off the slope, salp FPP exceeded that of krill. Variability in krill FPP was strongly and positively influenced by primary production 2-years prior, and negatively correlated with sea surface temperature (no lag). Salp FPP was most significantly correlated with sea ice parameters, with highest FPP in years of lowest sea-ice extent, duration, and area. Warmer water and ice-free conditions favored salps over krill, which also increased overall potential export of fecal pellet carbon to depth. We discuss the implications of this potential increase in biological pump efficiency as the climate warms.

  14. In situ observations of a possible skate nursery off the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsler, M O; Smith, K E; McClintock, J B; Singh, H; Thatje, S; Vos, S C; Brothers, C J; Brown, A; Ellis, D; Anderson, J; Aronson, R B

    2015-06-01

    A dense aggregation of skate egg cases was imaged during a photographic survey of the sea floor along the western Antarctic Peninsula in November 2013. Egg cases were noted in a narrow band between 394 and 443 m depth. Although some skate species in other oceans are known to utilize restricted areas to deposit eggs in great numbers, such nurseries have not been described in the Southern Ocean. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  15. Microbial diversity and community structure across environmental gradients in Bransfield Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Negrão Signori

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Southern Ocean is currently subject to intense investigations, mainly related to its importance for global biogeochemical cycles and its alarming rate of warming in response to climate change. Microbes play an essential role in the functioning of this ecosystem and are the main drivers of the biogeochemical cycling of elements. Yet, the diversity and abundance of microorganisms in this system remains poorly studied, in particular with regards to changes along environmental gradients. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags using primers covering both Bacteria and Archaea to assess the composition and diversity of the microbial communities from four sampling depths (surface, the maximum and minimum of the oxygen concentration, and near the seafloor at ten oceanographic stations located in Bransfield Strait (northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP and near the sea ice edge (north of the AP. Samples collected near the seafloor and at the oxygen minimum exhibited a higher diversity than those from the surface and oxygen maximum for both bacterial and archaeal communities. The main taxonomic groups identified below 100 m were Thaumarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria (Gamma-, Delta-, Beta- and Alphaproteobacteria, whereas in the mixed layer above 100 m Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria (mainly Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria were found to be dominant. A combination of environmental factors seems to influence the microbial community composition. Our results help to understand how the dynamic seascape of the Southern Ocean shapes the microbial community composition and set a baseline for upcoming studies to evaluate the response of this ecosystem to future changes.

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

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    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.

  17. Unexpectedly high ultrafine aerosol concentrations above East Antarctic sea ice

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    R. S. Humphries

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast 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 icebreaker 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 equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Wilson, S. R.

    2016-02-01

    Better characterisation of aerosol processes in pristine, natural environments, such as Antarctica, have recently been shown to lead to the largest reduction in uncertainties in our understanding of radiative forcing. Our understanding of aerosols in the Antarctic region is currently based on measurements that are often limited to boundary layer air masses at spatially sparse coastal and continental research stations, with only a handful of studies in the vast 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 icebreaker 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 equatorward into the low-albedo Southern Ocean region, transporting with them emissions and these aerosol nuclei which, after growth, may potentially impact on the region's radiative balance. The high aerosol concentrations and their transport pathways described here, could help reduce the discrepancy currently present between simulations and observations of

  19. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Dating Antarctic ice sheet collapse: Proposing a molecular genetic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strugnell, Jan M.; Pedro, Joel B.; Wilson, Nerida G.

    2018-01-01

    Sea levels at the end of this century are projected to be 0.26-0.98 m higher than today. The upper end of this range, and even higher estimates, cannot be ruled out because of major uncertainties in the dynamic response of polar ice sheets to a warming climate. Here, we propose an ecological genetics approach that can provide insight into the past stability and configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). We propose independent testing of the hypothesis that a trans-Antarctic seaway occurred at the last interglacial. Examination of the genomic signatures of bottom-dwelling marine species using the latest methods can provide an independent window into the integrity of the WAIS more than 100,000 years ago. Periods of connectivity facilitated by trans-Antarctic seaways could be revealed by dating coalescent events recorded in DNA. These methods allow alternative scenarios to be tested against a fit to genomic data. Ideal candidate taxa for this work would need to possess a circumpolar distribution, a benthic habitat, and some level of genetic structure indicated by phylogeographical investigation. The purpose of this perspective piece is to set out an ecological genetics method to help resolve when the West Antarctic Ice Shelf last collapsed.

  1. Modeling the Thermal Interactions of Meteorites Below the Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, William Jared; Radebaugh, Jani; Stephens, Denise C.; Lorenz, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph; Karner, James

    2017-10-01

    Meteorites with high specific gravities, such as irons, appear to be underrepresented in Antarctic collections over the last 40 years. This underrepresentation is in comparison with observed meteorite falls, which are believed to represent the actual population of meteorites striking Earth. Meteorites on the Antarctic ice sheet absorb solar flux, possibly leading to downward tunneling into the ice, though observations of this in action are very limited. This descent is counteracted by ice sheet flow supporting the meteorites coupled with ablation near mountain margins, which helps to force meteorites towards the surface. Meteorites that both absorb adequate thermal energy and are sufficiently dense may instead reach a shallow equilibrium depth as downward melting overcomes upward forces during the Antarctic summer. Using a pyronometer, we have measured the incoming solar flux at multiple depths in two deep field sites in Antarctica, the Miller Range and Elephant Moraine. We compare these data with laboratory analogues and model the thermal and physical interactions between a variety of meteorites and their surroundings. Our Matlab code model will account for a wide range of parameters used to characterize meteorites in an Antarctic environment. We will present the results of our model along with depth estimates for several types of meteorites. The recovery of an additional population of heavy meteorites would increase our knowledge of the formation and composition of the solar system.

  2. 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.

  3. America on the Ice. Antarctic Policy Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    Malay- sian Prime Minister- Mahatir Mohamad-fired the open- ing volleys during a UN General Assembly speech in September of that year. He noted...define the problem of unin- habited lands." According to Mahatir , the Antarctic conti- nent clearly qualified for such consideration and, not... Mahatir , 109 Molodezhnaya station, 124 Moon Treaty (1979), 108 Mount Erebus, 134 Myhre, Jeffrey, 59 NASA. See National Aeronautics and Space

  4. Thermohaline structure and water masses in the north of Antarctic Peninsula from data collected in situ by southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilana E. K. C. Wainer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Western Antarctic Peninsula is rapidly warming and exhibits high indices of biodiversity concentrated mostly along its continental shelf. This region has great importance due to the the mixing caused by the interaction of waters from Weddell Sea (MW, Bransfield Strait (EB and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (CCA transmits thermohaline characteristics and nutrients of different sites and finally connects with all the world’s oceans. However, studies focusing on the temporal variability of the region’s oceanographic conditions that finally determine the water mass formation are sparse due to the logistical difficulties of conducting oceanographic surveys and traditional monitoring during the winter. For this study, variations of the thermohaline structure and water masses in the vicinity and below the sea ice in the North of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP and Scotia Sea (SS were recorded between February and November 2008 by two female southern elephant seals (SES, Mirounga leonina tagged with Conductivity–Temperature–Depth/Satellite-Relay Data Logger (CTD–SRDL. One thousand three hundred and thirty vertical profiles of temperature and salinity were collected by seals which were tagged by the MEOP-BR Project team at the Elephant Island, South Shetlands. These profiles, together with spread state diagrams allowed the identification of water masses and their variances in the ocean’s vertical structure. Among the set of identified water masses we cite: Antarctic Surface Water (AASW, Winter Water (WW, Warm Deep Water (WDW, Modified Warm Deep Water (MWDW, Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW, Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW, Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (LCDW and Ice Shelf Water (ISW. Our results show that the oceanic vertical structure undergoes changes that cannot be traditionally monitored, particularly during the Austral winter and that SES are important and modern oceanographic data collection platforms allowing for the improvement of our

  5. Atmospheric Influences on the Anomalous 2016 Antarctic Sea Ice Decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, M. N.; Schlosser, E.; Haumann, A.

    2017-12-01

    Over the past three decades, a small but significant increase in sea ice extent (SIE) has been observed in the Antarctic. However, in 2016 there was a surprisingly early onset of the melt season. The maximum Antarctic SIE was reached in August rather than end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decline of the sea ice area (SIA) started even earlier, in July. The retreat of the ice was particularly large in November where Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1981-2010 average) of almost 2 Mio. km2, which, combined with reduced Arctic SIE, led to a distinct minimum in global SIE. And, satellite observations show that from November 2016 to February 2017, the daily Antarctic SIE has been at record low levels. We use sea level pressure and geopotential height data from the ECMWF- Interim reanalysis, in conjunction with sea ice data obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), to investigate possible atmospheric influences on the observed phenomena. Indications are that both the onset of the melt in July and the rapid decrease in SIA and SIE in November were triggered by atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive Zonal Wave 3 index, i.e. synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow. Additionally the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. It is likely that the SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. Positive feedback effects led to accelerated melt and consequently to the extraordinary low November SIE.

  6. A common and optimized age scale for Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrenin, F.; Veres, D.; Landais, A.; Bazin, L.; Lemieux-Dudon, B.; Toye Mahamadou Kele, H.; Wolff, E.; Martinerie, P.

    2012-04-01

    Dating ice cores is a complex problem because 1) there is a age shift between the gas bubbles and the surrounding ice 2) there are many different ice cores which can be synchronized with various proxies and 3) there are many methods to date the ice and the gas bubbles, each with advantages and drawbacks. These methods fall into the following categories: 1) Ice flow (for the ice) and firn densification modelling (for the gas bubbles); 2) Comparison of ice core proxies with insolation variations (so-called orbital tuning methods); 3) Comparison of ice core proxies with other well dated archives; 4) Identification of well-dated horizons, such as tephra layers or geomagnetic anomalies. Recently, an new dating tool has been developped (DATICE, Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010), to take into account all the different dating information into account and produce a common and optimal chronology for ice cores with estimated confidence intervals. In this talk we will review the different dating information for Antarctic ice cores and show how the DATICE tool can be applied.

  7. Kelp gulls, Larus dominicanus (Aves: Laridae, breeding in Keller Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquim O. Branco

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available We examined the distribution, abundance and density of the Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus (Lichtenstein, 1823, at Keller Peninsula on two occasions during the breeding season of 2007-2008 (once for incubation and once for chick stages and compared our results with previously published data. We present information on the number of eggs, incubation success, and initial development of L. dominicanus chicks in the studied sites. The abundance and density of the species has remained statistically similar in Keller Peninsula over the last 30 years (since 1978-1979. Although the abundance and density were almost unchanged, we recorded alterations in the occupation of the breeding areas by L. dominicanus, mainly the abandonment of breeding sites in the eastern portion of Keller Peninsula. The results of the present study compared with similar previous investigations on the abundance of L. dominicanus indicate that the populations have been in equilibrium over the years.

  8. Seabed images from Southern Ocean shelf regions off the northern Antarctic Peninsula and in the southeastern Weddell Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piepenburg, Dieter; Buschmann, Alexander; Driemel, Amelie; Grobe, Hannes; Gutt, Julian; Schumacher, Stefanie; Segelken-Voigt, Alexandra; Sieger, Rainer

    2017-07-01

    Recent advances in underwater imaging technology allow for the gathering of invaluable scientific information on seafloor ecosystems, such as direct in situ views of seabed habitats and quantitative data on the composition, diversity, abundance, and distribution of epibenthic fauna. The imaging approach has been extensively used within the research project DynAMo (Dynamics of Antarctic Marine Shelf Ecosystems) at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven (AWI), which aimed to comparatively assess the pace and quality of the dynamics of Southern Ocean benthos. Within this framework, epibenthic spatial distribution patterns have been comparatively investigated in two regions in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean: the shelf areas off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, representing a region with above-average warming of surface waters and sea-ice reduction, and the shelves of the eastern Weddell Sea as an example of a stable high-Antarctic marine environment that is not (yet) affected by climate change. The AWI Ocean Floor Observation System (OFOS) was used to collect seabed imagery during two cruises of the German research vessel Polarstern, ANT-XXIX/3 (PS81) to the Antarctic Peninsula from January to March 2013 and ANT-XXXI/2 (PS96) to the Weddell Sea from December 2015 to February 2016. Here, we report on the image and data collections gathered during these cruises. During PS81, OFOS was successfully deployed at a total of 31 stations at water depths between 29 and 784 m. At most stations, series of 500 to 530 pictures ( > 15 000 in total, each depicting a seabed area of approximately 3.45 m2 or 2.3 × 1.5 m) were taken along transects approximately 3.7 km in length. During PS96, OFOS was used at a total of 13 stations at water depths between 200 and 754 m, yielding series of 110 to 293 photos (2670 in total) along transects 0.9 to 2.6 km in length. All seabed images taken during the two cruises

  9. Glacial isostatic stress shadowing by the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; James, T. S.; Klemann, V.

    2005-01-01

    Numerous examples of fault slip that offset late Quaternary glacial deposits and bedrock polish support the idea that the glacial loading cycle causes earthquakes in the upper crust. A semianalytical scheme is presented for quantifying glacial and postglacial lithospheric fault reactivation using contemporary rock fracture prediction methods. It extends previous studies by considering differential Mogi-von Mises stresses, in addition to those resulting from a Coulomb analysis. The approach utilizes gravitational viscoelastodynamic theory and explores the relationships between ice mass history and regional seismicity and faulting in a segment of East Antarctica containing the great Antarctic Plate (Balleny Island) earthquake of 25 March 1998 (Mw 8.1). Predictions of the failure stress fields within the seismogenic crust are generated for differing assumptions about background stress orientation, mantle viscosity, lithospheric thickness, and possible late Holocene deglaciation for the D91 Antarctic ice sheet history. Similar stress fracture fields are predicted by Mogi-von Mises and Coulomb theory, thus validating previous rebound Coulomb analysis. A thick lithosphere, of the order of 150-240 km, augments stress shadowing by a late melting (middle-late Holocene) coastal East Antarctic ice complex and could cause present-day earthquakes many hundreds of kilometers seaward of the former Last Glacial Maximum grounding line.

  10. MASS BALANCE CHANGES AND ICE DYNAMICS OF GREENLAND AND ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS FROM LASER ALTIMETRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Babonis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Paola; Alvarado, Omar; Monserrate, Lorena; Cevallos, Juan Manuel; Calle, Nastenka; Alava, Juan José

    2015-02-28

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Annually resolved southern hemisphere volcanic history from two Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole-Dai, Jihong; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen; Thompson, Lonnie G.

    1997-07-01

    The continuous sulfate analysis of two Antarctic ice cores, one from the Antarctic Peninsula region and one from West Antarctica, provides an annually resolved proxy history of southern semisphere volcanism since early in the 15th century. The dating is accurate within ±3 years due to the high rate of snow accumulation at both core sites and the small sample sizes used for analysis. The two sulfate records are consistent with each other. A systematic and objective method of separating outstanding sulfate events from the background sulfate flux is proposed and used to identify all volcanic signals. The resulting volcanic chronology covering 1417-1989 A.D. resolves temporal ambiguities about several recently discovered events. A number of previously unknown, moderate eruptions during late 1600s are uncovered in this chronology. The eruption of Tambora (1815) and the recently discovered eruption of Kuwae (1453) in the tropical South Pacific injected the greatest amount of sulfur dioxide into the southern hemisphere stratosphere during the last half millennium. A technique for comparing the magnitude of volcanic events preserved within different ice cores is developed using normalized sulfate flux. For the same eruptions the variability of the volcanic sulfate flux between the cores is within ±20% of the sulfate flux from the Tambora eruption.

  13. The role of feedbacks in Antarctic sea ice change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, D. L.; Frew, R. C.; Holland, P.

    2017-12-01

    The changes in Antarctic sea ice over the last thirty years have a strong seasonal dependence, and the way these changes grow in spring and decay in autumn suggests that feedbacks are strongly involved. The changes may ultimately be caused by atmospheric warming, the winds, snowfall changes, etc., but we cannot understand these forcings without first untangling the feedbacks. A highly simplified coupled sea ice -mixed layer model has been developed to investigate the importance of feedbacks on the evolution of sea ice in two contrasting regions in the Southern Ocean; the Amundsen Sea where sea ice extent has been decreasing, and the Weddell Sea where it has been expanding. The change in mixed layer depth in response to changes in the atmosphere to ocean energy flux is implicit in a strong negative feedback on ice cover changes in the Amundsen Sea, with atmospheric cooling leading to a deeper mixed layer resulting in greater entrainment of warm Circumpolar Deep Water, causing increased basal melting of sea ice. This strong negative feedback produces counter intuitive responses to changes in forcings in the Amundsen Sea. This feedback is absent in the Weddell due to the complete destratification and strong water column cooling that occurs each winter in simulations. The impact of other feedbacks, including the albedo feedback, changes in insulation due to ice thickness and changes in the freezing temperature of the mixed layer, were found to be of secondary importance compared to changes in the mixed layer depth.

  14. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-07

    The flow of ice from the interior of polar ice sheets is the primary contributor to projected sea level rise. One of the main difficulties faced in modeling ice sheet flow is the uncertain spatially-varying Robin boundary condition that describes the resistance to sliding at the base of the ice. Satellite observations of the surface ice flow velocity, along with a model of ice as a creeping incompressible shear-thinning fluid, can be used to infer this uncertain basal boundary condition. We cast this ill-posed inverse problem in the framework of Bayesian inference, which allows us to infer not only the basal sliding parameters, but also the associated uncertainty. To overcome the prohibitive nature of Bayesian methods for large-scale inverse problems, we exploit the fact that, despite the large size of observational data, they typically provide only sparse information on model parameters. We show results for Bayesian inversion of the basal sliding parameter field for the full Antarctic continent, and demonstrate that the work required to solve the inverse problem, measured in number of forward (and adjoint) ice sheet model solves, is independent of the parameter and data dimensions

  15. Bayesian Inversion for Large Scale Antarctic Ice Sheet Flow

    KAUST Repository

    Ghattas, Omar

    2015-01-01

    The flow of ice from the interior of polar ice sheets is the primary contributor to projected sea level rise. One of the main difficulties faced in modeling ice sheet flow is the uncertain spatially-varying Robin boundary condition that describes the resistance to sliding at the base of the ice. Satellite observations of the surface ice flow velocity, along with a model of ice as a creeping incompressible shear-thinning fluid, can be used to infer this uncertain basal boundary condition. We cast this ill-posed inverse problem in the framework of Bayesian inference, which allows us to infer not only the basal sliding parameters, but also the associated uncertainty. To overcome the prohibitive nature of Bayesian methods for large-scale inverse problems, we exploit the fact that, despite the large size of observational data, they typically provide only sparse information on model parameters. We show results for Bayesian inversion of the basal sliding parameter field for the full Antarctic continent, and demonstrate that the work required to solve the inverse problem, measured in number of forward (and adjoint) ice sheet model solves, is independent of the parameter and data dimensions

  16. Geomorphological mapping of ice-free areas using polarimetric RADARSAT-2 data on Fildes Peninsula and Ardley Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, T.; López-Martínez, J.; Guillaso, S.; Serrano, E.; D'Hondt, O.; Koch, M.; Nieto, A.; O'Neill, T.; Mink, S.; Durán, J. J.; Maestro, A.

    2017-09-01

    Satellite-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been used for characterizing and mapping in two relevant ice-free areas in the South Shetland Islands. The objective has been to identify and characterize land surface covers that mainly include periglacial and glacial landforms, using fully polarimetric SAR C band RADARSAT-2 data, on Fildes Peninsula that forms part of King George Island, and Ardley Island. Polarimetric parameters obtained from the SAR data, a selection of field based training and validation sites and a supervised classification approach, using the support vector machine were chosen to determine the spatial distribution of the different landforms. Eight periglacial and glacial landforms were characterized according to their scattering mechanisms using a set of 48 polarimetric parameters. The mapping of the most representative surface covers included colluvial deposits, stone fields and pavements, patterned ground, glacial till and rock outcrops, lakes and glacier ice. The overall accuracy of the results was estimated at 81%, a significant value when mapping areas that are within isolated regions where access is limited. Periglacial surface covers such as stone fields and pavements occupy 25% and patterned ground over 20% of the ice-free areas. These are results that form the basis for an extensive monitoring of the ice-free areas throughout the northern Antarctic Peninsula region.

  17. STS-48 ESC Earth observation of ice pack, Antarctic Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    STS-48 Earth observation taken aboard Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, is of the breakup of pack ice along the periphery of the Antarctic Ice Shelf. Strong offshore winds, probably associated with katabatic downdrafts from the interior of the continent, are seen peeling off the edges of the ice shelf into long filaments of sea ice, icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers to flow northward into the South Atlantic Ocean. These photos are used to study ocean wind, tide and current patterns. Similar views photographed during previous missions, when analyzed with these recent views may yield information about regional ice drift and breakup of ice packs. The image was captured using an electronic still camera (ESC), was stored on a removable hard disk or small optical disk, and was converted to a format suitable for downlink transmission. The ESC documentation was part of Development Test Objective (DTO) 648, Electronic Still Photography.

  18. Macronutrient and carbon supply, uptake and cycling across the Antarctic Peninsula shelf during summer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Sian F; Jones, Elizabeth M; Venables, Hugh J; Meredith, Michael P; Firing, Yvonne L; Dittrich, Ribanna; Heiser, Sabrina; Stefels, Jacqueline; Dougans, Julie

    2018-06-28

    The West Antarctic Peninsula shelf is a region of high seasonal primary production which supports a large and productive food web, where macronutrients and inorganic carbon are sourced primarily from intrusions of warm saline Circumpolar Deep Water. We examined the cross-shelf modification of this water mass during mid-summer 2015 to understand the supply of nutrients and carbon to the productive surface ocean, and their subsequent uptake and cycling. We show that nitrate, phosphate, silicic acid and inorganic carbon are progressively enriched in subsurface waters across the shelf, contrary to cross-shelf reductions in heat, salinity and density. We use nutrient stoichiometric and isotopic approaches to invoke remineralization of organic matter, including nitrification below the euphotic surface layer, and dissolution of biogenic silica in deeper waters and potentially shelf sediment porewaters, as the primary drivers of cross-shelf enrichments. Regenerated nitrate and phosphate account for a significant proportion of the total pools of these nutrients in the upper ocean, with implications for the seasonal carbon sink. Understanding nutrient and carbon dynamics in this region now will inform predictions of future biogeochemical changes in the context of substantial variability and ongoing changes in the physical environment.This article is part of the theme issue 'The marine system of the West Antarctic Peninsula: status and strategy for progress in a region of rapid change'. © 2018 The Authors.

  19. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic atmospheric responses to future sea-ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, M.; Polvani, L. M.; Sun, L.

    2017-12-01

    By the end of this century, the annual mean Antarctic sea ice area is projected to decline by over a third, an amount similar to that in the Arctic, but the effect of Antarctic sea ice loss on the atmosphere remains largely unexplored. Using the Community Earth Systems Model (CESM) Whole Atmosphere Coupled Climate Model (WACCM), we investigate the effect of future Antarctic sea ice loss, and contrast it with its Arctic counterpart. This is accomplished by analyzing integrations of the model with historic and future sea ice levels, using the RCP8.5 scenario. This allows us to disentangle the effect of future sea ice loss on the atmosphere from other aspects of the coupled system. We find that both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice loss act to shift the tropospheric jet equatorwards, counteracting the poleward shift due to increases in greenhouse gases. Although the total forcing to the atmosphere is similar in both hemispheres, the response to Arctic sea ice loss is larger in amplitude and but more seasonally varying, while the response in the Antarctic persists throughout the year but with a smaller amplitude. Furthermore, the atmospheric temperature response over the Antarctic is trapped closer to the surface than in the Arctic, and perhaps surprisingly, we find that the surface temperature response to Antarctic sea ice loss is unable to penetrate the Antarctic continent.

  20. The Influence of Ice Properties on Borehole Deformation at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinkler, E.; Pettit, E. C.; Obbard, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely known that ice flow is affected by many properties, including crystal fabric and impurities, though these relationships are not fully understood. This study uses data from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide borehole to better determine the influence of such properties on ice flow. The WAIS Divide borehole, the byproduct of the 2006-2012 coring project, offers a unique opportunity to study deep Antarctic Ice. Thanks to the work of many researchers, extensive data on ice properties are available from both coring and borehole logging at this site. The borehole, kept open with a density-approximating fluid, closes and tilts due to ice flow. We have tracked this deformation over two years using a set of repeat measurements with an Acoustic Televiewer. This tool acts as an acoustic caliper allowing us to view cross-sections of the borehole shape and size with up to 1.25 degree azimuthal resolution and a depth resolution as high as 1.4 mm. In addition, the tool collects tilt and azimuth data. These measurements are compared to a 1D Glen's Flow Law model for borehole closure that uses density differences between the ice and borehole fluid as its driving force and incorporates temperature effects. This is then compared to ice properties like crystal fabric and impurities in order to determine the influence of these properties on ice deformation at this site. Crystal fabric has appeared as an important factor in this study.This work builds on that of others who have studied in-situ deep ice through borehole deformation (e.g. Paterson, 1977 and Dahl-Jensen and Gundestrup, 1987). Our results have implications for ice flow modeling and therefore interpretation of depth-age relationships in deep ice cores.

  1. Aerosol composition and its sources at the King Sejong Station, Antarctic peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Vinit K.; Kim, Ki-Hyun; Hong, Sungmin; Lee, Khanghyun

    The annual cycles of major metals and ions in suspended particulate matters (SPM) have been investigated at a costal site of the Antarctic Peninsula in order to elucidate temporal variations as well as major source processes responsible for their formation. The measurements had been performed from January 2000 to December 2001 at the Korean Antarctic research station, 'King Sejong' (62°13' S, 58°47' W). The observed time series of important aerosol components showed clear seasonal variation patterns, while the mean elemental concentrations (e.g., 1875 (Al), 10.3 (Ba), 0.3 (Bi), 1.3 (Cd), 1.7 pg m -3 (Co)) were generally compatible with those reported previously. The presence of high EF values with respect to both mean crustal and seawater composition (such as Bi, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, V, and Zn), however, suggests a possibly important role of anthropogenic processes in this remote site. In contrast, the concentrations of ionic species were not clearly distinguishable from those of other Antarctic sites; but the consideration of ionic mass balance between cations and anions pointed out the uniqueness of their source/sink processes in the study area. The major source processes of those aerosol components were also investigated using a series of statistical analyses. The overall results of our study indicated the dominance of several processes (or sources) such as sea-salt emission, secondary aerosol formation, and anthropogenic pollution from both local and distant sources.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Local controls on sediment accumulation and distribution in a fjord in the West Antarctic Peninsula: implications for palaeoenvironmental interpretations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuribia P. Munoz

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We analyse surface sediment and its distribution in Flandres Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula, in order to understand modern day sediment dispersal patterns in a fjord with retreating, tidewater glaciers. The surface sediment descriptions of 41 cores are included in this study. The sediment facies described include muddy diatomaceous ooze, diatomaceous mud, pebbly mud, sandy mud and mud, with scattered pebbles present in most samples. In contrast to a traditional conceptual model of glacial sediment distribution in fjords, grain size in Flandres Bay generally coarsens from the inner to outer bay. The smallest grain size sediments were found in the bay head and are interpreted as fine-grained deposits resulting from meltwater plumes and sediment gravity flows occurring close to the glacier front. The middle of the bay is characterized by a high silt percentage, which correlates to diatom-rich sediments. Sediments in the outer bay have a high component of coarse material, which is interpreted as being the result of winnowing from currents moving from the Bellingshausen Sea into the Gerlache Strait. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of glacial environments often use grain size as an indicator of proximity to the ice margin. After a detailed analysis of a large number of cores collected in the study area, our findings highlight the variability in sedimentation patterns within a fjord and provide a valuable evidence of the complexity that may occur in the sedimentary record.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aharon, P.; Chappell, J.; Compston, W.

    1980-01-01

    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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aharon, P; Chappell, J; Compston, W [Australian National Univ., Canberra. Inst. of Advanced Studies

    1980-02-14

    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.

  8. Antarctic Peninsula mass balance at present-day and over the past 150 years employing constraints from GRACE, GPS and other data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; Wiese, D. N.; Watkins, M. M.; Landerer, F. W.; Simms, A.; Yuan, D.; Boening, C.

    2013-12-01

    Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) land mass and adjacent islands has been ocurring for more than 100 years. The rate of warming is at the extreme end of all Earth observations: during the 2nd half of the 20th century the rate is 3.5°C per century and has a dramatic effect of glaciers: west coast glaciers show diminishing outlet heights at a rate of 0.28 × 0.03 m/yr since the mid-1960s (Kunz et al., 2012). Since the late 1980's, notably on the northeastern edge of the AP, many of the outlet glaciers have experienced the loss of ice shelf buttressing forces that retard the outlet flow velocity (e.g., Berthier et al., 2012). The loss of these buttressing forces has caused outlet glaciers to speed up. It is clear from ice core and in situ records that the AP snow accumulation has also been increasing. While there is growing confidence that all space borne data are consistent with a net mass loss of the Antarctic Peninsula since 1990, there is relatively little convergence on the total mass loss, and its temporal variability, other than that measured by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). Employing JPL mascon analyses, Ivins et al. (2011) employed 6.25 years of GRACE data, glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) modeling with GPS data, to determine the mass trend of Graham Land (north of 67° S) at -32 × 6 Gt/yr and -9.5 × 3 Gt/yr for the remainder of the AP (74° S - 67° S). Neither region exhibited any significant non-secular signatures during 2003-2009.25. However, some outlet glaciers have shown both height and velocity changes over the period 2002-2012 that indicate increasing rates of loss - via laser altimetry and InSAR measurements (Anya Wendt, personal communication, 2012). In a combined examination of AP mass balance (with a slightly larger area for AP definition), recent work extended to mid 2013, indicates that the region of the Antarctic Peninsula has a loss rate of about -32.5 × 12 Gt/yr, with distinct and significant speed-up after

  9. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Katrin; Brown, Thomas A.; Belt, Simon T.; Ireland, Louise C.; Taylor, Kyle W. R.; Thorpe, Sally E.; Ward, Peter; Atkinson, Angus

    2018-04-01

    Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ) for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated) for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January-February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C = -12.5 ± 3.3 ‰) occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C = -42.2 ± 2.4 ‰) occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass-length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding ground for pelagic grazers. Even though ice

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loureiro, A.L.M.

    1989-01-01

    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 10 12 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/m 3 to pg/m 3 [pt

  11. New Carcharhiniform Sharks (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii) from the Early to Middle Eocene of Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelbrecht, Andrea; Mörs, Thomas; Reguero, Marcelo A.; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2018-01-01

    Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, is known for its wealth of fossil remains. This island provides one of the richest fossiliferous Paleogene sequences in the world. Chondrichthyans seemingly dominate this Eocene marine fauna and offer a rare insight into high-latitude faunas during the Palaeogene. So far, only a few isolated teeth of carcharhinid sharks have been reported from Seymour Island. Bulk sampling in the well-exposed La Meseta and Submeseta formations yielded new and abundant chondrichthyan material, including numerous teeth of carcharhinid and triakid sharks. Here, we present a reevaluation of the previously described carcharhinid remains and a description of new taxa: Meridiogaleus cristatus, gen. et sp. nov., Kallodentis rythistemma, gen. et sp. nov., Abdounia richteri, sp. nov., and Abdounia mesetae, sp. nov. The carcharhiniforms Mustelus sp. and Galeorhinus sp. are reported based on rare material, whereas teeth previously assigned to Scoliodon represent a nomen dubium. PMID:29551850

  12. Temporal and spatial variabilities of Antarctic ice mass changes inferred by GRACE in a Bayesian framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Davis, J. L.; Tamisiea, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) holds about 60% of all fresh water on the Earth, an amount equivalent to about 58 m of sea-level rise. Observation of AIS mass change is thus essential in determining and predicting its contribution to sea level. While the ice mass loss estimates for West Antarctica (WA) and the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) are in good agreement, what the mass balance over East Antarctica (EA) is, and whether or not it compensates for the mass loss is under debate. Besides the different error sources and sensitivities of different measurement types, complex spatial and temporal variabilities would be another factor complicating the accurate estimation of the AIS mass balance. Therefore, a model that allows for variabilities in both melting rate and seasonal signals would seem appropriate in the estimation of present-day AIS melting. We present a stochastic filter technique, which enables the Bayesian separation of the systematic stripe noise and mass signal in decade-length GRACE monthly gravity series, and allows the estimation of time-variable seasonal and inter-annual components in the signals. One of the primary advantages of this Bayesian method is that it yields statistically rigorous uncertainty estimates reflecting the inherent spatial resolution of the data. By applying the stochastic filter to the decade-long GRACE observations, we present the temporal variabilities of the AIS mass balance at basin scale, particularly over East Antarctica, and decipher the EA mass variations in the past decade, and their role in affecting overall AIS mass balance and sea level.

  13. Diatom-induced silicon isotopic fractionation in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francois, F.; Damien, C.; Jean-Louis, T.; Anthony, W.; Luc, A.

    2006-12-01

    We measured silicon-isotopic composition of dissolved silicon and biogenic silica collected by sequential melting from spring 2003 Antarctic pack ice (Australian sector). Sea ice is a key ecosystem in the Southern Ocean and its melting in spring has been often thought to have a seeding effect for the surface waters, triggering blooms in the mixed layer. This work is the first investigation of the silicon isotopes' proxy in sea ice and allows to estimate the activity of sea-ice diatoms in the different brine structures and the influence of sea- ice diatoms on the spring ice edge blooms. The relative use of the dissolved silicon pool by sea-ice diatoms is usually assessed by calculating nutrient:salinity ratios in the brines. However such an approach is biased by difficulties in evaluating the initial nutrient concentrations in the different brines structures, and by the impossibility to account for late sporadic nutrient replenishments. The silicon-isotopic composition of biogenic silica is a convenient alternative since it integrates an average Si utilization on all generations of diatoms. Measurements were performed on a MC-ICP-MS, in dry plasma mode using external Mg doping. Results are expressed as delta29Si relative to the NBS28 standard. From three sea ice cores with contrasted physico-chemical characteristics, we report significant isotopic fractionations linked to the diatoms activity, with distinct silicon biogeochemical dynamics between different brine structure. The diatoms in snow ice and in brine pockets of frazil or congelation ice have the most positive silicon-isotopic composition (+0.53 to +0.86 p.mil), indicating that they grow in a closed system and use a significant part of the small dissolved silicon pool. In the brine channels and skeletal layer, diatoms display a relatively less positive Si-isotopic composition (+0.41 to +0.70 p.mil), although it is still heavier compared to equilibrium fractionation (+0.38 p.mil). This suggests that they have

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-09-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using 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 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m 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.

  16. Microbial activity during a coastal phytoplankton bloom on the Western Antarctic Peninsula in late summer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcamán-Arias, María E; Farías, Laura; Verdugo, Josefa; Alarcón-Schumacher, Tomás; Díez, Beatriz

    2018-05-01

    Phytoplankton biomass during the austral summer is influenced by freezing and melting cycles as well as oceanographic processes that enable nutrient redistribution in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Microbial functional capabilities, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic activities as well as inorganic 13C- and 15N-assimilation rates were studied in the surface waters of Chile Bay during two contrasting summer periods in 2014. Concentrations of Chlorophyll a (Chla) varied from 0.3 mg m-3 in February to a maximum of 2.5 mg m-3 in March, together with a decrease in nutrients; however, nutrients were never depleted. The microbial community composition remained similar throughout both sampling periods; however, microbial abundance and activity changed with Chla levels. An increased biomass of Bacillariophyta, Haptophyceae and Cryptophyceae was observed along with night-grazing activity of Dinophyceae and ciliates (Alveolates). During high Chla conditions, HCO3- uptake rates during daytime incubations increased 5-fold (>2516 nmol C L-1 d-1), and increased photosynthetic transcript numbers that were mainly associated with cryptophytes; meanwhile night time NO3- (>706 nmol N L-1 d-1) and NH4+ (41.7 nmol N L-1 d-1) uptake rates were 2- and 3-fold higher, respectively, due to activity from Alpha-/Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes (Flavobacteriia). Due to a projected acceleration in climate change in the WAP, this information is valuable for predicting the composition and functional changes in Antarctic microbial communities.

  17. Presence of endocrine disruptors in freshwater in the northern Antarctic Peninsula region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, S; Moreno-Merino, L; Matellanes, R; Catalá, M; Gorga, M; Petrovic, M; López de Alda, M; Barceló, D; Silva, A; Durán, J J; López-Martínez, J; Valcárcel, Y

    2016-05-01

    The increasing human presence in Antarctica and the waste it generates is causing an impact on the environment at local and border scale. The main sources of anthropic pollution have a mainly local effect, and include the burning of fossil fuels, waste incineration, accidental spillage and wastewater effluents, even when treated. The aim of this work is to determine the presence and origin of 30 substances of anthropogenic origin considered to be, or suspected of being, endocrine disruptors in the continental waters of the Antarctic Peninsula region. We also studied a group of toxic metals, metalloids and other elements with possible endocrine activity. Ten water samples were analyzed from a wide range of sources, including streams, ponds, glacier drain, and an urban wastewater discharge into the sea. Surprisingly, the concentrations detected are generally similar to those found in other studies on continental waters in other parts of the world. The highest concentrations of micropollutants found correspond to the group of organophosphate flame retardants (19.60-9209ngL(-1)) and alkylphenols (1.14-7225ngL(-1)); and among toxic elements the presence of aluminum (a possible hormonal modifier) (1.7-127µgL(-1)) is significant. The concentrations detected are very low and insufficient to cause acute or subacute toxicity in aquatic organisms. However, little is known as yet of the potential sublethal and chronic effects of this type of pollutants and their capacity for bioaccumulation. These results point to the need for an ongoing system of environmental monitoring of these substances in Antarctic continental waters, and the advisability of regulating at least the most environmentally hazardous of these in the Antarctic legislation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Multi-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Ulrike; López, Damián A.; Silva-Busso, Adrián

    2018-04-01

    The South Shetland Islands are located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). This region was subject to strong warming trends in the atmospheric surface layer. Surface air temperature increased about 3 K in 50 years, concurrent with retreating glacier fronts, an increase in melt areas, ice surface lowering and rapid break-up and disintegration of ice shelves. The positive trend in surface air temperature has currently come to a halt. Observed surface air temperature lapse rates show a high variability during winter months (standard deviations up to ±1.0 K (100 m)-1) and a distinct spatial heterogeneity reflecting the impact of synoptic weather patterns. The increased mesocyclonic activity during the wintertime over the past decades in the study area results in intensified advection of warm, moist air with high temperatures and rain and leads to melt conditions on the ice cap, fixating surface air temperatures to the melting point. Its impact on winter accumulation results in the observed negative mass balance estimates. Six years of continuous glaciological measurements on mass balance stake transects as well as 5 years of climatological data time series are presented and a spatially distributed glacier energy balance melt model adapted and run based on these multi-year data sets. The glaciological surface mass balance model is generally in good agreement with observations, except for atmospheric conditions promoting snow drift by high wind speeds, turbulence-driven snow deposition and snow layer erosion by rain. No drift in the difference between simulated mass balance and mass balance measurements can be seen over the course of the 5-year model run period. The winter accumulation does not suffice to compensate for the high variability in summer ablation. The results are analysed to assess changes in meltwater input to the coastal waters, specific glacier mass balance and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The Fourcade Glacier catchment drains

  20. Snow Accumulation Variability Over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Since 1900: A Comparison of Ice Core Records With ERA-20C Reanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yetang; Thomas, Elizabeth R.; Hou, Shugui; Huai, Baojuan; Wu, Shuangye; Sun, Weijun; Qi, Shanzhong; Ding, Minghu; Zhang, Yulun

    2017-11-01

    This study uses a set of 37 firn core records over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) to test the performance of the twentieth century from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-20C) reanalysis for snow accumulation and quantify temporal variability in snow accumulation since 1900. The firn cores are allocated to four geographical areas demarcated by drainage divides (i.e., Antarctic Peninsula (AP), western WAIS, central WAIS, and eastern WAIS) to calculate stacked records of regional snow accumulation. Our results show that the interannual variability in ERA-20C precipitation minus evaporation (P - E) agrees well with the corresponding ice core snow accumulation composites in each of the four geographical regions, suggesting its skill for simulating snow accumulation changes before the modern satellite era (pre-1979). Snow accumulation experiences significantly positive trends for the AP and eastern WAIS, a negative trend for the western WAIS, and no significant trend for the central WAIS from 1900 to 2010. The contrasting trends are associated with changes in the large-scale moisture transport driven by a deepening of the low-pressure systems and anomalies of sea ice in the Amundsen Sea Low region.

  1. Exploring the effect of East Antarctic ice mass loss on GIA-induced horizontal bedrock motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konfal, S. A.; Whitehouse, P. L.; Hermans, T.; van der Wal, W.; Wilson, T. J.; Bevis, M. G.; Kendrick, E. C.; Dalziel, I.; Smalley, R., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    Ice history inputs used in Antarctic models of GIA include major centers of ice mass loss in West Antarctica. In the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) region spanning the boundary between East and West Antarctica, horizontal crustal motions derived from GPS observations from the Antarctic Network (ANET) component of the Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) are towards these West Antarctic ice mass centers, opposite to the pattern of radial crustal motion expected in an unloading scenario. We investigate alternative ice history and earth structure inputs to GIA models in an attempt to reproduce observed crustal motions in the region. The W12 ice history model is altered to create scenarios including ice unloading in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin based on available glaciological records. These altered ice history models, along with the unmodified W12 ice history model, are coupled with 60 radially varying (1D) earth model combinations, including approximations of optimal earth profiles identified in published GIA models. The resulting model-predicted motions utilizing both the modified and unmodified ice history models fit ANET GPS-derived crustal motions in the northern TAM region for a suite of earth model combinations. Further south, where the influence of simulated Wilkes unloading is weakest and West Antarctic unloading is strongest, observed and predicted motions do not agree. The influence of simulated Wilkes ice unloading coupled with laterally heterogeneous earth models is also investigated. The resulting model-predicted motions do not differ significantly between the original W12 and W12 with simulated Wilkes unloading ice histories.

  2. The Research on Elevation Change of Antarctic Ice Sheet Based on CRYOSAT-2 Alimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Q.; Wan, J.; Liu, S.; Li, Y.

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, the Cryosat-2 altimeter data distributed by the ESA, and these data are processed to extract the information of the elevation change of the Antarctic ice sheet from 2010 to 2017. Firstly, the main pretreatment preprocessing for Cryosat-2 altimetry data is crossover adjustment and elimination of rough difference. Then the grid DEM of the Antarctic ice sheet was constructed by using the kriging interpolation method,and analyzed the spatial characteristic time characteristics of the Antarctic ice sheet. The latitude-weighted elevation can be obtained by using the elevation data of each cycle, and then the general trend of the Antarctic ice sheet elevation variation can be seen roughly.

  3. New insights into the use of stable water isotopes at the northern Antarctic Peninsula as a tool for regional climate studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandoy, Francisco; Tetzner, Dieter; Meyer, Hanno; Gacitúa, Guisella; Hoffmann, Kirstin; Falk, Ulrike; Lambert, Fabrice; MacDonell, Shelley

    2018-03-01

    Due to recent atmospheric and oceanic warming, the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most challenging regions of Antarctica to understand in terms of both local- and regional-scale climate signals. Steep topography and a lack of long-term and in situ meteorological observations complicate the extrapolation of existing climate models to the sub-regional scale. Therefore, new techniques must be developed to better understand processes operating in the region. Isotope signals are traditionally related mainly to atmospheric conditions, but a detailed analysis of individual components can give new insight into oceanic and atmospheric processes. This paper aims to use new isotopic records collected from snow and firn cores in conjunction with existing meteorological and oceanic datasets to determine changes at the climatic scale in the northern extent of the Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, a discernible effect of sea ice cover on local temperatures and the expression of climatic modes, especially the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), is demonstrated. In years with a large sea ice extension in winter (negative SAM anomaly), an inversion layer in the lower troposphere develops at the coastal zone. Therefore, an isotope-temperature relationship (δ-T) valid for all periods cannot be obtained, and instead the δ-T depends on the seasonal variability of oceanic conditions. Comparatively, transitional seasons (autumn and spring) have a consistent isotope-temperature gradient of +0.69 ‰ °C-1. As shown by firn core analysis, the near-surface temperature in the northern-most portion of the Antarctic Peninsula shows a decreasing trend (-0.33 °C year-1) between 2008 and 2014. In addition, the deuterium excess (dexcess) is demonstrated to be a reliable indicator of seasonal oceanic conditions, and therefore suitable to improve a firn age model based on seasonal dexcess variability. The annual accumulation rate in this region is highly variable, ranging between 1060 and 2470 kg m

  4. Antarctic Circumpolar Current Dynamics and Their Relation to Antarctic Ice Sheet and Perennial Sea-Ice Variability in the Central Drake Passage During the Last Climate Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, G.; Wu, S.; Hass, H. C.; Klages, J. P.; Zheng, X.; Arz, H. W.; Esper, O.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Lange, C.; Lamy, F.; Lohmann, G.; Müller, J.; McCave, I. N. N.; Nürnberg, D.; Roberts, J.; Tiedemann, R.; Timmermann, A.; Titschack, J.; Zhang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last climate cycle and the interrelation to global atmospheric and ocean circulation remains controversial and plays an important role for our understanding of ice sheet response to modern global warming. The timing and sequence of deglacial warming is relevant for understanding the variability and sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climatic changes, and the continuing rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is a pivotal component of the global water budget. Freshwater fluxes from the ice sheet may affect the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is strongly impacted by the westerly wind belt in the Southern Hemisphere (SHWW) and constricted to its narrowest extent in the Drake Passage. The flow of ACC water masses through Drake Passage is, therefore, crucial for advancing our understanding of the Southern Ocean's role in global meridional overturning circulation and global climate change. In order to address orbital and millennial-scale variability of the Antarctic ice sheet and the ACC, we applied a multi-proxy approach on a sediment core from the central Drake Passage including grain size, iceberg-rafted debris, mineral dust, bulk chemical and mineralogical composition, and physical properties. In combination with already published and new sediment records from the Drake Passage and Scotia Sea, as well as high-resolution data from Antarctic ice cores (WDC, EDML), we now have evidence that during glacial times a more northerly extent of the perennial sea-ice zone decreased ACC current velocities in the central Drake Passage. During deglaciation the SHWW shifted southwards due to a decreasing temperature gradient between subtropical and polar latitudes caused by sea ice and ice sheet decline. This in turn caused Southern Hemisphere warming, a more vigorous ACC, stronger Southern Ocean ventilation, and warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) upwelling on Antarctic shelves

  5. 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.

  6. Increased Ice-age Influence of Antarctic Intermediate Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muratli, J.; McManus, J.; Mix, A.; Chase, Z.

    2008-12-01

    A depth transect of three ODP sites collected along the central Chile Margin constrain Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) distributions and regional export production over the last 30 ka. Reduced Re and Cd, and increased Mn are proxies for higher bottom water oxygenation; 230Th-normalized burial of opal is a proxy for productivity. Mn/Al is high during the glacial interval at all three sites, suggesting high oxygenation and the retreat of the oxygen minimum zone during this period. At Site 1233, within the core of modern AAIW, Re and Cd are unchanged from detrital values throughout the last 30 ky, implying continuously oxic conditions. In contrast, at the northern sites 1234 and 1235, which reside below and above AAIW respectively, Re and Cd rise rapidly from low glacial values at ~15ka, signifying lower oxygen concentrations at the sea floor during Holocene time relative to ice-age conditions. Local productivity, recorded in Th-normalized opal burial, is highest during the glacial interval at both sites 1233 and 1234, and varies independently from the redox proxies. We conclude that local productivity does not drive bottom water oxygenation here, and that ventilation of the shallow subsurface southeast Pacific increased during the last ice age, with an expanded depth range of AAIW relative to the present.

  7. Antarctic Ice Sheet Slope and Aspect Based on Icesat's Repeat Orbit Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, L.; Li, F.; Zhang, S.; Xie, S.; Xiao, F.; Zhu, T.; Zhang, Y.

    2017-09-01

    Accurate information of ice sheet surface slope is essential for estimating elevation change by satellite altimetry measurement. A study is carried out to recover surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) elevation measurements based on repeat orbits. ICESat provides repeat ground tracks within 200 meters in cross-track direction and 170 meters in along-track direction for most areas of Antarctic ice sheet. Both cross-track and along-track surface slopes could be obtained by adjacent repeat ground tracks. Combining those measurements yields a surface slope model with resolution of approximately 200 meters. An algorithm considering elevation change is developed to estimate the surface slope of Antarctic ice sheet. Three Antarctic Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were used to calculate surface slopes. The surface slopes from DEMs are compared with estimates by using in situ GPS data in Dome A, the summit of Antarctic ice sheet. Our results reveal an average surface slope difference of 0.02 degree in Dome A. High resolution remote sensing images are also used in comparing the results derived from other DEMs and this paper. The comparison implies that our results have a slightly better coherence with GPS observation than results from DEMs, but our results provide more details and perform higher accuracy in coastal areas because of the higher resolution for ICESat measurements. Ice divides are estimated based on the aspect, and are weakly consistent with ice divides from other method in coastal regions.

  8. Vigorous lateral export of the meltwater outflow from beneath an Antarctic ice shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garabato, Alberto C Naveira; Forryan, Alexander; Dutrieux, Pierre; Brannigan, Liam; Biddle, Louise C; Heywood, Karen J; Jenkins, Adrian; Firing, Yvonne L; Kimura, Satoshi

    2017-02-09

    The instability and accelerated melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are among the foremost elements of contemporary global climate change. The increased freshwater output from Antarctica is important in determining sea level rise, the fate of Antarctic sea ice and its effect on the Earth's albedo, ongoing changes in global deep-ocean ventilation, and the evolution of Southern Ocean ecosystems and carbon cycling. A key uncertainty in assessing and predicting the impacts of Antarctic Ice Sheet melting concerns the vertical distribution of the exported meltwater. This is usually represented by climate-scale models as a near-surface freshwater input to the ocean, yet measurements around Antarctica reveal the meltwater to be concentrated at deeper levels. Here we use observations of the turbulent properties of the meltwater outflows from beneath a rapidly melting Antarctic ice shelf to identify the mechanism responsible for the depth of the meltwater. We show that the initial ascent of the meltwater outflow from the ice shelf cavity triggers a centrifugal overturning instability that grows by extracting kinetic energy from the lateral shear of the background oceanic flow. The instability promotes vigorous lateral export, rapid dilution by turbulent mixing, and finally settling of meltwater at depth. We use an idealized ocean circulation model to show that this mechanism is relevant to a broad spectrum of Antarctic ice shelves. Our findings demonstrate that the mechanism producing meltwater at depth is a dynamically robust feature of Antarctic melting that should be incorporated into climate-scale models.

  9. A sensitivity analysis for a thermomechanical model of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baratelli, F.; Castellani, G.; Vassena, C.; Giudici, M.

    2012-04-01

    The outcomes of an ice sheet model depend on a number of parameters and physical quantities which are often estimated with large uncertainty, because of lack of sufficient experimental measurements in such remote environments. Therefore, the efforts to improve the accuracy of the predictions of ice sheet models by including more physical processes and interactions with atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere can be affected by the inaccuracy of the fundamental input data. A sensitivity analysis can help to understand which are the input data that most affect the different predictions of the model. In this context, a finite difference thermomechanical ice sheet model based on the Shallow-Ice Approximation (SIA) and on the Shallow-Shelf Approximation (SSA) has been developed and applied for the simulation of the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves for the last 200 000 years. The sensitivity analysis of the model outcomes (e.g., the volume of the ice sheet and of the ice shelves, the basal melt rate of the ice sheet, the mean velocity of the Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves, the wet area at the base of the ice sheet) with respect to the model parameters (e.g., the basal sliding coefficient, the geothermal heat flux, the present-day surface accumulation and temperature, the mean ice shelves viscosity, the melt rate at the base of the ice shelves) has been performed by computing three synthetic numerical indices: two local sensitivity indices and a global sensitivity index. Local sensitivity indices imply a linearization of the model and neglect both non-linear and joint effects of the parameters. The global variance-based sensitivity index, instead, takes into account the complete variability of the input parameters but is usually conducted with a Monte Carlo approach which is computationally very demanding for non-linear complex models. Therefore, the global sensitivity index has been computed using a development of the model outputs in a

  10. 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

  11. Forecast of Antarctic Sea Ice and Meteorological Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreira, S.; Orquera, F.

    2017-12-01

    Since 2001, we have been forecasting the climatic fields of the Antarctic sea ice (SI) and surface air temperature, surface pressure and precipitation anomalies for the Southern Hemisphere at the Meteorological Department of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service with different techniques that have evolved with the years. Forecast is based on the results of Principal Components Analysis applied to SI series (S-Mode) that gives patterns of temporal series with validity areas (these series are important to determine which areas in Antarctica will have positive or negative SI anomalies based on what happen in the atmosphere) and, on the other hand, to SI fields (T-Mode) that give us the form of the SI fields anomalies based on a classification of 16 patterns. Each T-Mode pattern has unique atmospheric fields associated to them. Therefore, it is possible to forecast whichever atmosphere variable we decide for the Southern Hemisphere. When the forecast is obtained, each pattern has a probability of occurrence and sometimes it is necessary to compose more than one of them to obtain the final result. S-Mode and T-Mode are monthly updated with new data, for that reason the forecasts improved with the increase of cases since 2001. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm provided monthly by the National Snow and Ice Data Center of USA that begins in November 1978. Recently, we have been experimenting with multilayer Perceptron (neuronal network) with supervised learning and a back-propagation algorithm to improve the forecast. The Perceptron is the most common Artificial Neural Network topology dedicated to image pattern recognition. It was implemented through the use of temperature and pressure anomalies field images that were associated with a the different sea ice anomaly patterns. The variables analyzed included only composites of surface air temperature and pressure anomalies

  12. Bacterial succession across seasonal transitions in the coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luria, C.; Rich, J. J.; Amaral-Zettler, L. A.; Ducklow, H. W.

    2016-02-01

    The marine ecosystem west of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) undergoes a dramatic seasonal transition every spring, from almost total darkness to almost continuous sunlight, resulting in a cascade of environmental changes, including the intense phytoplankton blooms that support a highly productive food web. Despite having important implications for the microbial loop and the biological carbon pump, the degree of trophic coupling between phytoplankton and bacteria is unclear. In particular, due to the difficulties inherent in sampling this remote system during the Antarctic winter and spring, little is known about how phytoplankton blooms may or may not drive bacterial seasonal succession. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we assessed bacterial community composition in 68 samples from 24 dates that spanned the cold, dark winter, spring transitional period, and summer phytoplankton bloom. Our analysis resulted in 15 million sequences and 12,000 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). We found that mid-winter bacterial communities had the highest richness ( 1,800 observed OTUs in rarefied libraries) and a greater abundance of oligotrophic and potentially chemoautolithotrophic taxa. The bacterial community changed only gradually up until the onset of a mid-summer phytoplankton bloom, which coincided with a 100-fold increase in bacterial production, a rapid decline in richness to 700 OTUs, and a shift in community composition toward copiotrophic taxa. This period lasted only a few weeks, at the end of which the bacterial community had largely reverted to its mid-winter state. Our findings provide new evidence of trophic coupling between bacteria and phytoplankton and highlight the importance of higher-resolution time series sampling in order to capture rapid seasonal changes.

  13. Modification of deep waters in Marguerite Bay, western Antarctic Peninsula, caused by topographic overflows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venables, Hugh J.; Meredith, Michael P.; Brearley, J. Alexander

    2017-05-01

    Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) intrudes from the mid-layers of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current onto the shelf of the western Antarctic Peninsula, providing a source of heat and nutrients to the regional ocean. It is well known that CDW is modified as it flows across the shelf, but the mechanisms responsible for this are not fully known. Here, data from underwater gliders with high spatial resolution are used to demonstrate the importance of detailed bathymetry in inducing multiple local mixing events. Clear evidence for overflows is observed in the glider data as water flows along a deep channel with multiple transverse ridges. The ridges block the densest waters, with overflowing water descending several hundred metres to fill subsequent basins. This vertical flow leads to entrainment of overlying colder and fresher water in localised mixing events. Initially this process leads to an increase in bottom temperatures due to the temperature maximum waters descending to greater depths. After several ridges, however, the mixing is sufficient to remove the temperature maximum completely and the entrainment of colder thermocline waters to depth reduces the bottom temperature, to approximately the same as in the source region of Marguerite Trough. Similarly, it is shown that deep waters of Palmer Deep are warmer than at the same depth at the shelf break. The exact details of the transformations observed are heavily dependent on the local bathymetry and water column structure, but glacially-carved troughs and shallow sills are a common feature of the bathymetry of polar shelves, and these types of processes may be a factor in determining the hydrographic conditions close to the coast across a wider area.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petit, J.R.; Briat, M.; Royer, A.

    1981-01-01

    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.)

  15. 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

  16. Do pelagic grazers benefit from sea ice? Insights from the Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schmidt

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice affects primary production in polar regions in multiple ways. It can dampen water column productivity by reducing light or nutrient supply, provide a habitat for ice algae and condition the marginal ice zone (MIZ for phytoplankton blooms on its seasonal retreat. The relative importance of three different carbon sources (sea ice derived, sea ice conditioned, non-sea-ice associated for the polar food web is not well understood, partly due to the lack of methods that enable their unambiguous distinction. Here we analysed two highly branched isoprenoid (HBI biomarkers to trace sea-ice-derived and sea-ice-conditioned carbon in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba and relate their concentrations to the grazers' body reserves, growth and recruitment. During our sampling in January–February 2003, the proxy for sea ice diatoms (a di-unsaturated HBI termed IPSO25, δ13C  =  −12.5 ± 3.3 ‰ occurred in open waters of the western Scotia Sea, where seasonal ice retreat was slow. In suspended matter from surface waters, IPSO25 was present at a few stations close to the ice edge, but in krill the marker was widespread. Even at stations that had been ice-free for several weeks, IPSO25 was found in krill stomachs, suggesting that they gathered the ice-derived algae from below the upper mixed layer. Peak abundances of the proxy for MIZ diatoms (a tri-unsaturated HBI termed HBI III, δ13C  =  −42.2 ± 2.4 ‰ occurred in regions of fast sea ice retreat and persistent salinity-driven stratification in the eastern Scotia Sea. Krill sampled in the area defined by the ice edge bloom likewise contained high amounts of HBI III. As indicators for the grazer's performance we used the mass–length ratio, size of digestive gland and growth rate for krill, and recruitment for the biomass-dominant calanoid copepods Calanoides acutus and Calanus propinquus. These indices consistently point to blooms in the MIZ as an important feeding

  17. Spatial and Temporal Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Trends, Glacio-Isostatic Adjustment, and Surface Processes from a Joint Inversion of Satellite Altimeter, Gravity, and GPS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Espanol, Alba; Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Clarke, Peter J.; Flament, Thomas; Helm, Veit; King, Matt A.; Luthcke, Scott B.; Petrie, Elizabeth; Remy, Frederique; Schon, Nana; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present spatiotemporal mass balance trends for the Antarctic Ice Sheet from a statistical inversion of satellite altimetry, gravimetry, and elastic-corrected GPS data for the period 2003-2013. Our method simultaneously determines annual trends in ice dynamics, surface mass balance anomalies, and a time-invariant solution for glacio-isostatic adjustment while remaining largely independent of forward models. We establish that over the period 2003-2013, Antarctica has been losing mass at a rateof -84 +/- 22 Gt per yr, with a sustained negative mean trend of dynamic imbalance of -111 +/- 13 Gt per yr. West Antarctica is the largest contributor with -112 +/- 10 Gt per yr, mainly triggered by high thinning rates of glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a dramatic increase in mass loss in the last decade, with a mean rate of -28 +/- 7 Gt per yr and significantly higher values for the most recent years following the destabilization of the Southern Antarctic Peninsula around 2010. The total mass loss is partly compensated by a significant mass gain of 56 +/- 18 Gt per yr in East Antarctica due to a positive trend of surface mass balance anomalies.

  18. Dynamics of phytoplankton communities during late summer around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Carlos Rafael Borges; de Souza, Márcio Silva; Garcia, Virginia Maria Tavano; Leal, Miguel Costa; Brotas, Vanda; Garcia, Carlos Alberto Eiras

    The composition and distribution of phytoplankton assemblages around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula were studied during two summer cruises (February/March 2008 and 2009). Water samples were collected for HPLC/CHEMTAX pigment and microscopic analysis. A great spatial variability in chlorophyll a (Chl a) was observed in the study area: highest levels in the vicinity of the James Ross Island (exceeding 7 mg m-3 in 2009), intermediate values (0.5 to 2 mg m-3) in the Bransfield Strait, and low concentrations in the Weddell Sea and Drake Passage (below 0.5 mg m-3). Phytoplankton assemblages were generally dominated by diatoms, especially at coastal stations with high Chl a concentration, where diatom contribution was above 90% of total Chl a. Nanoflagellates, such as cryptophytes and/or Phaeocystis antarctica, replaced diatoms in open-ocean areas (e.g., Weddell Sea). Many species of peridinin-lacking autotrophic dinoflagellates (e.g., Gymnodinium spp.) were also important to total Chl a biomass at well-stratified stations of Bransfield Strait. Generally, water column structure was the most important environmental factor determining phytoplankton communities' biomass and distribution. The HPLC pigment data also allowed the assessment of different physiological responses of phytoplankton to ambient light variation. The present study provides new insights about the dynamics of phytoplankton in an undersampled region of the Southern Ocean highly susceptible to global climate change.

  19. Regional Geological Mapping in the Graham Land of Antarctic Peninsula Using LANDSAT-8 Remote Sensing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pour, A. B.; Hashim, M.; Park, Y.

    2017-10-01

    Geological investigations in Antarctica confront many difficulties due to its remoteness and extreme environmental conditions. In this study, the applications of Landsat-8 data were investigated to extract geological information for lithological and alteration mineral mapping in poorly exposed lithologies in inaccessible domains such in Antarctica. The north-eastern Graham Land, Antarctic Peninsula (AP) was selected in this study to conduct a satellite-based remote sensing mapping technique. Continuum Removal (CR) spectral mapping tool and Independent Components Analysis (ICA) were applied to Landsat-8 spectral bands to map poorly exposed lithologies at regional scale. Pixels composed of distinctive absorption features of alteration mineral assemblages associated with poorly exposed lithological units were detected by applying CR mapping tool to VNIR and SWIR bands of Landsat-8.Pixels related to Si-O bond emission minima features were identified using CR mapping tool to TIR bands in poorly mapped andunmapped zones in north-eastern Graham Land at regional scale. Anomaly pixels in the ICA image maps related to spectral featuresof Al-O-H, Fe, Mg-O-H and CO3 groups and well-constrained lithological attributions from felsic to mafic rocks were detectedusing VNIR, SWIR and TIR datasets of Landsat-8. The approach used in this study performed very well for lithological andalteration mineral mapping with little available geological data or without prior information of the study region.

  20. Offshore Antarctic Peninsula Gas Hydrate Reservoir Characterization by Geophysical Data Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Giustiniani

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A gas hydrate reservoir, identified by the presence of the bottom simulating reflector, is located offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. The analysis of geophysical dataset acquired during three geophysical cruises allowed us to characterize this reservoir. 2D velocity fields were obtained by using the output of the pre-stack depth migration iteratively. Gas hydrate amount was estimated by seismic velocity, using the modified Biot-Geerstma-Smit theory. The total volume of gas hydrate estimated, in an area of about 600 km2, is in a range of 16 × 109–20 × 109 m3. Assuming that 1 m3 of gas hydrate corresponds to 140 m3 of free gas in standard conditions, the reservoir could contain a total volume that ranges from 1.68 to 2.8 × 1012 m3 of free gas. The interpretation of the pre-stack depth migrated sections and the high resolution morpho-bathymetry image allowed us to define a structural model of the area. Two main fault systems, characterized by left transtensive and compressive movement, are recognized, which interact with a minor transtensive fault system. The regional geothermal gradient (about 37.5 °C/km, increasing close to a mud volcano likely due to fluid-upwelling, was estimated through the depth of the bottom simulating reflector by seismic data.

  1. Distribution of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water on the warming continental shelf of the West Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couto, Nicole; Martinson, Douglas G.; Kohut, Josh; Schofield, Oscar

    2017-07-01

    We use autonomous underwater vehicles to characterize the spatial distribution of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) on the continental shelf of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and present the first near-synoptic measurements of mesoscale features (eddies) containing UCDW on the WAP. Thirty-three subsurface eddies with widths on the order of 10 km were detected during four glider deployments. Each eddy contributed an average of 5.8 × 1016 J to the subpycnocline waters, where a cross-shelf heat flux of 1.37 × 1019 J yr-1 is required to balance the diffusive loss of heat to overlying winter water and to the near-coastal waters. Approximately two-thirds of the heat coming onto the shelf diffuses across the pycnocline and one-third diffuses to the coastal waters; long-term warming of the subpycnocline waters is a small residual of this balance. Sixty percent of the profiles that contained UCDW were part of a coherent eddy. Between 20% and 53% of the lateral onshore heat flux to the WAP can be attributed to eddies entering Marguerite Trough, a feature in the southern part of the shelf which is known to be an important conduit for UCDW. A northern trough is identified as additional important location for eddy intrusion.

  2. Future Antarctic Bed Topography and Its Implications for Ice Sheet Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Surendra; Ivins, Erik R.; Larour, Eric Y.; Seroussi, Helene L.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Nowicki, S.

    2014-01-01

    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) has generally been losing its mass since the Last Glacial Maximum. 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 past loading is relatively less important than future loading for 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 AD 2100 and 2500, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet 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 will approach roughly 45mmyr-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 generally associated with the flattening of reverse bed slope, 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 stability in marine portions of the ice sheet in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E.; Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Nowicki, S.

    2014-06-01

    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) has generally been losing its mass since the Last Glacial Maximum. 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 past loading is relatively less important than future loading for 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 AD 2100 and 2500, respectively, and that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet 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 will approach 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 generally associated with the flattening of reverse bed slope, 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 stability in marine portions of the ice sheet in the future.

  4. Millennial-scale instability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last glaciation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanfoush, S.L.; Hodell, D.A.; Charles, C.D.; Guilderson, T.P.; Mortyn, P.G.

    2000-01-01

    Records of ice-rafted detritus (IRD) concentration in deep-sea cores from the southeast Atlantic Ocean reveal millennial-scale pulses of IRD delivery between 20,000 and 74,000 years ago. Prominent IRD layers correlate across the Polar Frontal Zone, suggesting episodes of Antarctic Ice Sheet

  5. 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.

  6. Dynamic Antarctic ice sheet during the early to mid-Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, Edward; DeConto, Robert M.; Pollard, David; Levy, Richard H.

    2016-03-01

    Geological data indicate that there were major variations in Antarctic ice sheet volume and extent during the early to mid-Miocene. Simulating such large-scale changes is problematic because of a strong hysteresis effect, which results in stability once the ice sheets have reached continental size. A relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 concentrations indicated by proxy records exacerbates this problem. Here, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the early to mid-Miocene Antarctic ice sheet because of three developments in our modeling approach. (i) We use a climate-ice sheet coupling method utilizing a high-resolution atmospheric component to account for ice sheet-climate feedbacks. (ii) The ice sheet model includes recently proposed mechanisms for retreat into deep subglacial basins caused by ice-cliff failure and ice-shelf hydrofracture. (iii) We account for changes in the oxygen isotopic composition of the ice sheet by using isotope-enabled climate and ice sheet models. We compare our modeling results with ice-proximal records emerging from a sedimentological drill core from the Ross Sea (Andrill-2A) that is presented in a companion article. The variability in Antarctic ice volume that we simulate is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of 0.52-0.66‰, or a sea level equivalent change of 30-36 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 and 500 ppm and a changing astronomical configuration. This result represents a substantial advance in resolving the long-standing model data conflict of Miocene Antarctic ice sheet and sea level variability.

  7. Measurement of the fracture toughness of polycrystalline bubbly ice from an Antarctic ice core

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    J. Christmann

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The critical fracture toughness is a material parameter describing the resistance of a cracked body to further crack extension. It is an important parameter for simulating and predicting the breakup behavior of ice shelves from the calving of single icebergs to the disintegration of entire ice shelves over a wide range of length scales. The fracture toughness values are calculated with equations that are derived from an elastic stress analysis. Additionally, an X-ray computer tomography (CT scanner was used to identify the density as a function of depth. The critical fracture toughness of 91 Antarctic bubbly ice samples with densities between 840 and 870 kg m−3 has been determined by applying a four-point bending technique on single-edge v-notched beam samples. The examined ice core was drilled 70 m north of Kohnen Station, Dronnning Maud Land (75°00' S, 00°04' E; 2882 m. Supplementary data are available at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.835321.

  8. Neoglacial Antarctic sea-ice expansion driven by mid-Holocene retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendle, J. A.; Newton, K.; Mckay, R. M.; Crosta, X.; Etourneau, J.; Anya, A. B.; Seki, O.; Golledge, N. R.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Willmott, V.; Schouten, S.; Riesselman, C. R.; Masse, G.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent decades have seen expanding Antarctic sea-ice coverage, coeval with thinning West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice shelves and the rapid freshening of surface and bottom waters along the Antarctic margin. The mid-Holocene Neoglacial transition represents the last comparable baseline shift in sea-ice behaviour. The drivers and feedbacks involved in both the recent and Holocene events are poorly understood and characterised by large proxy-model mismatches. We present new records of compound specific fatty acid isotope analyses (δ2H-FA), highly-branched isoprenoid alkenes (HBIs) TEX86L temperatures, grain-size, mass accumulations rates (MARs) and image analyses from a 171m Holocene sediment sequence from Site U1357 (IODP leg 318). In combination with published records we reconstruct Holocene changes in glacial meltwater, sedimentary inputs and sea-ice. The early Holocene (11 to 10 ka) is characterised by large fluctuations in inputs of deglacial meltwater and sediments and seismic evidence of downlapping material from the south, suggesting a dominating influence from glacial retreat of the local outlet glaciers. From 10 to 8 ka there is decreasing meltwater inputs, an onlapping drift and advection of material from the east. After ca. 8 ka positively correlated δ2H-FA and MARs infer that pulses of glacial melt correlate to stronger easterly currents, driving erosion of material from upstream banks and that the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) becomes a major influence. A large mid-Holocene meltwater pulse (preceded by warming TEX86L temperatures) is evident between ca. 6 to 4.5 ka, culminating in a rapid and permanent increase in sea-ice from 4.5 ka. This is coeval with cosmogenic nuclide evidence for a rapid thinning of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene (Hein et al., 2016). We suggest this represents a final major pulse of deglaciation from the Ross Ice Shelf, which initiates the Neoglacial, driving cool surface waters along the coast and greater sea-ice

  9. Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.-L. F.; Richardson, Mark; Hong, Yulan; Lee, Wei-Liang; Wang, Yi-Hui; Yu, Jia-Yuh; Fetzer, Eric; Stephens, Graeme; Liu, Yinghui

    2017-08-01

    Southern Ocean sea-ice cover exerts critical control on local albedo and Antarctic precipitation, but simulated Antarctic sea-ice concentration commonly disagrees with observations. Here we show that the radiative effects of precipitating ice (falling snow) contribute substantially to this discrepancy. Many models exclude these radiative effects, so they underestimate both shortwave albedo and downward longwave radiation. Using two simulations with the climate model CESM1, we show that including falling-snow radiative effects improves the simulations relative to cloud properties from CloudSat-CALIPSO, radiation from CERES-EBAF and sea-ice concentration from passive microwave sensors. From 50-70°S, the simulated sea-ice-area bias is reduced by 2.12 × 106 km2 (55%) in winter and by 1.17 × 106 km2 (39%) in summer, mainly because increased wintertime longwave heating restricts sea-ice growth and so reduces summer albedo. Improved Antarctic sea-ice simulations will increase confidence in projected Antarctic sea level contributions and changes in global warming driven by long-term changes in Southern Ocean feedbacks.

  10. A comparison of the present and last interglacial periods in six Antarctic ice cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Masson-Delmotte

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available We compare the present and last interglacial periods as recorded in Antarctic water stable isotope records now available at various temporal resolutions from six East Antarctic ice cores: Vostok, Taylor Dome, EPICA Dome C (EDC, EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML, Dome Fuji and the recent TALDICE ice core from Talos Dome. We first review the different modern site characteristics in terms of ice flow, meteorological conditions, precipitation intermittency and moisture origin, as depicted by meteorological data, atmospheric reanalyses and Lagrangian moisture source diagnostics. These different factors can indeed alter the relationships between temperature and water stable isotopes. Using five records with sufficient resolution on the EDC3 age scale, common features are quantified through principal component analyses. Consistent with instrumental records and atmospheric model results, the ice core data depict rather coherent and homogenous patterns in East Antarctica during the last two interglacials. Across the East Antarctic plateau, regional differences, with respect to the common East Antarctic signal, appear to have similar patterns during the current and last interglacials. We identify two abrupt shifts in isotopic records during the glacial inception at TALDICE and EDML, likely caused by regional sea ice expansion. These regional differences are discussed in terms of moisture origin and in terms of past changes in local elevation histories, which are compared to ice sheet model results. Our results suggest that elevation changes may contribute significantly to inter-site differences. These elevation changes may be underestimated by current ice sheet models.

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

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    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.

  12. 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

  13. Modeling Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in warm climates: a historical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, D.; Deconto, R. M.; Gasson, E.

    2016-12-01

    Early modeling of Antarctic Ice Sheet size vs. climate focused on asymmetry between retreat and growth, with much greater warming needed to cause retreat from full ice cover, due to Height Mass Balance Feedback and albedo feedback. This led to a long-standing model-data conflict, with models needing 1000 to2000 ppmv atmospheric CO2 to produce retreat from full size, vs. proxy data of large ice fluctuations despite much lower CO2 since the Miocene.Subsequent modeling with marine ice physics found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could undergo repeated warm-period collapses with realistic past forcing. However, that yields only 3 to 7 m equivalent sea-level rise above modern, compared to 10 to 20 m or more suggested by some geologic data. Large subglacial basins in East Antarctica could be vulnerable to the same processes,but did not retreat in most models due to narrower and shallower sills.After recent modifications, some ice sheet models were able to produce warm-period collapse of major East Antarctic basins, with sea-level rise of up to 15 m. The modifications are (i) hydrofracturing by surface melt, and structural failure of ice cliffs, or (ii) numerical treatment at the grounding line. In these models, large retreat occurs both for past warmintervals, and also for future business-as-usual scenarios.Some interpretations of data in the late Oligocene and Miocene suggest yet larger fluctuations, between 50 to 100% of modern Antarctic size. That would require surface-melt driven retreat of some terrestrial East Antarctic ice, despite the hysteresis issue raised above. A recent study using a coupled climate-ice sheet model found that with a finer climate gridand more frequent coupling exchange, substantial retreat of terrestrial Antarctica can occur with 500 to 840 ppmv CO2, much lower than in earlier models. This will allow meaningful interactions between modeling and deeper-time geologic interpretations since the late Oligocene.

  14. Summertime grazing impact of the dominant macrozooplankton off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Kim S.; Steinberg, Deborah K.; Schofield, Oscar M. E.

    2012-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a region of rapid climate change that is altering plankton community structure. To investigate how these changes may impact carbon and energy transfer in the pelagic food web, grazing rates of the five dominant macrozooplankton species (euphausiids Euphausia superba, Euphausia crystallorophias, and Thysanöessa macrura; the pteropod Limacina helicina, and the salp Salpa thompsoni) in the WAP were measured in January 2009 and 2010 as part of the Palmer Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) study. Measurements were made across the coastal-shelf-offshore and north-south gradients of the LTER survey grid. Highest grazing rates occurred offshore in both years, and in the south during 2009 and north during 2010, all associated with the presence of large localized salp blooms. During both years, E. superba was the major grazer at the coast, while S. thompsoni dominated grazing offshore. L. helicina was an important grazer throughout the study area during both years, but especially so over the shelf during 2009. During 2009, there was little difference in the relative importance of the macrozooplankton grazers along the north-south gradient. The presence of a salp bloom in the north during 2010, though, resulted in a distinct shift in the relative importance of major grazers from the euphausiids and L. helicina in the south to salps in the north. Grazing impact was low in coastal waters (≤0.3% of phytoplankton standing stock and ≤0.6% of primary productivity). In contrast, in the offshore waters, where salp blooms were observed, grazing impacts of up to 30% of standing stock and 169% of primary productivity were recorded. If S. thompsoni and L. helicina continue to expand their ranges and increase in abundance, the associated shift in the food web dynamics of the WAP will alter the regional flow of carbon through the WAP food webs and the export of carbon to depth.

  15. Hibernation in an antarctic fish: on ice for winter.

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    Hamish A Campbell

    Full Text Available Active metabolic suppression in anticipation of winter conditions has been demonstrated in species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, but not fish. This is because the reduction in metabolic rate in fish is directly proportional to the decrease in water temperature and they appear to be incapable of further suppressing their metabolic rate independently of temperature. However, the Antarctic fish (Notothenia coriiceps is unusual because it undergoes winter metabolic suppression irrespective of water temperature. We assessed the seasonal ecological strategy by monitoring swimming activity, growth, feeding and heart rate (f(H in N. coriiceps as they free-ranged within sub-zero waters. The metabolic rate of wild fish was extrapolated from f(H recordings, from oxygen consumption calibrations established in the laboratory prior to fish release. Throughout the summer months N. coriiceps spent a considerable proportion of its time foraging, resulting in a growth rate (G(w of 0.18 +/- 0.2% day(-1. In contrast, during winter much of the time was spent sedentary within a refuge and fish showed a net loss in G(w (-0.05 +/- 0.05% day(-1. Whilst inactive during winter, N. coriiceps displayed a very low f(H, reduced sensory and motor capabilities, and standard metabolic rate was one third lower than in summer. In a similar manner to other hibernating species, dormancy was interrupted with periodic arousals. These arousals, which lasted a few hours, occurred every 4-12 days. During arousal activity, f(H and metabolism increased to summer levels. This endogenous suppression and activation of metabolic processes, independent of body temperature, demonstrates that N. coriiceps were effectively 'putting themselves on ice' during winter months until food resources improved. This study demonstrates that at least some fish species can enter a dormant state similar to hibernation that is not temperature driven and presumably provides seasonal energetic

  16. Multi-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Falk

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The South Shetland Islands are located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP. This region was subject to strong warming trends in the atmospheric surface layer. Surface air temperature increased about 3 K in 50 years, concurrent with retreating glacier fronts, an increase in melt areas, ice surface lowering and rapid break-up and disintegration of ice shelves. The positive trend in surface air temperature has currently come to a halt. Observed surface air temperature lapse rates show a high variability during winter months (standard deviations up to ±1.0 K (100 m−1 and a distinct spatial heterogeneity reflecting the impact of synoptic weather patterns. The increased mesocyclonic activity during the wintertime over the past decades in the study area results in intensified advection of warm, moist air with high temperatures and rain and leads to melt conditions on the ice cap, fixating surface air temperatures to the melting point. Its impact on winter accumulation results in the observed negative mass balance estimates. Six years of continuous glaciological measurements on mass balance stake transects as well as 5 years of climatological data time series are presented and a spatially distributed glacier energy balance melt model adapted and run based on these multi-year data sets. The glaciological surface mass balance model is generally in good agreement with observations, except for atmospheric conditions promoting snow drift by high wind speeds, turbulence-driven snow deposition and snow layer erosion by rain. No drift in the difference between simulated mass balance and mass balance measurements can be seen over the course of the 5-year model run period. The winter accumulation does not suffice to compensate for the high variability in summer ablation. The results are analysed to assess changes in meltwater input to the coastal waters, specific glacier mass balance and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA. The

  17. Productivity and linkages of the food web of the southern region of the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballerini, Tosca; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Ainley, David G.; Daly, Kendra L.; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The productivity and linkages in the food web of the southern region of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf were investigated using a multi-trophic level mass balance model. Data collected during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics field program were combined with data from the literature on the abundance and diet composition of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals to calculate energy flows in the food web and to infer the overall food web structure at the annual level. Sensitivity analyses investigated the effects of variability in growth and biomass of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and in the biomass of Antarctic krill predators on the structure and energy fluxes in the food web. Scenario simulations provided insights into the potential responses of the food web to a reduced contribution of large phytoplankton (diatom) production to total primary production, and to reduced consumption of primary production by Antarctic krill and mesozooplankton coincident with increased consumption by microzooplankton and salps. Model-derived estimates of primary production were 187–207 g C m−2 y−1, which are consistent with observed values (47–351 g C m−2 y−1). Simulations showed that Antarctic krill provide the majority of energy needed to sustain seabird and marine mammal production, thereby exerting a bottom-up control on higher trophic level predators. Energy transfer to top predators via mesozooplanton was a less efficient pathway, and salps were a production loss pathway because little of the primary production they consumed was passed to higher trophic levels. Increased predominance of small phytoplankton (nanoflagellates and cryptophytes) reduced the production of Antarctic krill and of its predators, including seabirds and seals.

  18. Productivity and linkages of the food web of the southern region of the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballerini, Tosca; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Ainley, David G.; Daly, Kendra; Marrari, Marina; Ribic, Christine A.; Smith, Walker O.; Steele, John H.

    2014-03-01

    The productivity and linkages in the food web of the southern region of the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf were investigated using a multi-trophic level mass balance model. Data collected during the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics field program were combined with data from the literature on the abundance and diet composition of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals to calculate energy flows in the food web and to infer the overall food web structure at the annual level. Sensitivity analyses investigated the effects of variability in growth and biomass of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and in the biomass of Antarctic krill predators on the structure and energy fluxes in the food web. Scenario simulations provided insights into the potential responses of the food web to a reduced contribution of large phytoplankton (diatom) production to total primary production, and to reduced consumption of primary production by Antarctic krill and mesozooplankton coincident with increased consumption by microzooplankton and salps. Model-derived estimates of primary production were 187-207 g C m-2 y-1, which are consistent with observed values (47-351 g C m-2 y-1). Simulations showed that Antarctic krill provide the majority of energy needed to sustain seabird and marine mammal production, thereby exerting a bottom-up control on higher trophic level predators. Energy transfer to top predators via mesozooplanton was a less efficient pathway, and salps were a production loss pathway because little of the primary production they consumed was passed to higher trophic levels. Increased predominance of small phytoplankton (nanoflagellates and cryptophytes) reduced the production of Antarctic krill and of its predators, including seabirds and seals.

  19. A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Michael J.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Anderson, John B.; Conway, Howard; Davies, Bethan; Graham, Alastair G. C.; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Jamieson, Stewart S. R.; Larter, Robert D.; Mackintosh, Andrew; Smith, James A.; Verleyen, Elie; Ackert, Robert P.; Bart, Philip J.; Berg, Sonja; Brunstein, Daniel; Canals, Miquel; Colhoun, Eric A.; Crosta, Xavier; Dickens, William A.; Domack, Eugene; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Dunbar, Robert; Ehrmann, Werner; Evans, Jeffrey; Favier, Vincent; Fink, David; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Gohl, Karsten; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Goodwin, Ian; Gore, Damian B.; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Hall, Brenda L.; Hall, Kevin; Hedding, David W.; Hein, Andrew S.; Hocking, Emma P.; Jakobsson, Martin; Johnson, Joanne S.; Jomelli, Vincent; Jones, R. Selwyn; Klages, Johann P.; Kristoffersen, Yngve; Kuhn, Gerhard; Leventer, Amy; Licht, Kathy; Lilly, Katherine; Lindow, Julia; Livingstone, Stephen J.; Massé, Guillaume; McGlone, Matt S.; McKay, Robert M.; Melles, Martin; Miura, Hideki; Mulvaney, Robert; Nel, Werner; Nitsche, Frank O.; O'Brien, Philip E.; Post, Alexandra L.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Saunders, Krystyna M.; Selkirk, Patricia M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Spiegel, Cornelia; Stolldorf, Travis D.; Sugden, David E.; van der Putten, Nathalie; van Ommen, Tas; Verfaillie, Deborah; Vyverman, Wim; Wagner, Bernd; White, Duanne A.; Witus, Alexandra E.; Zwartz, Dan

    2014-09-01

    A robust understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglacial history since the Last Glacial Maximum is important in order to constrain ice sheet and glacial-isostatic adjustment models, and to explore the forcing mechanisms responsible for ice sheet retreat. Such understanding can be derived from a broad range of geological and glaciological datasets and recent decades have seen an upsurge in such data gathering around the continent and Sub-Antarctic islands. Here, we report a new synthesis of those datasets, based on an accompanying series of reviews of the geological data, organised by sector. We present a series of timeslice maps for 20 ka, 15 ka, 10 ka and 5 ka, including grounding line position and ice sheet thickness changes, along with a clear assessment of levels of confidence. The reconstruction shows that the Antarctic Ice sheet did not everywhere reach the continental shelf edge at its maximum, that initial retreat was asynchronous, and that the spatial pattern of deglaciation was highly variable, particularly on the inner shelf. The deglacial reconstruction is consistent with a moderate overall excess ice volume and with a relatively small Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1a. We discuss key areas of uncertainty both around the continent and by time interval, and we highlight potential priorities for future work. The synthesis is intended to be a resource for the modelling and glacial geological community.

  20. Assessment of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice predictability in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.-Y. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the ability of coupled global climate models to predict decadal variability of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. We analyze decadal hindcasts/predictions of 11 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5 models. Decadal hindcasts exhibit a large multi-model spread in the simulated sea ice extent, with some models deviating significantly from the observations as the predicted ice extent quickly drifts away from the initial constraint. The anomaly correlation analysis between the decadal hindcast and observed sea ice suggests that in the Arctic, for most models, the areas showing significant predictive skill become broader associated with increasing lead times. This area expansion is largely because nearly all the models are capable of predicting the observed decreasing Arctic sea ice cover. Sea ice extent in the North Pacific has better predictive skill than that in the North Atlantic (particularly at a lead time of 3–7 years, but there is a re-emerging predictive skill in the North Atlantic at a lead time of 6–8 years. In contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice decadal hindcasts do not show broad predictive skill at any timescales, and there is no obvious improvement linking the areal extent of significant predictive skill to lead time increase. This might be because nearly all the models predict a retreating Antarctic sea ice cover, opposite to the observations. For the Arctic, the predictive skill of the multi-model ensemble mean outperforms most models and the persistence prediction at longer timescales, which is not the case for the Antarctic. Overall, for the Arctic, initialized decadal hindcasts show improved predictive skill compared to uninitialized simulations, although this improvement is not present in the Antarctic.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Zhu-De; Ke, Chang-Qing

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. A new research project on the interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Y.; Nishijima, J.; Kazama, T.; Nakamura, K.; Doi, K.; Suganuma, Y.; Okuno, J.; Araya, A.; Kaneda, H.; Aoyama, Y.

    2017-12-01

    A new research project of "Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas" funded by JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) has recently been launched. The title of the project is "Giant reservoirs of heat/water/material: Global environmental changes driven by Southern Ocean and Antarctic Ice Sheet", and as a five years project, is aiming to establish a new research area for Antarctic environmental system science. The project consists of 7 research topics, including Antarctic ice sheet and Southern ocean sciences, new observation methodology, modeling and other interdisciplinary topics, and we are involved in the topic A02-2, "Interaction of the solid Earth and the Antarctic Ice Sheet". The Antarctic ice sheet, which relates to the global climate changes through the sea level rise and ocean circulation, is an essential element of the Earth system for predicting the future environment changes. Thus many studies of the ice sheet changes have been conducted by means of geomorphological, geological, geodetic surveys, as well as satellite gravimetry and satellite altimetry. For these studies, one of the largest uncertainties is the effects of GIA. Therefore, GIA as a key to investigate the interaction between the solid Earth and the ice sheet changes, we plan to conduct geomorphological, geological and geodetic surveys in the inland mountain areas and the coastal areas including the surrounding areas of a Japanese station Syowa in East Antarctica, where the in-situ data for constraining GIA models are very few. Combining these new observations with other in-site data, various satellite data and numerical modeling, we aim to estimating a precise GIA model, constructing a reliable ice melting history after the last glacial maximum and obtaining the viscoelastic structure of the Earth's interior. In the presentation, we also show the five years research plans as well. This study was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 17H06321.

  3. Simulating a Dynamic Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Early to Middle Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasson, E.; DeConto, R.; Pollard, D.; Levy, R. H.

    2015-12-01

    There are a variety of sources of geological data that suggest major variations in the volume and extent of the Antarctic ice sheet during the early to middle Miocene. Simulating such variability using coupled climate-ice sheet models is problematic due to a strong hysteresis effect caused by height-mass balance feedback and albedo feedback. This results in limited retreat of the ice sheet once it has reached the continental size, as likely occurred prior to the Miocene. Proxy records suggest a relatively narrow range of atmospheric CO2 during the early to middle Miocene, which exacerbates this problem. We use a new climate forcing which accounts for ice sheet-climate feedbacks through an asynchronous GCM-RCM coupling, which is able to better resolve the narrow Antarctic ablation zone in warm climate simulations. When combined with recently suggested mechanisms for retreat into subglacial basins due to ice shelf hydrofracture and ice cliff failure, we are able to simulate large-scale variability of the Antarctic ice sheet in the Miocene. This variability is equivalent to a seawater oxygen isotope signal of ~0.5 ‰, or a sea level equivalent change of ~35 m, for a range of atmospheric CO2 between 280 - 500 ppm.

  4. Influence of Sea Ice Crack Formation on the Spatial Distribution of Nutrients and Microalgae in Flooded Antarctic Multiyear Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Daiki; Aoki, Shigeru; Simizu, Daisuke; Iida, Takahiro

    2018-02-01

    Cracks are common and natural features of sea ice formed in the polar oceans. In this study, a sea ice crack in flooded, multiyear, land-fast Antarctic sea ice was examined to assess its influence on biological productivity and the transport of nutrients and microalgae into the upper layers of neighboring sea ice. The water inside the crack and the surrounding host ice were characterized by a strong discoloration (brown color), an indicator of a massive algal bloom. Salinity and oxygen isotopic ratio measurements indicated that 64-84% of the crack water consisted of snow meltwater supplied during the melt season. Measurements of nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations within the slush layer pool (the flooded layer at the snow-ice interface) revealed the intrusion of water from the crack, likely forced by mixing with underlying seawater during the tidal cycle. Our results suggest that sea ice crack formation provides conditions favorable for algal blooms by directly exposing the crack water to sunlight and supplying nutrients from the under-ice water. Subsequently, constituents of the crack water modified by biological activity were transported into the upper layer of the flooded sea ice. They were then preserved in the multiyear ice column formed by upward growth of sea ice caused by snow ice formation in areas of significant snow accumulation.

  5. Molluscan systematics and biostratigraphy: lower tertiary, La Meseta formation, Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stilwell, Jeffrey D; Zinsmeister, William J

    1992-01-01

    Contents: The Antarctic research series: statement of objectives - Acknowledgements - Abstract - Introduction - Previous investigations - Stratigraphy - Age of the La Meseta Formation - Biostratigraphy - Depositional environments...

  6. Antarctic Glaciological Data at NSIDC: field data, temperature, and ice velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, R.; Bohlander, J.; Scambos, T.; Berthier, E.; Raup, B.; Scharfen, G.

    2003-12-01

    An extensive collection of many Antarctic glaciological parameters is available for the polar science community upon request. The National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs funds the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC) at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to archive and distribute Antarctic glaciological and cryospheric system data collected by the U.S. Antarctic Program. AGDC facilitates data exchange among Principal Investigators, preserves recently collected data useful to future research, gathers data sets from past research, and compiles continent-wide information useful for modeling and field work planning. Data sets are available via our web site, http://nsidc.org/agdc/. From here, users can access extensive documentation, citation information, locator maps, derived images and references, and the numerical data. More than 50 Antarctic scientists have contributed data to the archive. Among the compiled products distributed by AGDC are VELMAP and THERMAP. THERMAP is a compilation of over 600 shallow firn temperature measurements ('10-meter temperatures') collected since 1950. These data provide a record of mean annual temperature, and potentially hold a record of climate change on the continent. The data are represented with maps showing the traverse route, and include data sources, measurement technique, and additional measurements made at each site, i.e., snow density and accumulation. VELMAP is an archive of surface ice velocity measurements for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The primary objective of VELMAP is to assemble a historic record of outlet glaciers and ice shelf ice motion over the Antarctic. The collection includes both PI-contributed measurements and data generated at NSIDC using Landsat and SPOT satellite imagery. Tabular data contain position, speed, bearing, and data quality information, and related references. Two new VELMAP data sets are highlighted: the Mertz Glacier and the Institute Ice Stream. Mertz Glacier ice

  7. Morphology of bottom surfaces of glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bianchi, C.; Chiappini, M.; Zirizzotti, A.; Zuccheretti, E. [Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy); Tabacco, I. E. [Milan Univ., Milan (Italy). Sez. Geofisica; Passerini, A. [Milan Univ. Bicocca, Milan (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica

    2001-02-01

    During three Antarctic summer campaigns (1995/97/99) Radio Echo Sounding (RES) system data from some glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic regions between Victoria Land and George 5. Land were collected. The morphology and structure of the bottom surfaces deduced from the electromagnetic interpretation of echo signal were observed. The bottom surfaces at the ice/water interface show either irregular or flat contours or both. Some ice tongues are nearly perfectly flat, others show clear signs of irregularities while three of them have good regular spaced rippled bottom surfaces. The latter structures are well-evident in the longitudinal traverse of the tongues, whereas the transversal paths do not show the same features. This particular shape of the bottom surfaces related to the ablation process and detachment mechanism could be interesting especially to determine some physical characteristics and the possible fracture points of the ice tongues.

  8. Morphology of bottom surfaces of glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Zuccheretti

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available During three Antarctic summer campaigns (1995/97/99 Radio Echo Sounding (RES system data from some glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic regions between Victoria Land and George V Land were collected. The morphology and structure of the bottom surfaces deduced from the electromagnetic interpretation of echo signal were observed. The bottom surfaces at the ice/water interface show either irregular or flat contours or both. Some ice tongues are nearly perfectly flat, others show clear signs of irregularities while three of them have good regular spaced rippled bottom surfaces. The latter structures are well-evident in the longitudinal traverse of the tongues, whereas the transversal paths do not show the same features. This particular shape of the bottom surfaces related to the ablation process and detachment mechanism could be interesting especially to determine some physical characteristics and the possible fracture points of the ice tongues.

  9. Antarctic Ice Shelf Potentially Stabilized by Export of Meltwater in Surface River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Robin E.; Chu, Winnie; Kingslake, Jonathan; Das, Indrani; Tedesco, Marco; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Zappa, Christopher J.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Boghosian, Alexandra; Lee, Won Sang

    2017-01-01

    Meltwater stored in ponds and crevasses can weaken and fracture ice shelves, triggering their rapid disintegration. This ice-shelf collapse results in an increased flux of ice from adjacent glaciers and ice streams, thereby raising sea level globally. However, surface rivers forming on ice shelves could potentially export stored meltwater and prevent its destructive effects. Here we present evidence for persistent active drainage networks-interconnected streams, ponds and rivers-on the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica that export a large fraction of the ice shelf's meltwater into the ocean. We find that active drainage has exported water off the ice surface through waterfalls and dolines for more than a century. The surface river terminates in a 130-metre-wide waterfall that can export the entire annual surface melt over the course of seven days. During warmer melt seasons, these drainage networks adapt to changing environmental conditions by remaining active for longer and exporting more water. Similar networks are present on the ice shelf in front of Petermann Glacier, Greenland, but other systems, such as on the Larsen C and Amery Ice Shelves, retain surface water at present. The underlying reasons for export versus retention remain unclear. Nonetheless our results suggest that, in a future warming climate, surface rivers could export melt off the large ice shelves surrounding Antarctica-contrary to present Antarctic ice-sheet models, which assume that meltwater is stored on the ice surface where it triggers ice-shelf disintegration.

  10. Palmer LTER: Patterns of distribution of five dominant zooplankton species in the epipelagic zone west of the Antarctic Peninsula, 1993 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Robin M.; Quetin, Langdon B.; Martinson, Douglas G.; Iannuzzi, Rich A.; Stammerjohn, Sharon E.; Smith, Raymond C.

    2008-09-01

    Variability in the temporal-spatial distribution and abundance of zooplankton was documented each summer on the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) grid west of the Antarctic Peninsula between Anvers and Adelaide Islands during a 12-yr time series. Oblique tows to 120 m with a 2×2 m fixed-frame net were made at about 50 stations each January/February between 1993 and 2004. The numerically dominant macro- and mesozooplanktonic species >2 mm included three species of euphausiids ( Euphausia superba, Antarctic krill; Thysanoëssa macrura; Euphausia crystallorophias, ice krill), a shelled pteropod ( Limacina helicina), and a salp ( Salpa thompsoni). Life cycles, life spans, and habitat varied among these species. Abundance data from each year were allocated to 100 km by 20 km (alongshore by on/offshore) grid cells centered on cardinal transect lines and stations within the Palmer LTER grid. The long-term mean or climatology and means for each year were used to calculate annual anomalies across the grid. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to analyze for patterns and trends in the temporal-spatial variability of the five species. Questions included whether there are groups of species with similar patterns, and whether population cycles, species interactions or seasonal sea-ice parameters were correlated with detected patterns. Patterns in the climatology were distinct, and matched those of physical parameters. Common features included higher abundance in the north than in the south, independent of the cross-shelf gradients, and cross-shelf gradients with higher abundance either inshore ( E. crystallorophias) or offshore ( S. thompsoni). Anomalies revealed either cycles in the population, as episodic recruitment in Antarctic krill, or changes in anomaly pattern between the first and second half of the sampling period. The 1998 year, which coincided with a rapid change from a negative to a positive phase in the SOI, emerged as a year with either

  11. Seasonal variations in physical characteristics of aerosol particles at the King Sejong Station, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaeseok; Yoon, Young Jun; Gim, Yeontae; Kang, Hyo Jin; Choi, Jin Hee; Park, Ki-Tae; Lee, Bang Yong

    2017-11-01

    Seasonal variability in the physical characteristics of aerosol particles sampled from the King Sejong Station in the Antarctic Peninsula was investigated over the period between March 2009 and February 2015. Clear seasonal cycles for the total particle concentration (CN) were observed. The mean monthly concentration of particles larger than 2.5 nm (CN2.5) was highest during the austral summer, with an average value of 1080.39 ± 595.05 cm-3, and lowest during the austral winter, with a mean value of 197.26 ± 71.71 cm-3. The seasonal patterns in the concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and CN coincide, with both concentrations being at a minimum in winter and maximum in summer. The measured CCN spectra were approximated by fitting a power-law function relating the number of CCN for a given supersaturation (SS) to each SS value, with fitting coefficients C and kT. The values for C varied from 6.35 to 837.24 cm-3, with a mean of 171.48 ± 62.00 cm-3. The values for kT ranged from 0.07 to 2.19, with a mean of 0.41 ± 0.10. In particular, the kT values during the austral summer were higher than those during the winter, indicating that aerosol particles are more sensitive to SS changes during summer. Furthermore, the annual mean hygroscopicity parameter, κ, was estimated as 0.15 ± 0.05, for a SS of 0.4 %. The effects of the origin and pathway travelled by the air mass on the physical characteristics of the aerosol particles were also determined. The modal diameter of aerosol particles originating in the South Pacific Ocean showed a seasonal variation varying from 0.023 µm in winter to 0.034 µm in summer for the Aitken mode, and from 0.086 µm in winter to 0.109 µm in summer for the accumulation mode.

  12. Ionosonde and optical determinations of thermospheric neutral winds over the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foppiano, A. J.; Won, Y.-I.; Torres, X. A.; Flores, P. A.; Veloso, A. Daniel; Arriagada, M. A.

    2016-11-01

    winds for Argentine Islands station (former Vernadsky), albeit observations are for different time intervals. Unless comprehensive FPI winds for the Antarctic Peninsula longitude sector become available, ionosonde based winds seem to be reliable enough for several purposes.

  13. Seasonal variations in physical characteristics of aerosol particles at the King Sejong Station, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kim

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal variability in the physical characteristics of aerosol particles sampled from the King Sejong Station in the Antarctic Peninsula was investigated over the period between March 2009 and February 2015. Clear seasonal cycles for the total particle concentration (CN were observed. The mean monthly concentration of particles larger than 2.5 nm (CN2.5 was highest during the austral summer, with an average value of 1080.39 ± 595.05 cm−3, and lowest during the austral winter, with a mean value of 197.26 ± 71.71 cm−3. The seasonal patterns in the concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN and CN coincide, with both concentrations being at a minimum in winter and maximum in summer. The measured CCN spectra were approximated by fitting a power-law function relating the number of CCN for a given supersaturation (SS to each SS value, with fitting coefficients C and kT. The values for C varied from 6.35 to 837.24 cm−3, with a mean of 171.48 ± 62.00 cm−3. The values for kT ranged from 0.07 to 2.19, with a mean of 0.41 ± 0.10. In particular, the kT values during the austral summer were higher than those during the winter, indicating that aerosol particles are more sensitive to SS changes during summer. Furthermore, the annual mean hygroscopicity parameter, κ, was estimated as 0.15 ± 0.05, for a SS of 0.4 %. The effects of the origin and pathway travelled by the air mass on the physical characteristics of the aerosol particles were also determined. The modal diameter of aerosol particles originating in the South Pacific Ocean showed a seasonal variation varying from 0.023 µm in winter to 0.034 µm in summer for the Aitken mode, and from 0.086 µm in winter to 0.109 µm in summer for the accumulation mode.

  14. Diagnostic modeling of dimethylsulfide production in coastal water west of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermann, Maria; Najjar, Raymond G.; Neeley, Aimee R.; Vila-Costa, Maria; Dacey, John W. H.; DiTullio, Giacomo, R.; Kieber, David J.; Kiene, Ronald P.; Matrai, Patricia A.; Simo, Rafel; hide

    2012-01-01

    The rate of gross biological dimethylsulfide (DMS) production at two coastal sites west of the Antarctic Peninsula, off Anvers Island, near Palmer Station, was estimated using a diagnostic approach that combined field measurements from 1 January 2006 through 1 March 2006 and a one-dimensional physical model of ocean mixing. The average DMS production rate in the upper water column (0-60 m) was estimated to be 3.1 +/- 0.6 nM/d at station B (closer to shore) and 2.7 +/- 0.6 nM/d1 at station E (further from shore). The estimated DMS replacement time was on the order of 1 d at both stations. DMS production was greater in the mixed layer than it was below the mixed layer. The average DMS production normalized to chlorophyll was 0.5 +/- nM/d)/(mg cubic m) at station B and 0.7 +/- 0.2 (nM/d)/(mg/cubic m3) at station E. When the diagnosed production rates were normalized to the observed concentrations of total dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPt, the biogenic precursor of DMS), we found a remarkable similarity between our estimates at stations B and E (0.06 +/- 0.02 and 0.04 +/- 0.01 (nM DMS / d1)/(nM DMSP), respectively) and the results obtained in a previous study from a contrasting biogeochemical environment in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre (0.047 =/- 0.006 and 0.087 +/- 0.014 (nM DMS d1)/(nM DMSP) in a cyclonic and anticyclonic eddy, respectively).We propose that gross biological DMS production normalized to DMSPt might be relatively independent of the biogeochemical environment, and place our average estimate at 0.06 +/- 0.01 (nM DMS / d)/(nM DMSPt). The significance of this finding is that it can provide a means to use DMSPt measurements to extrapolate gross biological DMS production, which is extremely difficult to measure experimentally under realistic in situ conditions.

  15. Surface mass balance contributions to acceleration of Antarctic ice mass loss during 2003-2013

    OpenAIRE

    Seo, Ki-Weon; Wilson, Clark R.; Scambos, Ted; Kim, Baek-Min; Waliser, Duane E.; Tian, Baijun; Kim, Byeong-Hoon; Eom, Jooyoung

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Recent observations from satellite gravimetry (the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission) suggest an acceleration of ice mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS). The contribution of surface mass balance changes (due to variable precipitation) is compared with GRACE?derived mass loss acceleration by assessing the estimated contribution of snow mass from meteorological reanalysis data. We find that over much of the continent, the acceleration can be explained by ...

  16. Estimation of Antarctic Land-Fast Sea Ice Algal Biomass and Snow Thickness From Under-Ice Radiance Spectra in Two Contrasting Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpan, P.; Meiners, K. M.; Langhorne, P. J.; Heil, P.; Smith, I. J.; Leonard, G. H.; Massom, R. A.; Clementson, L. A.; Haskell, T. G.

    2018-03-01

    Fast ice is an important component of Antarctic coastal marine ecosystems, providing a prolific habitat for ice algal communities. This work examines the relationships between normalized difference indices (NDI) calculated from under-ice radiance measurements and sea ice algal biomass and snow thickness for Antarctic fast ice. While this technique has been calibrated to assess biomass in Arctic fast ice and pack ice, as well as Antarctic pack ice, relationships are currently lacking for Antarctic fast ice characterized by bottom ice algae communities with high algal biomass. We analyze measurements along transects at two contrasting Antarctic fast ice sites in terms of platelet ice presence: near and distant from an ice shelf, i.e., in McMurdo Sound and off Davis Station, respectively. Snow and ice thickness, and ice salinity and temperature measurements support our paired in situ optical and biological measurements. Analyses show that NDI wavelength pairs near the first chlorophyll a (chl a) absorption peak (≈440 nm) explain up to 70% of the total variability in algal biomass. Eighty-eight percent of snow thickness variability is explained using an NDI with a wavelength pair of 648 and 567 nm. Accounting for pigment packaging effects by including the ratio of chl a-specific absorption coefficients improved the NDI-based algal biomass estimation only slightly. Our new observation-based algorithms can be used to estimate Antarctic fast ice algal biomass and snow thickness noninvasively, for example, by using moored sensors (time series) or mapping their spatial distributions using underwater vehicles.

  17. 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.

  18. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation based on P-receiver function and waveform inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, P.; Li, F.; LI, Z.; Li, J.; Yang, Y.; Hao, W.

    2016-12-01

    Antarctic ice sheet thickness is key parameter and boundary condition for ice sheet model construction, which has great significance for glacial isostatic adjustment, ice sheet mass balance and global change study. Ice thickness acquired utilizing seismological receiver function method can complement and verify with results obtained by radar echo sounding method. In this paper, P-receiver functions(PRFs) are extracted for stations deployed on Antarctic ice sheet, then Vp/Vs ratio and ice thickness are obtained using H-Kappa stacking. Comparisons are made between Bedmap2 dataset and the ice thickness from PRFs, most of the absolute value of the differences are less than 200 meters, only a few reach 600 meters. Taking into account of the intensity of Bedmap2 dataset survey lines and the uncertainty of radio echo sounding, as well as the inherit complexity of the internal ice structure beneath some stations, the ice thickness obtained from receiver function method is reliable. However limitation exists when using H-Kappa stacking method for stations where sediment squeezed between the ice and the bed rock layer. For better verifying the PRF result, a global optimizing method-Neighbourhood algotithm(NA) and spline interpolation are used to modeling PRFs assuming an isotropic layered ice sheet with depth varied densities and velocities beneath the stations. Then the velocity structure and ice sheet thickness are obtained through nonlinear searching by optimally fitting the real and the theoretical PRFs. The obtained ice sheet thickness beneath the stations agree well with the former H-Kappa method, but further detailed study are needed to constrain the inner ice velocity structure.

  19. Sympagic occurrence of Eusirid and Lysianassoid amphipods under Antarctic pack ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krapp, Rupert H.; Berge, Jorgen; Flores, Hauke; Gulliksen, Bjorn; Werner, Iris

    2008-01-01

    During three Antarctic expeditions (2004, ANT XXI-4 and XXII-2; 2006, ANT XXIII-6) with the German research icebreaker R/V Polarstern, six different amphipod species were recorded under the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and the Lazarev Sea. These cruises covered Austral autumn (April), summer

  20. Determination of lead isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosman, K.J.R.; Chisholm, W.

    1994-01-01

    The development of high sensitivity mass spectrometry to measure Pb isotopes in Arctic and Antarctic snow and ice has provided a powerful tool for identifying sources of global Pb pollution. The combination of isotope abundance information with concentration measurements adds another dimension to analytical chemistry. (authors). 11 refs., 4 figs

  1. An antarctic stratigraphic record of stepwise ice growth through the eocene-oligocene transition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passchier, Sandra; Ciarletta, Daniel J.; Miriagos, Triantafilo E.; Bijl, Peter K.; Bohaty, Steven M.

    2017-01-01

    Earth's current icehouse phase began ~34 m.y. ago with the onset of major Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Changes in ocean circulation and a decline in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels were associated with stepwise cooling and ice growth at southern high latitudes. The

  2. Tropically driven and externally forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change: reconciling observed and modeled trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P.; Deser, Clara

    2017-09-01

    Recent work suggests that natural variability has played a significant role in the increase of Antarctic sea ice extent during 1979-2013. The ice extent has responded strongly to atmospheric circulation changes, including a deepened Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), which in part has been driven by tropical variability. Nonetheless, this increase has occurred in the context of externally forced climate change, and it has been difficult to reconcile observed and modeled Antarctic sea ice trends. To understand observed-model disparities, this work defines the internally driven and radiatively forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change and exposes potential model biases using results from two sets of historical experiments of a coupled climate model compared with observations. One ensemble is constrained only by external factors such as greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone, while the other explicitly accounts for the influence of tropical variability by specifying observed SST anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific. The latter experiment reproduces the deepening of the ASL, which drives an increase in regional ice extent due to enhanced ice motion and sea surface cooling. However, the overall sea ice trend in every ensemble member of both experiments is characterized by ice loss and is dominated by the forced pattern, as given by the ensemble-mean of the first experiment. This pervasive ice loss is associated with a strong warming of the ocean mixed layer, suggesting that the ocean model does not locally store or export anomalous heat efficiently enough to maintain a surface environment conducive to sea ice expansion. The pervasive upper-ocean warming, not seen in observations, likely reflects ocean mean-state biases.

  3. Tropically driven and externally forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change: reconciling observed and modeled trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David P.; Deser, Clara

    2018-06-01

    Recent work suggests that natural variability has played a significant role in the increase of Antarctic sea ice extent during 1979-2013. The ice extent has responded strongly to atmospheric circulation changes, including a deepened Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), which in part has been driven by tropical variability. Nonetheless, this increase has occurred in the context of externally forced climate change, and it has been difficult to reconcile observed and modeled Antarctic sea ice trends. To understand observed-model disparities, this work defines the internally driven and radiatively forced patterns of Antarctic sea ice change and exposes potential model biases using results from two sets of historical experiments of a coupled climate model compared with observations. One ensemble is constrained only by external factors such as greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone, while the other explicitly accounts for the influence of tropical variability by specifying observed SST anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific. The latter experiment reproduces the deepening of the ASL, which drives an increase in regional ice extent due to enhanced ice motion and sea surface cooling. However, the overall sea ice trend in every ensemble member of both experiments is characterized by ice loss and is dominated by the forced pattern, as given by the ensemble-mean of the first experiment. This pervasive ice loss is associated with a strong warming of the ocean mixed layer, suggesting that the ocean model does not locally store or export anomalous heat efficiently enough to maintain a surface environment conducive to sea ice expansion. The pervasive upper-ocean warming, not seen in observations, likely reflects ocean mean-state biases.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nemirovskaya, I.A.; Novigatsky, A.N.

    2005-01-01

    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

  5. Ice core melt features in relation to Antarctic coastal climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaczmarska, M.; Isaksson, E.; Karlöf, L.; Brandt, O.; Winther, J.G.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Johnsen, S.J.

    2006-01-01

    Measurement of light intensity transmission was carried out on an ice core S100 from coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML). Ice lenses were observed in digital pictures of the core and recorded as peaks in the light transmittance record. The frequency of ice layer occurrence was compared with climate

  6. Ice Algae-Produced Carbon Is Critical for Overwintering of Antarctic Krill Euphausia superba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Kohlbach

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Antarctic krill Euphausia superba (“krill” constitute a fundamental food source for Antarctic seabirds and mammals, and a globally important fisheries resource. The future resilience of krill to climate change depends critically on the winter survival of young krill. To survive periods of extremely low production by pelagic algae during winter, krill are assumed to rely partly on carbon produced by ice algae. The true dependency on ice algae-produced carbon, however, is so far unquantified. This confounds predictions on the future resilience of krill stocks to sea ice decline. Fatty acid (FA analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (BSIA, and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA of diatom- and dinoflagellate-associated marker FAs were applied to quantify the dependency of overwintering larval, juvenile, and adult krill on ice algae-produced carbon (αIce during winter 2013 in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence Zone. Our results demonstrate that the majority of the carbon uptake of the overwintering larval and juvenile krill originated from ice algae (up to 88% of the carbon budget, and that the dependency on ice algal carbon decreased with ontogeny, reaching <56% of the carbon budget in adults. Spatio-temporal variability in the utilization of ice algal carbon was more pronounced in larvae and juvenile krill than in adults. Differences between αIce estimates derived from short- vs. long-term FA-specific isotopic compositions suggested that ice algae-produced carbon gained importance as the winter progressed, and might become critical at the late winter-spring transition, before the phytoplankton bloom commences. Where the sea ice season shortens, reduced availability of ice algae might possibly not be compensated by surplus phytoplankton production during wintertime. Hence, sea ice decline could seriously endanger the winter survival of recruits, and subsequently overall biomass of krill.

  7. Sea-level response to abrupt ocean warming of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Antarctica's contribution to global sea-level rise increases steadily. A fundamental question remains whether the ice discharge will lead to marine ice sheet instability (MISI) and collapse of certain sectors of the ice sheet or whether ice loss will increase linearly with the warming trends. Therefore, we employ a newly developed ice sheet model of the Antarctic ice sheet, called f.ETISh (fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model) to simulate ice sheet response to abrupt perturbations in ocean and atmospheric temperature. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid (SSA/SIA) ice sheet model including ice shelves. Although vertically integrated, thermomechanical coupling is ensured through a simplified representation of ice sheet thermodynamics based on an analytical solution of the vertical temperature profile, including strain heating and horizontal advection. The marine boundary is represented by a flux condition either coherent with power-law basal sliding (Pollard & Deconto (2012) based on Schoof (2007)) or according to Coulomb basal friction (Tsai et al., 2015), both taking into account ice-shelf buttressing. Model initialization is based on optimization of the basal friction field. Besides the traditional MISMIP tests, new tests with respect to MISI in plan-view models have been devised. The model is forced with stepwise ocean and atmosphere temperature perturbations. The former is based on a parametrised sub-shelf melt (limited to ice shelves), while the latter is based on present-day mass balance/surface temperature and corrected for elevation changes. Surface melting is introduced using a PDD model. Results show a general linear response in mass loss to ocean warming. Nonlinear response due to MISI occurs under specific conditions and is highly sensitive to the basal conditions near the grounding line, governed by both the initial conditions and the basal sliding/deformation model. The Coulomb friction model leads to significantly higher

  8. Glacial removal of late Cenozoic subglacially emplaced volcanic edifices by the West Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, John C.; Blankenship, D.D.; Damaske, D.; Cooper, A. K.

    1995-01-01

    Local maxima of the horizontal gradient of pseudogravity from closely spaced aeromagnetic surveys over the Ross Sea, northwestern Ross Ice Shelf, and the West Antarctic ice sheet, reveal a linear magnetic rift fabric and numerous subcircular, high-amplitude anomalies. Geophysical data indicate two or three youthful volcanic edifices at widely separated areas beneath the sea and ice cover in the West Antarctic rift system. In contrast, we suggest glacial removal of edifices of volcanic sources of many more anomalies. Magnetic models, controlled by marine seismic reflection and radar ice-sounding data, allow us to infer that glacial removal of the associated late Cenozoic volcanic edifices (probably debris, comprising pillow breccias, and hyaloclastites) has occurred essentially concomitantly with their subglacial eruption. "Removal' of unconsolidated volcanic debris erupted beneath the ice is probably a more appropriate term than "erosion', given its fragmented, ice-contact origin. The exposed volcanoes may have been protected from erosion by the surrounding ice sheet because of more competent rock or high elevation above the ice sheet. -from Authors

  9. Possible connections of the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lejiang; Zhong, Shiyuan; Winkler, Julie A; Zhou, Mingyu; Lenschow, Donald H; Li, Bingrui; Wang, Xianqiao; Yang, Qinghua

    2017-04-05

    Sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and a key indicator of climate change. A decreasing trend in Arctic sea-ice concentration is evident in recent years, whereas Antarctic sea-ice concentration exhibits a generally increasing trend. Various studies have investigated the underlying causes of the observed trends for each region, but possible linkages between the regional trends have not been studied. Here, we hypothesize that the opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice concentration may be linked, at least partially, through interdecadal variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Although evaluation of this hypothesis is constrained by the limitations of the sea-ice cover record, preliminary statistical analyses of one short-term and two long-term time series of observed and reanalysis sea-ice concentrations data suggest the possibility of the hypothesized linkages. For all three data sets, the leading mode of variability of global sea-ice concentration is positively correlated with the AMO and negatively correlated with the PDO. Two wave trains related to the PDO and the AMO appear to produce anomalous surface-air temperature and low-level wind fields in the two polar regions that contribute to the opposite changes in sea-ice concentration.

  10. Challenges for understanding Antarctic surface hydrology and ice-shelf stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, J.; Bell, R. E.; Banwell, A. F.; Boghosian, A.; Spergel, J.; Trusel, L. D.

    2017-12-01

    It is widely hypothesized that surface meltwater can contribute to ice mass loss in Antarctica through its impact on ice-shelf stability. Meltwater potentially expedites ice-shelf calving by flowing into and enlarging existing crevasses, and could even trigger ice-shelf disintegration via stresses generated by melt ponds. When ice shelves collapse, the adjacent grounded ice accelerates and thins, which contributes to sea-level rise. How these mechanisms mediate the interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean and the ice sheet is the subject of long-standing research efforts. The drainage of water across the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its ice shelves is beginning to be recognized as another important aspect of the system. Recent studies have revealed that surface meltwater drainage is more widespread than previously thought and that surface hydrological systems in Antarctica may expand and proliferate this century. Contrasting hypotheses regarding the impact of the proliferation of drainage systems on ice-shelf stability have emerged. Surface drainage could deliver meltwater to vulnerable area or export meltwater from ice shelves entirely. Which behavior dominates may have a large impact on the future response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to atmospheric warming. We will discuss these recent discoveries and hypotheses, as well as new detailed studies of specific areas where hydrological systems are well developed, such as Amery and Nimrod Ice Shelves. We will highlight analogies that can be drawn with Greenlandic (near-)surface hydrology and, crucially, where hydrological systems on the two ice sheets are very different, leading to potentially important gaps in our understanding. Finally, we will look ahead to the key questions that we argue will need to be if we are to determine the role Antarctic surface hydrology could play in the future of the ice sheet. These include: Where does meltwater pond today and how will this change this century? What

  11. Evidence for link between modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice and underestimated westerly wind changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purich, Ariaan; Cai, Wenju; England, Matthew H; Cowan, Tim

    2016-02-04

    Despite global warming, total Antarctic sea ice coverage increased over 1979-2013. However, the majority of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 models simulate a decline. Mechanisms causing this discrepancy have so far remained elusive. Here we show that weaker trends in the intensification of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind jet simulated by the models may contribute to this disparity. During austral summer, a strengthened jet leads to increased upwelling of cooler subsurface water and strengthened equatorward transport, conducive to increased sea ice. As the majority of models underestimate summer jet trends, this cooling process is underestimated compared with observations and is insufficient to offset warming in the models. Through the sea ice-albedo feedback, models produce a high-latitude surface ocean warming and sea ice decline, contrasting the observed net cooling and sea ice increase. A realistic simulation of observed wind changes may be crucial for reproducing the recent observed sea ice increase.

  12. What's Cooler Than Being Cool? Icefin: Robotic Exploration Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Meister, M. R.; Glass, J. B.; Bowman, J. S.; Stockton, A. M.; Dichek, D.; Hurwitz, B.; Ramey, C.; Spears, A.; Walker, C. C.

    2017-12-01

    The 2017-18 Antarctic field season marks the first of three under the RISEUP project (Ross Ice Shelf & Europa Underwater Probe, NASA PSTAR program grant NNX16AL07G, PI B. E. Schmidt). RISEUP expands our efforts to understand the physical processes governing ice-ocean interactions from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) to the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), utilizing the modular autonomous or remotely operable submersible vehicle (AUV/ROV) Icefin. The remote, aphotic regions below Antarctic shelves present a unique opportunity- they are both poorly understood terrestrial environments and analogs for similar systems hypothesized to be present on other bodies in our solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus. By developing new robotic technologies to access and explore ice shelf cavities we are advancing our understanding of how temperature, pressure, and salinity influence the ice-ocean interface, the limits of habitable environments on Earth, and what biological processes and adaptations enable the life discovered by the RISP and WISSARD programs during initial exploration beneath the RIS. These investigations further our understanding of ocean world habitability and support planned and proposed planetary missions (e.g. Europa Clipper, Europa Lander) via improved constraint of marine ice accretion processes, organic entrainment, and interface habitability. Custom built at Georgia Tech and first deployed during the 2014/15 Antarctic season, Icefin is 3.5 m, 125 kg modular vehicle that now carries a full suite of oceanographic sensors (including conductivity, temperature, depth, dissolved O2, dissolved organic matter, turbidity, pH, eH, and sonar) that can be deployed through boreholes as small as 25 cm in diameter. Here we present continued analysis of basal ice and oceanographic observations in the McMurdo Sound region from 2012-2015 with, pending anticipated field work, comparisons to preliminary data from the 2017/18 field season beneath both the McMurdo and Ross Ice

  13. Ocean Tide Influences on the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padman, Laurie; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen A.

    2018-03-01

    Ocean tides are the main source of high-frequency variability in the vertical and horizontal motion of ice sheets near their marine margins. Floating ice shelves, which occupy about three quarters of the perimeter of Antarctica and the termini of four outlet glaciers in northern Greenland, rise and fall in synchrony with the ocean tide. Lateral motion of floating and grounded portions of ice sheets near their marine margins can also include a tidal component. These tide-induced signals provide insight into the processes by which the oceans can affect ice sheet mass balance and dynamics. In this review, we summarize in situ and satellite-based measurements of the tidal response of ice shelves and grounded ice, and spatial variability of ocean tide heights and currents around the ice sheets. We review sensitivity of tide heights and currents as ocean geometry responds to variations in sea level, ice shelf thickness, and ice sheet mass and extent. We then describe coupled ice-ocean models and analytical glacier models that quantify the effect of ocean tides on lower-frequency ice sheet mass loss and motion. We suggest new observations and model developments to improve the representation of tides in coupled models that are used to predict future ice sheet mass loss and the associated contribution to sea level change. The most critical need is for new data to improve maps of bathymetry, ice shelf draft, spatial variability of the drag coefficient at the ice-ocean interface, and higher-resolution models with improved representation of tidal energy sinks.

  14. 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.

  15. Antarctic Ice Sheet Discharge Driven by Atmosphere-Ocean Feedbacks Across the Last Glacial Termination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Baker, A.; Weber, M. E.; Woodward, J.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Davies, S. M.; Bird, M. I.; Winter, K.; Munksgaard, N.; Menviel, L.; Rootes, C.; Vohra, J.; Rivera, A.; Cooper, A.

    2016-12-01

    Reconstructing the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming during the Last Glacial Termination (LGT; 18,000-11,650 yrs ago) allows us to identify ice-climate feedbacks that could improve future projections1,2. Whilst the sequence of events during this period are reasonably well-known, relatively poor chronological control has precluded precise alignment of ice, atmospheric and marine records2, making it difficult to assess relationships between Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics, climate change and sea-level rise3-5. Here we present results from a highly-resolved `horizontal ice core'6,7 from the Weddell Sea Embayment, which records millennial-scale ice-sheet dynamics across this extensive sector of Antarctica. Counterintuitively, we find ice-sheet surface drawdown of 600 m across the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14,600-12,700 yrs ago)5, with stabilisation during the subsequent millennia of atmospheric warming. Earth system and ice-sheet modelling highlights that this response was likely sustained by strong ocean-ice feedbacks4,8; however, the drivers remain uncertain. Given the coincidence of the ice-sheet changes recorded with marked shifts in atmospheric circulation9,10,11we suggest that millennial-scale Antarctic ice-sheet behaviour was initiated and sustained by global atmospheric teleconnections across the LGT. This has important ramifications ice-sheet stability under contemporary climate change, with changing atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. 1 Collins, M. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. 2 Weber, M. E. et al. Nature 510, 134-138, (2014). 3 Weaver, A. J., et al., Science 299, 1709-1713, (2003). 4 Golledge, N. R. et al. Nat Commun 5, (2014). 5 Pedro, J. B. et al. Nature Geosci9. 51-55 (2015). 6 Turney, C. S. M. et al. Journal of Quaternary Science 28, 697-704 (2013). 7 Winter, K. et al. Geophys. Res. Lett.43. 5. 2019-2026 (2016). 8 Menviel, L., A. et al., Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 1155-1172 (2011). 9 Hogg

  16. Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nývlt, D.; Nývltová Fišáková, Miriam; Barták, M.; Stachoň, Z.; Pavel, V.; Mlčoch, B.; Láska, K.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 1 (2016), s. 3-16 ISSN 0954-1020 Institutional support: RVO:68081758 Keywords : James Ross Island * preservation state * Prince Gustav Channel * sea ice * seal behaviour Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  17. Low salinity and high-level UV-B radiation reduce single-cell activity in antarctic sea ice bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Andrew; Hall, Julie; Ryan, Ken

    2009-12-01

    Experiments simulating the sea ice cycle were conducted by exposing microbes from Antarctic fast ice to saline and irradiance regimens associated with the freeze-thaw process. In contrast to hypersaline conditions (ice formation), the simulated release of bacteria into hyposaline seawater combined with rapid exposure to increased UV-B radiation significantly reduced metabolic activity.

  18. Impacts of marine instability across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on Southern Ocean dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Phipps

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent observations and modelling studies have demonstrated the potential for rapid and substantial retreat of large sectors of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS. This has major implications for ocean circulation and global sea level. Here we examine the effects of increasing meltwater from the Wilkes Basin, one of the major marine-based sectors of the EAIS, on Southern Ocean dynamics. Climate model simulations reveal that the meltwater flux rapidly stratifies surface waters, leading to a dramatic decrease in the rate of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW formation. The surface ocean cools but, critically, the Southern Ocean warms by more than 1 °C at depth. This warming is accompanied by a Southern Ocean-wide “domino effect”, whereby the warming signal propagates westward with depth. Our results suggest that melting of one sector of the EAIS could result in accelerated warming across other sectors, including the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Thus, localised melting of the EAIS could potentially destabilise the wider Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  19. Population dynamics of Salpa thompsoni near the Antarctic Peninsula: Growth rates and interannual variations in reproductive activity (1993-2009)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, V. J.; Santora, J. A.

    2012-04-01

    The salp Salpa thompsoni has exhibited increased abundance in high latitude portions of the Southern Ocean in recent decades and is now frequently the numerically dominant zooplankton taxon in the Antarctic Peninsula region. The abundance increase of this species in high latitude waters is believed related to ocean warming. Due to its continuous filter feeding and production of dense rapidly sinking fecal pellets S. thompsoni is considered to be an important link in the export of particulate carbon from the surface waters. Hence basic information on the life history of this component of the Antarctic marine ecosystem is essential for assessing its impact given continued climate warming. Here we cover various aspects of the life history of S. thompsoni collected in the north Antarctic Peninsula during annual austral summer surveys of the US Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) Program between 1993 and 2009. We focus on seasonal and interannual variations in the size composition and abundance of the aggregate (sexual) and solitary (asexual) stages. This information is valuable for refining components of Southern Ocean food web models that explicitly deal with size-structured and life history information on zooplankton. Intraseasonal changes in length-frequency distribution of both stages are used to estimate their growth rates. These average 0.40 mm day-1 for aggregates and 0.23 mm day-1 for solitaries; together these represent ∼7 week and ∼7.5 month generation times, respectively, and a 9 month life cycle (i.e., onset of aggregate production year 1 to aggregate production year 2). Based on the maximum lengths typically found during January-March, the life spans of the aggregate and solitary stages can reach at least ∼5 and ∼15 months, respectively. Length-frequency distributions each year reflect interannual differences in timing of the initiation and peak reproductive output. Interannual differences in the abundance of total salps and proportions of the

  20. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    KAUST Repository

    Vaque, Dolors; Boras, Julia A.; Torrent-Llagostera, Francesc; Agusti, Susana; Arrieta, J M; Lara, Elena; Castillo, Yaiza M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Sala, Maria M.

    2017-01-01

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1-100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1-1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12-55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 +/- 0.3 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 +/- 0.05 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 +/- 3.5 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 +/- 6.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 +/- 4.0 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 +/- 1.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1)) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 +/- 0.9 x 10(4) cells ml-1 d(-1)). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 +/- 6.8 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 6.5 +/- 3.9 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 +/- 9.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 11.6 +/- 1.4 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 +/- 5.7 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 7.9 +/- 2.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in

  1. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer

    KAUST Repository

    Vaque, Dolors

    2017-03-27

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1-100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1-1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12-55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 +/- 0.3 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 +/- 0.05 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 +/- 3.5 x 10(7) viruses ml(-1) d(-1)). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 +/- 6.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 +/- 4.0 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 +/- 1.1 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1)) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 +/- 0.9 x 10(4) cells ml-1 d(-1)). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 +/- 6.8 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 6.5 +/- 3.9 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 +/- 9.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 11.6 +/- 1.4 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 +/- 5.7 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) and 7.9 +/- 2.6 x 10(4) cells ml(-1) d(-1) in

  2. Viruses and Protists Induced-mortality of Prokaryotes around the Antarctic Peninsula during the Austral Summer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaqué, Dolors; Boras, Julia A; Torrent-Llagostera, Francesc; Agustí, Susana; Arrieta, Jesús M; Lara, Elena; Castillo, Yaiza M; Duarte, Carlos M; Sala, Maria M

    2017-01-01

    During the Austral summer 2009 we studied three areas surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula: the Bellingshausen Sea, the Bransfield Strait and the Weddell Sea. We aimed to investigate, whether viruses or protists were the main agents inducing prokaryotic mortality rates, and the sensitivity to temperature of prokaryotic heterotrophic production and mortality based on the activation energy (Ea) for each process. Seawater samples were taken at seven depths (0.1-100 m) to quantify viruses, prokaryotes and protists abundances, and heterotrophic prokaryotic production (PHP). Viral lytic production, lysogeny, and mortality rates of prokaryotes due to viruses and protists were estimated at surface (0.1-1 m) and at the Deep Fluorescence Maximum (DFM, 12-55 m) at eight representative stations of the three areas. The average viral lytic production ranged from 1.0 ± 0.3 × 10 7 viruses ml -1 d -1 in the Bellingshausen Sea to1.3 ± 0.7 × 10 7 viruses ml -1 d -1 in the Bransfield Strait, while lysogeny, when detectable, recorded the lowest value in the Bellingshausen Sea (0.05 ± 0.05 × 10 7 viruses ml -1 d -1 ) and the highest in the Weddell Sea (4.3 ± 3.5 × 10 7 viruses ml -1 d -1 ). Average mortality rates due to viruses ranged from 9.7 ± 6.1 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 in the Weddell Sea to 14.3 ± 4.0 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 in the Bellingshausen Sea, and were higher than averaged grazing rates in the Weddell Sea (5.9 ± 1.1 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 ) and in the Bellingshausen Sea (6.8 ± 0.9 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 ). The highest impact on prokaryotes by viruses and main differences between viral and protists activities were observed in surface samples: 17.8 ± 6.8 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 and 6.5 ± 3.9 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 in the Weddell Sea; 22.1 ± 9.6 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 and 11.6 ± 1.4 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 in the Bransfield Strait; and 16.1 ± 5.7 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 and 7.9 ± 2.6 × 10 4 cells ml -1 d -1 in the Bellingshausen Sea, respectively

  3. Calcium carbonate as ikaite crystals in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieckmann, Gerhard S.; Nehrke, Gernot; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Göttlicher, Jörg; Steininger, Ralph; Kennedy, Hilary; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Thomas, David N.

    2008-04-01

    We report on the discovery of the mineral ikaite (CaCO3.6H2O) in sea-ice from the Southern Ocean. The precipitation of CaCO3 during the freezing of seawater has previously been predicted from thermodynamic modelling, indirect measurements, and has been documented in artificial sea ice during laboratory experiments but has not been reported for natural sea-ice. It is assumed that CaCO3 formation in sea ice may be important for a sea ice-driven carbon pump in ice-covered oceanic waters. Without direct evidence of CaCO3 precipitation in sea ice, its role in this and other processes has remained speculative. The discovery of CaCO3.6H2O crystals in natural sea ice provides the necessary evidence for the evaluation of previous assumptions and lays the foundation for further studies to help elucidate the role of ikaite in the carbon cycle of the seasonally sea ice-covered regions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, R. S.; Klekociuk, A. R.; Schofield, R.; Keywood, M.; Ward, J.; Wilson, S. R.

    2015-10-01

    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 concentrations and

  5. Precipitation regime influence on oxygen triple-isotope distributions in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Martin F.

    2018-01-01

    The relative abundance of 17O in meteoric precipitation is usually reported in terms of the 17O-excess parameter. Variations of 17O-excess in Antarctic precipitation and ice cores have hitherto been attributed to normalised relative humidity changes at the moisture source region, or to the influence of a temperature-dependent supersaturation-controlled kinetic isotope effect during in-cloud ice formation below -20 °C. Neither mechanism, however, satisfactorily explains the large range of 17O-excess values reported from measurements. A different approach, based on the regression characteristics of 103 ln (1 +δ17 O) versus 103 ln (1 +δ18 O), is applied here to previously published isotopic data sets. The analysis indicates that clear-sky precipitation ('diamond dust'), which occurs widely in inland Antarctica, is characterised by an unusual relative abundance of 17O, distinct from that associated with cloud-derived, synoptic snowfall. Furthermore, this distinction appears to be largely preserved in the ice core record. The respective mass contributions to snowfall accumulation - on both temporal and spatial scales - provides the basis of a simple, first-order explanation for the observed oxygen triple-isotope ratio variations in Antarctic precipitation, surface snow and ice cores. Using this approach, it is shown that precipitation during the last major deglaciation, both in western Antarctica at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide and at Vostok on the eastern Antarctic plateau, consisted essentially of diamond dust only, despite a large temperature differential (and thus different water vapour supersaturation conditions) at the two locations. In contrast, synoptic snowfall events dominate the accumulation record throughout the Holocene at both sites.

  6. 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.

  7. Origin of spherule samples recovered from antarctic ice sheet-Terrestrial or extraterrestrial?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekimoto, Shun; Takamiya, Koichi; Shibata, Seiichi [Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka (Japan); Kobayashi, Takayuki [College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo (Japan); Ebihara, Mitsuru [Dept. of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan)

    2016-04-15

    Thirty-eight spherules from the Antarctic ice sheet were analyzed using neutron activation analysis under two different conditions to investigate their origin. In almost all of these spherules, the contents of iron, cobalt, and manganese were determined to be 31% to 88%, 17 mg/kg to 810 mg/kg, and 0.017% to 7%, respectively. A detectable iridium content of 0.84 mg/kg was found in only one spherule, which was judged to be extraterrestrial in origin. A comparison of elemental compositions of the Antarctic spherules analyzed in this study with those of deep-sea sediment spherules and those of terrestrial materials revealed that most of the Antarctic spherules except for the sample in which iridium was detected could not be identified as extraterrestrial in origin.

  8. 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...

  9. Evidence for a dynamic East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Miocene climate transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Elizabeth L.; van de Flierdt, Tina; Williams, Trevor; Hemming, Sidney R.; Cook, Carys P.; Passchier, Sandra

    2017-11-01

    The East Antarctic ice sheet underwent a major expansion during the Mid-Miocene Climate Transition, around 14 Ma, lowering sea level by ∼60 m. However, direct or indirect evidence of where changes in the ice sheet occurred is limited. Here we present new insights on timing and locations of ice sheet change from two drill sites offshore East Antarctica. IODP Site U1356, Wilkes Land, and ODP Site 1165, Prydz Bay are located adjacent to two major ice drainage areas, the Wilkes Subglacial Basin and the Lambert Graben. Ice-rafted detritus (IRD), including dropstones, was deposited in concentrations far exceeding those known in the rest of the Miocene succession at both sites between 14.1 and 13.8 Ma, indicating that large amounts of IRD-bearing icebergs were calved from independent drainage basins during this relatively short interval. At Site U1356, the IRD was delivered in distinct pulses, suggesting that the overall ice advance was punctuated by short periods of ice retreat in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Provenance analysis of the mid-Miocene IRD and fine-grained sediments provides additional insights on the movement of the ice margin and subglacial geology. At Site U1356, the dominant 40Ar/39Ar thermochronological age of the ice-rafted hornblende grains is 1400-1550 Ma, differing from the majority of recent IRD in the area, from which we infer an inland source area of this thermochronological age extending along the eastern part of the Adélie Craton, which forms the western side of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Neodymium isotopic compositions from the terrigenous fine fraction at Site U1356 imply that the ice margin periodically expanded from high ground well into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin during periods of MMCT ice growth. At Site 1165, MMCT pebble-sized IRD are sourced from both the local Lambert Graben and the distant Aurora Subglacial Basin drainage area. Together, the occurrence and provenance of the IRD and glacially-eroded sediment at these two marine

  10. Movement of Trace Elements During Residence in the Antarctic Ice: a Laboratory Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Melissa M.

    1991-01-01

    Recent work has determined that differences in the trace element distribution between Antarctic eucrites and non-Antarctic eucrites may be due to weathering during residence in the ice, and samples that demonstrate trace element disturbances do not necessarily correspond to eucrites that appear badly weathered to the naked eye. This study constitutes a preliminary test of the idea that long-term residence in the ice is the cause of the trace element disturbances observed in the eucrites. Samples of a non-Antarctic eucrite were leached in water at room temperature conditions. Liquid samples were analyzed for rare earth element abundances using ion chromatography. The results for the short-term study showed little or no evidence that leaching had occurred. However, there were tantalizing hints that something may be happening. The residual solid samples are currently being analyzed for the unleached trace metals using instrumental neutron activation analysis and should show evidence of disturbance if the chromatography clues were real. In addition, another set of samples continues to be intermittently sampled for later analysis. The results should give us information about the movement of trace elements under our conditions and allow us to make some tentative extrapolations to what we observe in actual Antarctic eucrite samples.

  11. Past and present stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, P. L.; Vieli, A.; Jamieson, S.; Bentley, M.; Hein, A.; Sugden, D.

    2016-12-01

    The contribution of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to sea-level rise since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), along with the processes controlling the past and ongoing dynamics of this sector, are poorly known. Of particular concern is the fact that significant portions of the present-day grounding line are unstably located on bathymetry that deepens towards the interior of the continent. We present new modelling results, constrained by field evidence relating to past ice extent and thickness along the Foundation Ice Stream and Thiel Trough, which suggest that the post-LGM sea-level contribution from this sector was modest, and that the grounding line is unlikely to have been located at the continental shelf break for a prolonged period during the last glacial cycle. Poorly-constrained ice shelf and ocean processes are found to play a crucial role in controlling the past configuration and stability of this sector of the ice sheet. In particular, we find that we cannot rule out a scenario in which the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream retreated behind present during deglaciation, and has since re-advanced. This work complements a number of recent studies, based on independent data sets, that explore the possibility that grounding line re-advance occurred within the Weddell Sea sector during the mid-to-late Holocene. If this hypothesis is correct, then current glacial isostatic adjustment models, and hence contemporary estimates of ice mass balance derived from GRACE data, will be significantly biased. Piecing together, and understanding, the reason for recent changes in ice dynamics is crucial for determining the contemporary stability of the Weddell Sea sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  12. A new bed elevation model for the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeofry, Hafeez; Ross, Neil; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Li, Jilu; Morlighem, Mathieu; Gogineni, Prasad; Siegert, Martin J.

    2018-04-01

    We present a new digital elevation model (DEM) of the bed, with a 1 km gridding, of the Weddell Sea (WS) sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The DEM has a total area of ˜ 125 000 km2 covering the Institute, Möller and Foundation ice streams, as well as the Bungenstock ice rise. In comparison with the Bedmap2 product, our DEM includes new aerogeophysical datasets acquired by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) through the NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) program in 2012, 2014 and 2016. We also improve bed elevation information from the single largest existing dataset in the region, collected by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Polarimetric radar Airborne Science Instrument (PASIN) in 2010-2011, from the relatively crude measurements determined in the field for quality control purposes used in Bedmap2. While the gross form of the new DEM is similar to Bedmap2, there are some notable differences. For example, the position and size of a deep subglacial trough (˜ 2 km below sea level) between the ice-sheet interior and the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream have been redefined. From the revised DEM, we are able to better derive the expected routing of basal water and, by comparison with that calculated using Bedmap2, we are able to assess regions where hydraulic flow is sensitive to change. Given the potential vulnerability of this sector to ocean-induced melting at the grounding line, especially in light of the improved definition of the Foundation Ice Stream trough, our revised DEM will be of value to ice-sheet modelling in efforts to quantify future glaciological changes in the region and, from this, the potential impact on global sea level. The new 1 km bed elevation product of the WS sector can be found at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488.

  13. Air-sea interaction regimes in the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and Antarctic marginal ice zone revealed by icebreaker measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lisan; Jin, Xiangze; Schulz, Eric W.; Josey, Simon A.

    2017-08-01

    This study analyzed shipboard air-sea measurements acquired by the icebreaker Aurora Australis during its off-winter operation in December 2010 to May 2012. Mean conditions over 7 months (October-April) were compiled from a total of 22 ship tracks. The icebreaker traversed the water between Hobart, Tasmania, and the Antarctic continent, providing valuable in situ insight into two dynamically important, yet poorly sampled, regimes: the sub-Antarctic Southern Ocean and the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the Indian Ocean sector. The transition from the open water to the ice-covered surface creates sharp changes in albedo, surface roughness, and air temperature, leading to consequential effects on air-sea variables and fluxes. Major effort was made to estimate the air-sea fluxes in the MIZ using the bulk flux algorithms that are tuned specifically for the sea-ice effects, while computing the fluxes over the sub-Antarctic section using the COARE3.0 algorithm. The study evidenced strong sea-ice modulations on winds, with the southerly airflow showing deceleration (convergence) in the MIZ and acceleration (divergence) when moving away from the MIZ. Marked seasonal variations in heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ice margin were noted. The monotonic increase in turbulent latent and sensible heat fluxes after summer turned the MIZ quickly into a heat loss regime, while at the same time the sub-Antarctic surface water continued to receive heat from the atmosphere. The drastic increase in turbulent heat loss in the MIZ contrasted sharply to the nonsignificant and seasonally invariant turbulent heat loss over the sub-Antarctic open water.Plain Language SummaryThe icebreaker Aurora Australis is a research and supply vessel that is regularly chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division during the southern summer to operate in waters between Hobart, Tasmania, and Antarctica. The vessel serves as the main lifeline to three permanent research stations on the

  14. 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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maris, M. N. A.; Van Wessem, J. M.; Van De Berg, W. J.; De Boer, B.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. 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...

  16. West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse – the fall and rise of a paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Vaughan, David G.

    2008-01-01

    It is now almost 30 years since John Mercer (1978) first presented the idea that climate change could eventually cause a rapid deglaciation, or “collapse”, of a large part of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), raising world sea levels by 5 metres and causing untold economic and social impacts. This idea, apparently simple and scientifically plausible, created a vision of the future, sufficiently alarming that it became a paradigm for a generation of researchers and provided an icon for the ...

  17. 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

  18. Small scale variability of snow density on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, N.; Leonard, K. C.; Paul, S.; Jacobi, H. W.; Proksch, M.; Lehning, M.

    2016-12-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions. For example, snow may smooth the ice surface when snow drift is occurring, while at the same time it may also generate roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. We present data from an in-situ measurement campaign in the Weddell Sea during two subsequent cruises of RV Polarstern. By comparing snow density from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, augmented by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2, highly resolved density profiles and surface topology were acquired at a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. Average snow densities are about 280 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 170 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters, which disappear over larger distances. A comparison with TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is related to deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density profiles. The fundamental relationship between density variations, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study are interpreted with respect to larger-scale ice-movement and the ice mass balance.

  19. Initiation and long-term instability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulick, Sean P S; Shevenell, Amelia E; Montelli, Aleksandr; Fernandez, Rodrigo; Smith, Catherine; Warny, Sophie; Bohaty, Steven M; Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Leventer, Amy; Frederick, Bruce; Blankenship, Donald D

    2017-12-13

    Antarctica's continental-scale ice sheets have evolved over the past 50 million years. However, the dearth of ice-proximal geological records limits our understanding of past East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) behaviour and thus our ability to evaluate its response to ongoing environmental change. The EAIS is marine-terminating and grounded below sea level within the Aurora subglacial basin, indicating that this catchment, which drains ice to the Sabrina Coast, may be sensitive to climate perturbations. Here we show, using marine geological and geophysical data from the continental shelf seaward of the Aurora subglacial basin, that marine-terminating glaciers existed at the Sabrina Coast by the early to middle Eocene epoch. This finding implies the existence of substantial ice volume in the Aurora subglacial basin before continental-scale ice sheets were established about 34 million years ago. Subsequently, ice advanced across and retreated from the Sabrina Coast continental shelf at least 11 times during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. Tunnel valleys associated with half of these glaciations indicate that a surface-meltwater-rich sub-polar glacial system existed under climate conditions similar to those anticipated with continued anthropogenic warming. Cooling since the late Miocene resulted in an expanded polar EAIS and a limited glacial response to Pliocene warmth in the Aurora subglacial basin catchment. Geological records from the Sabrina Coast shelf indicate that, in addition to ocean temperature, atmospheric temperature and surface-derived meltwater influenced East Antarctic ice mass balance under warmer-than-present climate conditions. Our results imply a dynamic EAIS response with continued anthropogenic warming and suggest that the EAIS contribution to future global sea-level projections may be under-estimated.

  20. Rapid changes in surface water carbonate chemistry during Antarctic sea ice melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth M.; Bakker, Dorothee C. E.; Venables, Hugh J.; Whitehouse, Michael J.; Korb, Rebecca E.; Watson, Andrew J.

    2010-11-01

    ABSTRACT 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 in the brine. Deficits in DIC up to 12 +/- 3 μmol kg-1 in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) were consistent with the release of DIC-poor brines to surface waters during sea ice melt. Biological utilization of carbon was the dominant processes and accounted for 41 +/- 1 μmol kg-1 of the summer DIC deficit. The data suggest that the combined effects of biological carbon uptake and the precipitation of carbonates created substantial undersaturation in fCO2 of 95 μatm in the MIZ during summer sea ice melt. Further work is required to improve the understanding of ikaite chemistry in Antarctic sea ice and its importance for the sea ice carbon pump.

  1. 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.

  2. Small scale variability of snow properties on Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Nander; Leonard, Katherine; Paul, Stephan; Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Proksch, Martin; Lehning, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions, as snow accumulation may for example increase the albedo. Snow is also able to smooth the ice surface, thereby reducing the surface roughness, while at the same time it may generate new roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. By comparing snow density and grain size from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, highly resolved density and grain size profiles were acquired during two subsequent cruises of the RV Polarstern in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, between June and October 2013. During the first cruise, SMP measurements were done along two approximately 40 m transects with a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. During the second cruise, one transect was made with approximately 7.5 m resolution over a distance of 500 m. Average snow densities are about 300 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 180 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters. On the first cruise, the measurements were accompanied by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2. The comparison with the TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is exhibiting similar spatial patterns as deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density or grain size profiles. The fundamental relationship between variations in snow properties, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study is interpreted with respect to large-scale ice movement and the mass balance.

  3. Archival processes of the water stable isotope signal in East Antarctic ice cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado, Mathieu; Landais, Amaelle; Picard, Ghislain; Münch, Thomas; Laepple, Thomas; Stenni, Barbara; Dreossi, Giuliano; Ekaykin, Alexey; Arnaud, Laurent; Genthon, Christophe; Touzeau, Alexandra; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Jouzel, Jean

    2018-05-01

    The oldest ice core records are obtained from the East Antarctic Plateau. Water isotopes are key proxies to reconstructing past climatic conditions over the ice sheet and at the evaporation source. The accuracy of climate reconstructions depends on knowledge of all processes affecting water vapour, precipitation and snow isotopic compositions. Fractionation processes are well understood and can be integrated in trajectory-based Rayleigh distillation and isotope-enabled climate models. However, a quantitative understanding of processes potentially altering snow isotopic composition after deposition is still missing. In low-accumulation sites, such as those found in East Antarctica, these poorly constrained processes are likely to play a significant role and limit the interpretability of an ice core's isotopic composition. By combining observations of isotopic composition in vapour, precipitation, surface snow and buried snow from Dome C, a deep ice core site on the East Antarctic Plateau, we found indications of a seasonal impact of metamorphism on the surface snow isotopic signal when compared to the initial precipitation. Particularly in summer, exchanges of water molecules between vapour and snow are driven by the diurnal sublimation-condensation cycles. Overall, we observe in between precipitation events modification of the surface snow isotopic composition. Using high-resolution water isotopic composition profiles from snow pits at five Antarctic sites with different accumulation rates, we identified common patterns which cannot be attributed to the seasonal variability of precipitation. These differences in the precipitation, surface snow and buried snow isotopic composition provide evidence of post-deposition processes affecting ice core records in low-accumulation areas.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dias da Cunha, K.; Medeiros, G.; Leal, M.A.; Lima, C.; Dalia, K.C.

    2009-01-01

    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)

  5. UAV-based Radar Sounding of Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuschen, Carl; Yan, Jie-Bang; Mahmood, Ali; Rodriguez-Morales, Fernando; Hale, Rick; Camps-Raga, Bruno; Metz, Lynsey; Wang, Zongbo; Paden, John; Bowman, Alec; Keshmiri, Shahriar; Gogineni, Sivaprasad

    2014-05-01

    We developed a compact radar for use on a small UAV to conduct measurements over the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. It operates at center frequencies of 14 and 35 MHz with bandwidths of 1 MHz and 4 MHz, respectively. The radar weighs about 2 kgs and is housed in a box with dimensions of 20.3 cm x 15.2 cm x 13.2 cm. It transmits a signal power of 100 W at a pulse repletion frequency of 10 kHz and requires average power of about 20 W. The antennas for operating the radar are integrated into the wings and airframe of a small UAV with a wingspan of 5.3 m. We selected the frequencies of 14 and 35 MHz based on previous successful soundings of temperate ice in Alaska with a 12.5 MHz impulse radar [Arcone, 2002] and temperate glaciers in Patagonia with a 30 MHz monocycle radar [Blindow et al., 2012]. We developed the radar-equipped UAV to perform surveys over a 2-D grid, which allows us to synthesize a large two-dimensional aperture and obtain fine resolution in both the along- and cross-track directions. Low-frequency, high-sensitivity radars with 2-D aperture synthesis capability are needed to overcome the surface and volume scatter that masks weak echoes from the ice-bed interface of fast-flowing glaciers. We collected data with the radar-equipped UAV on sub-glacial ice near Lake Whillans at both 14 and 35 MHz. We acquired data to evaluate the concept of 2-D aperture synthesis and successfully demonstrated the first successful sounding of ice with a radar on an UAV. We are planning to build multiple radar-equipped UAVs for collecting fine-resolution data near the grounding lines of fast-flowing glaciers. In this presentation we will provide a brief overview of the radar and UAV, as well as present results obtained at both 14 and 35 MHz. Arcone, S. 2002. Airborne-radar stratigraphy and electrical structure of temperate firn: Bagley Ice Field, Alaska, U.S.A. Journal of Glaciology, 48, 317-334. Blindow, N., C. Salat, and G. Casassa. 2012. Airborne GPR sounding of

  6. 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.

  7. Boundary layer new particle formation over East Antarctic sea ice – possible Hg-driven nucleation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Humphries

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol observations above the Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice are scarce. Measurements of aerosols and atmospheric composition were made in East Antarctic pack ice on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis during the spring of 2012. One particle formation event was observed during the 32 days of observations. This event occurred on the only day to exhibit extended periods of global irradiance in excess of 600 W m−2. Within the single air mass influencing the measurements, number concentrations of particles larger than 3 nm (CN3 reached almost 7700 cm−3 within a few hours of clouds clearing, and grew at rates of 5.6 nm h−1. Formation rates of 3 nm particles were in the range of those measured at other Antarctic locations at 0.2–1.1 ± 0.1 cm−3 s−1. Our investigations into the nucleation chemistry found that there were insufficient precursor concentrations for known halogen or organic chemistry to explain the nucleation event. Modelling studies utilising known sulfuric acid nucleation schemes could not simultaneously reproduce both particle formation or growth rates. Surprising correlations with total gaseous mercury (TGM were found that, together with other data, suggest a mercury-driven photochemical nucleation mechanism may be responsible for aerosol nucleation. Given the very low vapour pressures of the mercury species involved, this nucleation chemistry is likely only possible where pre-existing aerosol concentrations are low and both TGM concentrations and solar radiation levels are relatively high (∼ 1.5 ng m−3 and ≥ 600 W m−2, respectively, such as those observed in the Antarctic sea ice boundary layer in this study or in the global free troposphere, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

  8. Dating of 30m ice cores drilled by Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition and environmental change study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoyama, H.; Suzuki, T.; Fukui, K.; Ohno, H.; Hoshina, Y.; Hirabayashi, M.; Fujita, S.

    2017-12-01

    1. Introduction It is possible to reveal the past climate and environmental change from the ice core drilled in polar ice sheet and glaciers. The 54th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition conducted several shallow core drillings up to 30 m depth in the inland and coastal areas of the East Antarctic ice sheet. Ice core sample was cut out at a thickness of about 5 cm in the cold room of the National Institute of Polar Research, and analyzed ion, water isotope, dust and so one. We also conducted dielectric profile measurement (DEP measurement). The age as a key layer of large-scale volcanic explosion was based on Sigl et al. (Nature Climate Change, 2014). 2. Inland ice core Ice cores were collected at the NDF site (77°47'14"S, 39°03'34"E, 3754 m.a.s.l.) and S80 site (80°00'00"S, 40°30'04"E, 3622 m.a.s.l.). Dating of ice core was done as follows. Calculate water equivalent from core density. Accumulate water equivalent from the surface. Approximate the relation of depth - cumulative water equivalent by a quartic equation. We determined the key layer with nssSO42 - peak corresponding to several large volcanic explosions. The accumulation rate was kept constant between the key layers. As a result, NDF was estimated to be around 1360 AD and S80 was estimated to be around 1400 AD in the deepest ice core. 3. Coastal ice core An ice core was collected at coastal H15 sites (69°04'10"S, 40°44'51"E, 1030 m.a.s.l.). Dating of ice core was done as follows. Calculate water equivalent from ice core density. Accumulate water equivalent from the surface. Approximate the relation of depth - cumulative water equivalent by a quartic equation. Basically we decided to summer (December) and winter (June) due to the seasonal change of the water isotope (δD or δ18O). In addition to the seasonal change of isotope, confirm the following. Maximum of SO42- / Na +, which is earlier in time than the maximum of water isotope. Maximum of MSA at about the same time as the maximum of the

  9. Regional genetic diversity patterns in Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antartica Desv.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Wouw, M.J.; Van Dijk, P.J.; Huiskes, A.H.L.

    2008-01-01

    Aim To determine patterns in diversity of a major Antarctic plant species, including relationships of Antarctic populations with those outside the Antarctic zone. Location Antarctic Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica, sub-Antarctic islands, Falkland Islands and South America. Methods Amplified fragment

  10. Snow depth retrieval from L-band satellite measurements on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maaß, N.; Kaleschke, L.; Wever, N.; Lehning, M.; Nicolaus, M.; Rossmann, H. L.

    2017-12-01

    The passive microwave mission SMOS provides daily coverage of the polar regions and measures at a low frequency of 1.4 GHz (L-band). SMOS observations have been used to operationally retrieve sea ice thickness up to 1 m and to estimate snow depth in the Arctic for thicker ice. Here, we present how SMOS-retrieved snow depths compare with airborne measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge mission (OIB) and with AMSR-2 satellite retrievals at higher frequencies, and we show first applications to Antarctic sea ice. In previous studies, SMOS and OIB snow depths showed good agreement on spatial scales from 50 to 1000 km for some days and disagreement for other days. Here, we present a more comprehensive comparison of OIB and SMOS snow depths in the Arctic for 2011 to 2015. We find that the SMOS retrieval works best for cold conditions and depends on auxiliary information on ice surface temperature, here provided by MODIS thermal imagery satellite data. However, comparing SMOS and OIB snow depths is difficult because of the different spatial resolutions (SMOS: 40 km, OIB: 40 m). Spatial variability within the SMOS footprint can lead to different snow conditions as seen from SMOS and OIB. Ideally the comparison is made for uniform conditions: Low lead and open water fraction, low spatial and temporal variability of ice surface temperature, no mixture of multi- and first-year ice. Under these conditions and cold temperatures (surface temperatures below -25°C), correlation coefficients between SMOS and OIB snow depths increase from 0.3 to 0.6. A finding from the comparison with AMSR-2 snow depths is that the SMOS-based maps depend less on the age of the sea ice than the maps derived from higher frequencies. Additionally, we show first results of SMOS snow depths for Antarctic sea ice. SMOS observations are compared to measurements of autonomous snow buoys drifting in the Weddell Sea since 2014. For a better comparability of these point measurements with SMOS data, we use

  11. Combined ice core and climate-model evidence for the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during Marine Isotope Stage 5e.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steig, Eric J.; Huybers, Kathleen; Singh, Hansi A.; Steiger, Nathan J.; Frierson, Dargan M. W.; Popp, Trevor; White, James W. C.

    2015-04-01

    It has been speculated that collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet explains the very high eustatic sea level rise during the last interglacial period, marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e, but the evidence remains equivocal. Changes in atmospheric circulation resulting from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would have significant regional impacts that should be detectable in ice core records. We conducted simulations using general circulation models (GCMs) at varying levels of complexity: a gray-radiation aquaplanet moist GCM (GRaM), the slab ocean version of GFDL-AM2 (also as an aquaplanet), and the fully-coupled version of NCAR's CESM with realistic topography. In all the experiments, decreased elevation from the removal of the WAIS leads to greater cyclonic circulation over the West Antarctic region. This creates increased advection of relatively warm marine air from the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas towards the South Pole, and increased cold-air advection from the East Antarctic plateau towards the Ross Sea and coastal Marie Byrd Land. The result is anomalous warming in some areas of the East Antarctic interior, and significant cooling in Marie Byrd Land. Comparison of ice core records shows good agreement with the model predictions. In particular, isotope-paleotemperature records from ice cores in East Antarctica warmed more between the previous glacial period (MIS 6) and MIS 5e than coastal Marie Byrd Land. These results add substantial support to other evidence for WAIS collapse during the last interglacial period.

  12. Intercomparison of Antarctic ice-shelf, ocean, and sea-ice interactions simulated by MetROMS-iceshelf and FESOM 1.4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naughten, Kaitlin A.; Meissner, Katrin J.; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin K.; England, Matthew H.; Timmermann, Ralph; Hellmer, Hartmut H.; Hattermann, Tore; Debernard, Jens B.

    2018-04-01

    An increasing number of Southern Ocean models now include Antarctic ice-shelf cavities, and simulate thermodynamics at the ice-shelf/ocean interface. This adds another level of complexity to Southern Ocean simulations, as ice shelves interact directly with the ocean and indirectly with sea ice. Here, we present the first model intercomparison and evaluation of present-day ocean/sea-ice/ice-shelf interactions, as simulated by two models: a circumpolar Antarctic configuration of MetROMS (ROMS: Regional Ocean Modelling System coupled to CICE: Community Ice CodE) and the global model FESOM (Finite Element Sea-ice Ocean Model), where the latter is run at two different levels of horizontal resolution. From a circumpolar Antarctic perspective, we compare and evaluate simulated ice-shelf basal melting and sub-ice-shelf circulation, as well as sea-ice properties and Southern Ocean water mass characteristics as they influence the sub-ice-shelf processes. Despite their differing numerical methods, the two models produce broadly similar results and share similar biases in many cases. Both models reproduce many key features of observations but struggle to reproduce others, such as the high melt rates observed in the small warm-cavity ice shelves of the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. Several differences in model design show a particular influence on the simulations. For example, FESOM's greater topographic smoothing can alter the geometry of some ice-shelf cavities enough to affect their melt rates; this improves at higher resolution, since less smoothing is required. In the interior Southern Ocean, the vertical coordinate system affects the degree of water mass erosion due to spurious diapycnal mixing, with MetROMS' terrain-following coordinate leading to more erosion than FESOM's z coordinate. Finally, increased horizontal resolution in FESOM leads to higher basal melt rates for small ice shelves, through a combination of stronger circulation and small-scale intrusions of

  13. Response of Antarctic sea surface temperature and sea ice to ozone depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, D.; Gnanadesikan, A.; Kostov, Y.; Marshall, J.; Seviour, W.; Waugh, D.

    2017-12-01

    The influence of the Antarctic ozone hole extends all the way from the stratosphere through the troposphere down to the surface, with clear signatures on surface winds, and SST during summer. In this talk we discuss the impact of these changes on the ocean circulation and sea ice state. We are notably motivated by the observed cooling of the surface Southern Ocean and associated increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since the 1970s. These trends are not reproduced by CMIP5 climate models, and the underlying mechanism at work in nature and the models remain unexplained. Did the ozone hole contribute to the observed trends?Here, we review recent advances toward answering these issues using "abrupt ozone depletion" experiments. The ocean and sea ice response is rather complex, comprising two timescales: a fast ( 1-2y) cooling of the surface ocean and sea ice cover increase, followed by a slower warming trend, which, depending on models, flip the sign of the SST and sea ice responses on decadal timescale. Although the basic mechanism seems robust, comparison across climate models reveal large uncertainties in the timescales and amplitude of the response to the extent that even the sign of the ocean and sea ice response to ozone hole and recovery remains unconstrained. After briefly describing the dynamics and thermodynamics behind the two-timescale response, we will discuss the main sources of uncertainties in the modeled response, namely cloud effects and air-sea heat exchanges, surface wind stress response and ocean eddy transports. Finally, we will consider the implications of our results on the ability of coupled climate models to reproduce observed Southern Ocean changes.

  14. Impact of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet interactions on climate sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goelzer, H.; Huybrechts, P. [Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Earth System Sciences and Departement Geografie, Brussels (Belgium); Loutre, M.F.; Goosse, H.; Fichefet, T. [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Georges Lemaitre Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), Earth and Life Institute, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Mouchet, A. [Universite de Liege, Laboratoire de Physique Atmospherique et Planetaire, Liege (Belgium)

    2011-09-15

    We use the Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM to show the effect of coupling interactive ice sheets on the climate sensitivity of the model on a millennial time scale. We compare the response to a 2 x CO{sub 2} warming scenario between fully coupled model versions including interactive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet models and model versions with fixed ice sheets. For this purpose an ensemble of different parameter sets have been defined for LOVECLIM, covering a wide range of the model's sensitivity to greenhouse warming, while still simulating the present-day climate and the climate evolution over the last millennium within observational uncertainties. Additional freshwater fluxes from the melting ice sheets have a mitigating effect on the model's temperature response, leading to generally lower climate sensitivities of the fully coupled model versions. The mitigation is effectuated by changes in heat exchange within the ocean and at the sea-air interface, driven by freshening of the surface ocean and amplified by sea-ice-related feedbacks. The strength of the effect depends on the response of the ice sheets to the warming and on the model's climate sensitivity itself. The effect is relatively strong in model versions with higher climate sensitivity due to the relatively large polar amplification of LOVECLIM. With the ensemble approach in this study we cover a wide range of possible model responses. (orig.)

  15. Large-scale dynamical influence of a gravity wave generated over the Antarctic Peninsula – regional modelling and budget analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOEL Arnault

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The case study of a mountain wave triggered by the Antarctic Peninsula on 6 October 2005, which has already been documented in the literature, is chosen here to quantify the associated gravity wave forcing on the large-scale flow, with a budget analysis of the horizontal wind components and horizontal kinetic energy. In particular, a numerical simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model is compared to a control simulation with flat orography to separate the contribution of the mountain wave from that of other synoptic processes of non-orographic origin. The so-called differential budgets of horizontal wind components and horizontal kinetic energy (after subtracting the results from the simulation without orography are then averaged horizontally and vertically in the inner domain of the simulation to quantify the mountain wave dynamical influence at this scale. This allows for a quantitative analysis of the simulated mountain wave's dynamical influence, including the orographically induced pressure drag, the counterbalancing wave-induced vertical transport of momentum from the flow aloft, the momentum and energy exchanges with the outer flow at the lateral and upper boundaries, the effect of turbulent mixing, the dynamics associated with geostrophic re-adjustment of the inner flow, the deceleration of the inner flow, the secondary generation of an inertia–gravity wave and the so-called baroclinic conversion of energy between potential energy and kinetic energy.

  16. Bare ice fields developed in the inland part of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuhei Takahashi

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available Observations of a bare ice field were carried out at Seal Rock in the Sor Rondane area, East Antarctica. A large sublimation rate, 200 to 280mm/a, was observed on the bare ice field. Air temperature on the bare ice was about 1℃ higher than that on the snow surface. The large sublimation rate was explained from the low albedo of bare ice; its value was roughly estimated from heat budget considerations. The bare ice fields were classified into 4 types according to origin.

  17. Effects of sea-ice extent and krill or salp dominance on the Antarctic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, V.; Siegel, V.; Holm-Hansen, O.; Hewitt, R.; Fraser, W.; Trivelpiece, W.; Trivelpiece, S.

    1997-06-01

    Krill (Euphausia superba) provide a direct link between primary producers and higher trophic levels in the Antarctic marine food web. The pelagic tunicate Salpa thompsoni can also be important during spring and summer through the formation of extensive and dense blooms. Although salps are not a major dietary item for Antarctic vertebrate predators,, their blooms can affect adult krill reproduction and survival of krill larvae. Here we provide data from 1995 and 1996 that support hypothesized relationships between krill, salps and region-wide sea-ice conditions,. We have assessed salp consumption as a proportion of net primary production, and found correlations between herbivore densities and integrated chlorophyll-a that indicate that there is a degree of competition between krill and salps. Our analysis of the relationship between annual sea-ice cover and a longer time series of air temperature measurements, indicates a decreased frequency of winters with extensive sea-ice development over the last five decades. Our data suggest that decreased krill availability may affect the levels of their vertebrate predators. Regional warming and reduced krill abundance therefore affect the marine food web and krill resource management.

  18. 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 (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, proximal BIT-152 provides one such link. The New Mexico Geochronology Research Lab (NMGRL) has two new multi-collector ARGUS VI mass spectrometers that can provide single crystal laser fusion ages that are approximately an order of magnitude more precise than the previous determinations. With these advancements in analytical technology, we hope to improve precision on 'pinning points' in the deep ice cores where annual layer counting becomes less precise.

  19. Albedo of the ice-covered Weddell and Bellingshausen Sea

    OpenAIRE

    A. I. Weiss; J. C. King; T. A. Lachlan-Cope; R. S. Ladkin

    2011-01-01

    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 Sea 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 albed...

  20. A new bed elevation model for the Weddell Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Jeofry

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We present a new digital elevation model (DEM of the bed, with a 1 km gridding, of the Weddell Sea (WS sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS. The DEM has a total area of ∼ 125 000 km2 covering the Institute, Möller and Foundation ice streams, as well as the Bungenstock ice rise. In comparison with the Bedmap2 product, our DEM includes new aerogeophysical datasets acquired by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS through the NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB program in 2012, 2014 and 2016. We also improve bed elevation information from the single largest existing dataset in the region, collected by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS Polarimetric radar Airborne Science Instrument (PASIN in 2010–2011, from the relatively crude measurements determined in the field for quality control purposes used in Bedmap2. While the gross form of the new DEM is similar to Bedmap2, there are some notable differences. For example, the position and size of a deep subglacial trough (∼ 2 km below sea level between the ice-sheet interior and the grounding line of the Foundation Ice Stream have been redefined. From the revised DEM, we are able to better derive the expected routing of basal water and, by comparison with that calculated using Bedmap2, we are able to assess regions where hydraulic flow is sensitive to change. Given the potential vulnerability of this sector to ocean-induced melting at the grounding line, especially in light of the improved definition of the Foundation Ice Stream trough, our revised DEM will be of value to ice-sheet modelling in efforts to quantify future glaciological changes in the region and, from this, the potential impact on global sea level. The new 1 km bed elevation product of the WS sector can be found at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1035488.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Edward; Navarro, Francisco J; Pattyn, Frank; Domingues, Catia M; Fettweis, Xavier; Ivins, Erik R; Nicholls, Robert J; Ritz, Catherine; Smith, Ben; Tulaczyk, Slawek; Whitehouse, Pippa L; Zwally, H Jay

    2013-06-06

    Since the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, new observations of ice-sheet mass balance and improved computer simulations of ice-sheet response to continuing climate change have been published. Whereas Greenland is losing ice mass at an increasing pace, current Antarctic ice loss is likely to be less than some recently published estimates. It remains unclear whether East Antarctica has been gaining or losing ice mass over the past 20 years, and uncertainties in ice-mass change for West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula remain large. We discuss the past six years of progress and examine the key problems that remain.

  4. Proxies and measurement techinques for mineral dust in antarctic ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruth..[], Urs; Bigler, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    analysis), elemental analysis (inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy at pH 1 and after full acid digestion), and water-insoluble elemental analysis (proton induced X-ray emission). Antarctic ice core samples covering the last deglaciation from the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and the EPICA Dronning Maud Land......-MS measurements depends on the digestion method and is different for different elements and during different climatic periods. EDC and EDML samples have similar dust composition, which suggests a common dust source or a common mixture of sources for the two sites. The analyzed samples further reveal a change...

  5. The impact of dynamic topography on the bedrock elevation and volume of the Pliocene Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, Jacqueline; Pollard, David; Mitrovica, Jerry X.; Moucha, Robert; Forte, Alessandro M.; DeConto, Robert M.

    2015-04-01

    Reconstructions of the Antarctic ice sheet over long timescales (i.e. Myrs) require estimates of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models have accounted, with varying levels of sophistication, for changes in the bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), but they have neglected other processes that may perturb topography. One notable example is dynamic topography, the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow within the mantle. Numerically predicted changes in dynamic topography have been used to correct paleo shorelines for this departure from eustasy, but the effect of such changes on ice sheet stability is unknown. In this study we use numerical predictions of time-varying dynamic topography to reconstruct bedrock elevation below the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid Pliocene warm period (~3 Ma). Moreover, we couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet since the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates significant uplift in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM) and the adjacent Wilkes basin. This predicted uplift, which is at the lower end of geological inferences of uplift of the TAM, implies a lower elevation of the basin in the Pliocene. Relative to simulations that do not include dynamic topography, the lower elevation leads to a smaller Antarctic Ice Sheet volume and a more significant retreat of the grounding line in the Wilkes basin, both of which are consistent with offshore sediment core data. We conclude that reconstructions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the mid-Pliocene warm period should be based on bedrock elevation models that include the impact of both GIA and dynamic topography.

  6. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow Depth on Antarctic Sea Ice: An Inter-Comparison of Two Empirical Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Kern

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a key role for sea ice physical processes and complicates retrieval of sea ice thickness using altimetry. Current methods of snow depth retrieval are based on satellite microwave radiometry, which perform best for dry, homogeneous snow packs on level sea ice. We introduce an alternative approach based on in-situ measurements of total (sea ice plus snow freeboard and snow depth, which we use to compute snow depth on sea ice from Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat total freeboard observations. We compare ICESat snow depth for early winter and spring of the years 2004 through 2006 with the Advanced Scanning Microwave Radiometer aboard EOS (AMSR-E snow depth product. We find ICESat snow depths agree more closely with ship-based visual and air-borne snow radar observations than AMSR-E snow depths. We obtain average modal and mean ICESat snow depths, which exceed AMSR-E snow depths by 5–10 cm in winter and 10–15 cm in spring. We observe an increase in ICESat snow depth from winter to spring for most Antarctic regions in accordance with ground-based observations, in contrast to AMSR-E snow depths, which we find to stay constant or to decrease. We suggest satellite laser altimetry as an alternative method to derive snow depth on Antarctic sea ice, which is independent of snow physical properties.

  7. Marine and terrestrial factors affecting Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae chick growth and recruitment off the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Erik W.; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Patterson, Donna L.; Ribic, Christine A.; Fraser, William R.

    2011-01-01

    An individual-based bioenergetics model that simulates the growth of an Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliaechick from hatching to fledging was used to assess marine and terrestrial factors that affect chick growth and fledging mass off the western Antarctic Peninsula. Simulations considered the effects on Adélie penguin fledging mass of (1) modification of chick diet through the addition of Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum to an all-Antarctic krillEuphausia superba diet, (2) reduction of provisioning rate which may occur as a result of an environmental stress such as reduced prey availability, and (3) increased thermoregulatory costs due to wetting of chicks which may result from increased precipitation or snow-melt in colonies. Addition of 17% Antarctic silverfish of Age-Class 3 yr (AC3) to a penguin chick diet composed of Antarctic krill increased chick fledging mass by 5%. Environmental stress that results in >4% reduction in provisioning rate or wetting of just 10% of the chick’s surface area decreased fledging mass enough to reduce the chick’s probability of successful recruitment. The negative effects of reduced provisioning and wetting on chick growth can be compensated for by inclusion of Antarctic silverfish of AC3 and older in the chick diet. Results provide insight into climate-driven processes that influence chick growth and highlight a need for field research designed to investigate factors that determine the availability of AC3 and older Antarctic silverfish to foraging Adélie penguins and the influence of snowfall on chick wetting, thermoregulation and adult provisioning rate.

  8. The paradox of a long grounding during West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in Ross Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Philip J; Krogmeier, Benjamin J; Bart, Manon P; Tulaczyk, Slawek

    2017-04-28

    Marine geological data show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) advanced to the eastern Ross Sea shelf edge during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and eventually retreated ~1000 km to the current grounding-line position on the inner shelf. During the early deglacial, the WAIS deposited a voluminous stack of overlapping grounding zone wedges (GZWs) on the outer shelf of the Whales Deep Basin. The large sediment volume of the GZW cluster suggests that the grounding-line position of the paleo-Bindschadler Ice Stream was relatively stationary for a significant time interval. We used an upper bound estimate of paleo-sediment flux to investigate the lower bound duration over which the ice stream would have deposited sediment to account for the GZW volume. Our calculations show that the cluster represents more than three millennia of ice-stream sedimentation. This long duration grounding was probably facilitated by rapid GZW growth. The subsequent punctuated large-distance (~200 km) grounding-line retreat may have been a highly non-linear ice sheet response to relatively continuous external forcing such as gradual climate warming or sea-level rise. These findings indicate that reliable predictions of future WAIS retreat may require incorporation of realistic calculations of sediment erosion, transport and deposition.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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/m2, 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/m2. 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

  11. 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

  12. Regionally Optimized GRACE Processing and Inter-comparison on the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajerani, Y.; Velicogna, I.; Sutterley, T. C.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, with a sea level contribution that changed from 0.08mm/yr from 1992 to 2001 to 0.4mm/yr from 2002 to 2011. While most of this contribution comes from West Antarctica, Totten Glacier has the largest discharge of ice in East Antarctica, with a sea level rise potential of 3.9 m. Furthermore, the drainage basin of Totten Glacier, along the neighboring Moscow University Glacier are below sea level, extending hundreds of kilometers inland. Therefore, obtaining regional estimates of both western and eastern Antarctic basins are of critical importance. The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite has been providing mass balance time-series from geoid changes since 2002. Several mascon and harmonic GRACE solutions are available from different processing centers. Here, we evaluate the various solutions across the ice sheet and a new set of regionally optimized mascons to study the mass balance of Totten and Moscow University glaciers. We obtain a trend of -16.5±4.1Gt/yr with an acceleration of -2.0±1.8Gt/yr2 for the two glaciers for the period April 2002 to December 2016 using the Ivins et al (2013) GIA model (errors include leakage, GIA, and regression errors). We compare the results with the Mass Budget Method that combines ice discharge (D) and surface mass balance (SMB) from two models: 1) RACMO2.3, and 2) MAR3.6.4. MBM/RACMO2.3 shows the best agreement with the GRACE estimates. Within the common period from April 2002 to December 2015, the MBM/RACMO2.3 and MAR3.6.4 results are -15.6±1.8Gt/yr and -6.7±1.5Gt/yr respectively, while the GRACE time-series has a trend of -14.8±2.7 Gt/yr. We extend the study to the Getz Ice Shelf, the third largest ice shelf in West Antarctica after Ronne and Ross West ice shelves. We compare our gravity-derived mass estimates, the mass budget estimates, and the volume changes from altimetry data to compare the estimates and obtain a multi-sensor assessment

  13. 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.

  14. State of knowledge of the Corallinales (Rhodophyta of Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Laura Mendoza

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Corallinales (Rhodophyta in Tierra del Fuego are abundant, with 9 genera, 17 species and 1 subspecies. Pseudolithophyllum with 1 species (P. fueguianum, which represents 35.8% of the coralline algae, is dominant. The genera Parahydrolithon with 4 species (P. consociatum, P. discoideum, P. falklandicum, P. subantarcticum and 20%, Lithothamnion with 3 species (Lt. heterocladum, Lt. rugosum, Lt. granuliferum and 17.5%, and Synarthrophyton with 3 species (S. neglectum, S. patena, S. schmitzii and 12% share are abundant. Clathromorphum with 4 species (Cl. annulatum, Cl. lemoineanum, Cl. obtectulum, Cl. Variabile and a share of 5.8%, and Mesophyllum with 1 species (M. fueguianum and a share of 4.9% are frequent. The remaining three genera, Bossiella with 1 subspecies (B. orbigniana ssp. orbigniana, Corallina with 2 species (C. elongata, C. officinalis (1.1%, and Titanoderna with 1 species (T. conspectum (1% are scarce. C. officinalis is a cosmopolitan, and the other geniculate corallines are found in both hemispheres, whereas the crustose coralline occur only in the southern hemisphere. The characteristic vertical distribution of the species in the intertidal and subtidal zone of Tierra del Fuego is given. The Corallinales in the Antarctic Region are poorly known and need further investigation.

  15. 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.

  16. Impact of increasing antarctic glacial freshwater release on regional sea-ice cover in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Nacho; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Le Sommer, Julien; Goosse, Hugues; Mathiot, Pierre; Durand, Gael

    2018-01-01

    The sensitivity of Antarctic sea-ice to increasing glacial freshwater release into the Southern Ocean is studied in a series of 31-year ocean/sea-ice/iceberg model simulations. Glaciological estimates of ice-shelf melting and iceberg calving are used to better constrain the spatial distribution and magnitude of freshwater forcing around Antarctica. Two scenarios of glacial freshwater forcing have been designed to account for a decadal perturbation in glacial freshwater release to the Southern Ocean. For the first time, this perturbation explicitly takes into consideration the spatial distribution of changes in the volume of Antarctic ice shelves, which is found to be a key component of changes in freshwater release. In addition, glacial freshwater-induced changes in sea ice are compared to typical changes induced by the decadal evolution of atmospheric states. Our results show that, in general, the increase in glacial freshwater release increases Antarctic sea ice extent. But the response is opposite in some regions like the coastal Amundsen Sea, implying that distinct physical mechanisms are involved in the response. We also show that changes in freshwater forcing may induce large changes in sea-ice thickness, explaining about one half of the total change due to the combination of atmospheric and freshwater changes. The regional contrasts in our results suggest a need for improving the representation of freshwater sources and their evolution in climate models.

  17. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass balance products from satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Horvath, Alexander; Forsberg, René; Meister, Rakia; Barletta, Valentina R.; Shepherd, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Because of their important role in the Earth's climate system, ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) has identified both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) as Essential Climate Variables (ECV). Since respondents of a user survey indicated that the ice sheet mass balance is one of the most important ECV data products needed to better understand climate change, the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project provide Gravimetric Mass Balance (GMB) products based on satellite gravimetry data. The GMB products are derived from GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) monthly solutions of release ITSG-Grace2016 produced at TU Graz. GMB basin products (i.e. time series of monthly mass changes for the entire ice sheets and selected drainage basins) and GMB gridded products (e.g. mass balance estimates with a formal resolution of about 50km, covering the entire ice sheets) are generated for the period from 2002 until present. The first GMB product was released in mid 2016. Here we present an extended and updated version of the ESA CCI GMB products, which are freely available through data portals hosted by the projects (https://data1.geo.tu-dresden.de/ais_gmb, http://products.esa-icesheets-cci.org/products/downloadlist/GMB). Since the initial product release, the applied processing strategies have been improved in order to further reduce GRACE errors and to enhance the separation of signals super-imposed to the ice mass changes. While a regional integration approach is used by the AIS_cci project, the GMB products of the GIS_cci project are derived using a point mass inversion. The differences between both approaches are investigated through the example of the GIS, where an alternative GMB product was generated using the regional integration approach implemented by the AIS_cci. Finally, we present the latest mass balance estimates for both ice sheets as well as their corresponding contributions to global sea level rise.

  18. Spatial variability and trends of seasonal snowmelt processes over Antarctic sea ice observed by satellite scatterometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, S.; Haas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Snow is one of the key drivers determining the seasonal energy and mass budgets of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. Here, we analyze radar backscatter time series from the European Remote Sensing Satellites (ERS)-1 and-2 scatterometers, from the Quick Scatterometer (QSCAT), and from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) in order to observe the regional and inter-annual variability of Antarctic snowmelt processes from 1992 to 2014. On perennial ice, seasonal backscatter changes show two different snowmelt stages: A weak backscatter rise indicating the initial warming and metamorphosis of the snowpack (pre-melt), followed by a rapid rise indicating the onset of internal snowmelt and thaw-freeze cycles (snowmelt). In contrast, similar seasonal backscatter cycles are absent on seasonal ice, preventing the periodic retrieval of spring/summer transitions. This may be due to the dominance of ice bottom melt over snowmelt, leading to flooding and ice disintegration before strong snowmelt sets in. Resulting snowmelt onset dates on perennial sea ice show the expected latitudinal gradient from early melt onsets (mid-November) in the northern Weddell Sea towards late (end-December) or even absent snowmelt conditions further south. This result is likely related to seasonal variations in solar shortwave radiation (absorption). In addition, observations with different microwave frequencies allow to detect changing snow properties at different depths. We show that short wavelengths of passive microwave observations indicate earlier pre-melt and snowmelt onset dates than longer wavelength scatterometer observations, in response to earlier warming of upper snow layers compared to lower snow layers. Similarly, pre-melt and snowmelt onset dates retrieved from Ku-Band radars were earlier by an average of 11 and 23 days, respectively, than those retrieved from C-Band. This time difference was used to correct melt onset dates retrieved from Ku-Band to compile a consistent time series from

  19. Modelling present-day basal melt rates for Antarctic ice shelves using a parametrization of buoyant meltwater plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazeroms, Werner M. J.; Jenkins, Adrian; Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.

    2018-01-01

    Basal melting below ice shelves is a major factor in mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which can contribute significantly to possible future sea-level rise. Therefore, it is important to have an adequate description of the basal melt rates for use in ice-dynamical models. Most current ice models use rather simple parametrizations based on the local balance of heat between ice and ocean. In this work, however, we use a recently derived parametrization of the melt rates based on a buoyant meltwater plume travelling upward beneath an ice shelf. This plume parametrization combines a non-linear ocean temperature sensitivity with an inherent geometry dependence, which is mainly described by the grounding-line depth and the local slope of the ice-shelf base. For the first time, this type of parametrization is evaluated on a two-dimensional grid covering the entire Antarctic continent. In order to apply the essentially one-dimensional parametrization to realistic ice-shelf geometries, we present an algorithm that determines effective values for the grounding-line depth and basal slope in any point beneath an ice shelf. Furthermore, since detailed knowledge of temperatures and circulation patterns in the ice-shelf cavities is sparse or absent, we construct an effective ocean temperature field from observational data with the purpose of matching (area-averaged) melt rates from the model with observed present-day melt rates. Our results qualitatively replicate large-scale observed features in basal melt rates around Antarctica, not only in terms of average values, but also in terms of the spatial pattern, with high melt rates typically occurring near the grounding line. The plume parametrization and the effective temperature field presented here are therefore promising tools for future simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet requiring a more realistic oceanic forcing.

  20. Asynchronous behavior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and local glaciers during and since Termination 1, Salmon Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret S.; Hall, Brenda L.; Denton, George H.

    2018-01-01

    The stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet under future warming remains an open question with broad implications for sea-level prediction and adaptation. In particular, knowledge of whether the ice sheet has the capacity for rapid drawdown or collapse, or whether it can remain stable during periods of warming, is essential for predicting its future behavior. Here we use 55 radiocarbon dates, coupled with geomorphologic mapping, to reconstruct the timing of changes in ice extent and elevation during the last ice-age termination in Salmon Valley, adjacent to McMurdo Sound in the western Ross Sea Embayment. Results indicate that a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment achieved its maximum elevation and extent along the headlands of Salmon Valley at ∼18,000 yr BP, during a period of increasing temperatures and accumulation over the Antarctic continent. This ice remained at or near its maximum on the headlands near the valley mouth until after ∼14,000 yr BP. Removal of grounded Ross Sea ice from Salmon Valley was complete shortly after ∼7900 yr BP, indicating that the grounding line had retreated through southern McMurdo Sound by that time. We suggest the primary driver of Ross Sea ice removal from McMurdo Sound was marine-based, either through basal melting or calving due to sea-level rise. When combined with regional data, the Salmon Valley record suggests that this sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet did not contribute in a significant way to deglacial meltwater pulses, such as meltwater pulse 1a. In contrast to the Ross Sea ice, our work also shows that local, independent alpine glaciers in Salmon Valley have advanced through the Holocene. Land-terminating glaciers such as these elsewhere in the region show a similar pattern, and may reflect the continued influence of increased accumulation following the termination of the last ice age.

  1. The Global and Local Climatic Response to the Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huybers, K. M.; Singh, H.; Steiger, N. J.; Frierson, D. M.; Steig, E. J.; Bitz, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Glaciologists have suggested that a relatively small external forcing may compromise the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Further, there is compelling physical evidence that the WAIS has collapsed in the past, at times when the mean global temperature was only a few degrees warmer than it is today. In addition to a rapid increase in global sea level, the collapse of the WAIS could also affect the global circulation of the atmosphere. Ice sheets are some of the largest topographic features on Earth, causing large regional anomalies in albedo and radiative balance. Our work uses idealized aquaplanet models in tandem with a fully coupled ocean/atmosphere/sea-ice model (CCSM4) to compare the atmospheric, radiative, and oceanic response to a complete loss of the WAIS. Initial findings indicate that the loss of the WAIS leads to a weakening and equator-ward shift of the zonal winds, a development of strong zonal asymmetries in the meridional wind, and a northward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. We aim to characterize how the local and global climate is affected by the presence of the WAIS, and how changes in the distribution of Southern Hemisphere ice may be represented in the proxy record.

  2. Unravelling InSAR observed Antarctic ice-shelf flexure using 2-D elastic and viscoelastic modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Christian T.; Marsh, Oliver J.; Rack, Wolfgang

    2018-04-01

    Ice-shelf grounding zones link the Antarctic ice-sheets to the ocean. Differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DInSAR) is commonly used to monitor grounding-line locations, but also contains information on grounding-zone ice thickness, ice properties and tidal conditions beneath the ice shelf. Here, we combine in-situ data with numerical modelling of ice-shelf flexure to investigate 2-D controls on the tidal bending pattern on the Southern McMurdo Ice Shelf. We validate our results with 9 double-differential TerraSAR-X interferograms. It is necessary to make adjustments to the tidal forcing to directly compare observations with model output and we find that when these adjustments are small (tide models are required to allow for the full exploitation of DInSAR in grounding-zone glaciology.

  3. Preconditioning of Antarctic maximum sea-ice extent by upper-ocean stratification on a seasonal timescale

    OpenAIRE

    Su, Zhan

    2017-01-01

    This study uses an observationally constrained and dynamically consistent ocean and sea ice state estimate. The author presents a remarkable agreement between the location of the edge of Antarctic maximum sea ice extent, reached in September, and the narrow transition band for the upper ocean (0–100 m depths) stratification, as early as April to June. To the south of this edge, the upper ocean has high stratification, which forbids convective fluxes to cross through; consequently, the ocean h...

  4. Decision making under catastrophic risk and learning: The case of the possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guillerminet, M.L.; Tol, R.S.J.

    2008-01-01

    A collapse of the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would cause a sea level rise of 5-6 m, perhaps even within 100 years, with catastrophic consequences. The probability of such a collapse is small but increasing with the rise of the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas and the resulting

  5. Antarctic Mirabilite Mounds as Mars Analogs: The Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Sun, Tao; Niles, Paul B.; Harvey, Ralph P.; Bish, David L.; Tonui, Eric

    2012-01-01

    It has been proposed, based on geomorphic and geochemical arguments, that subsurface water has played an important role in the history of water on the planet Mars [1]. Subsurface water, if present, could provide a protected and long lived environment for potential life. Discovery of gullies [2] and recurring slopes [3] on Mars suggest the potential for subsurface liquid water or brines. Recent attention has also focused on small (the mid to high latitudes on the surface of Mars which may be caused by eruptions of subsurface fluids [4, 5]. We have identified massive but highly localized Na-sulfate deposits (mirabilite mounds, Na2SO4 .10H2O) that may be derived from subsurface fluids and may provide insight into the processes associated with subsurface fluids on Mars. The mounds are found on the end moraine of the Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue (LCIT) [6] in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, and are potential terrestrial analogs for mounds observed on the martian surface. The following characteristics distinguish LCIT evaporite mounds from other evaporite mounds found in Antarctic coastal environments and/or the McMurdo Dry Valleys: (1) much greater distance from the open ocean (approx.500 km); (2) higher elevation (approx.2200 meters); and (3) colder average annual temperature (average annual temperature = -30 C for LCIT [7] vs. 20 C at sea level in the McMurdo region [8]. Furthermore, the recent detection of subsurface water ice (inferred as debris-covered glacial ice) by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [9] supports the use of an Antarctic glacial environment, particularly with respect to the mirabilite deposits described in this work, as an ideal terrestrial analog for understanding the geochemistry associated with near-surface martian processes. S and O isotopic compositions.

  6. Caldera unrest detected with seawater temperature anomalies at Deception Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrocoso, M.; Prates, G.; Fernández-Ros, A.; Peci, L. M.; de Gil, A.; Rosado, B.; Páez, R.; Jigena, B.

    2018-04-01

    Increased thermal activity was detected to coincide with the onset of volcano inflation in the seawater-filled caldera at Deception Island. This thermal activity was manifested in pulses of high water temperature that coincided with ocean tide cycles. The seawater temperature anomalies were detected by a thermometric sensor attached to the tide gauge (bottom pressure sensor). This was installed where the seawater circulation and the locations of known thermal anomalies, fumaroles and thermal springs, together favor the detection of water warmed within the caldera. Detection of the increased thermal activity was also possible because sea ice, which covers the entire caldera during the austral winter months, insulates the water and thus reduces temperature exchange between seawater and atmosphere. In these conditions, the water temperature data has been shown to provide significant information about Deception volcano activity. The detected seawater temperature increase, also observed in soil temperature readings, suggests rapid and near-simultaneous increase in geothermal activity with onset of caldera inflation and an increased number of seismic events observed in the following austral summer.

  7. 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

  8. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin H.

    2017-12-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  9. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; DeConto, Robert M.; Bader, Daniel A.; Hay, Carling C.; Horton, Radley M.; Kulp, Scott; Oppenheimer, Michael; Pollard, David; Strauss, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Mechanisms such as ice-shelf hydrofracturing and ice-cliff collapse may rapidly increase discharge from marine-based ice sheets. Here, we link a probabilistic framework for sea-level projections to a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) simulations incorporating these physical processes to explore their influence on global-mean sea-level (GMSL) and relative sea-level (RSL). We compare the new projections to past results using expert assessment and structured expert elicitation about AIS changes. Under high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 8.5), median projected 21st century GMSL rise increases from 79 to 146 cm. Without protective measures, revised median RSL projections would by 2100 submerge land currently home to 153 million people, an increase of 44 million. The use of a physical model, rather than simple parameterizations assuming constant acceleration of ice loss, increases forcing sensitivity: overlap between the central 90% of simulations for 2100 for RCP 8.5 (93-243 cm) and RCP 2.6 (26-98 cm) is minimal. By 2300, the gap between median GMSL estimates for RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6 reaches >10 m, with median RSL projections for RCP 8.5 jeopardizing land now occupied by 950 million people (versus 167 million for RCP 2.6). The minimal correlation between the contribution of AIS to GMSL by 2050 and that in 2100 and beyond implies current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes. The sensitivity of post-2050 projections to deeply uncertain physics highlights the need for robust decision and adaptive management frameworks.

  10. Observations of sea-ice conditions in the Antarctic coastal region using ship-board video cameras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haruhito Shimoda

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available During the 30th, 31st, and 32nd Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions (JARE-30,JARE-31,and JARE-32, sea-ice conditions were recorded by video camera on board the SHIRASE. Then, the sea-ice images were used to estimate compactness and thickness quantitatively. Analyzed legs are those toward Breid Bay and from Breid Bay to Syowa Station during JARE-30 and JARE-31,and those toward the Prince Olav Coast, from the Prince Olav Coast to Breid Bay, and from Breid Bay to Syowa Station during JARE-32. The results show yearly variations of ice compactness and thickness, latitudinal variations of thickness, and differences in thickness histograms between JARE-30 and JARE-32 in Lutzow-Holm Bay. Albedo values were measured simultaneously by a shortwave radiometer. These values are proportional to those of ice compactness. Finally, we examined the relationship between ice compactness and vertical gradient of air temperature above sea ice.

  11. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

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    N. R. Golledge

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm. Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

  12. Antarctic climate and ice-sheet configuration during the early Pliocene interglacial at 4.23 Ma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Thomas, Zoë A.; Levy, Richard H.; Gasson, Edward G. W.; Naish, Timothy R.; McKay, Robert M.; Kowalewski, Douglas E.; Fogwill, Christopher J.

    2017-07-01

    The geometry of Antarctic ice sheets during warm periods of the geological past is difficult to determine from geological evidence, but is important to know because such reconstructions enable a more complete understanding of how the ice-sheet system responds to changes in climate. Here we investigate how Antarctica evolved under orbital and greenhouse gas conditions representative of an interglacial in the early Pliocene at 4.23 Ma, when Southern Hemisphere insolation reached a maximum. Using offline-coupled climate and ice-sheet models, together with a new synthesis of high-latitude palaeoenvironmental proxy data to define a likely climate envelope, we simulate a range of ice-sheet geometries and calculate their likely contribution to sea level. In addition, we use these simulations to investigate the processes by which the West and East Antarctic ice sheets respond to environmental forcings and the timescales over which these behaviours manifest. We conclude that the Antarctic ice sheet contributed 8.6 ± 2.8 m to global sea level at this time, under an atmospheric CO2 concentration identical to present (400 ppm). Warmer-than-present ocean temperatures led to the collapse of West Antarctica over centuries, whereas higher air temperatures initiated surface melting in parts of East Antarctica that over one to two millennia led to lowering of the ice-sheet surface, flotation of grounded margins in some areas, and retreat of the ice sheet into the Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The results show that regional variations in climate, ice-sheet geometry, and topography produce long-term sea-level contributions that are non-linear with respect to the applied forcings, and which under certain conditions exhibit threshold behaviour associated with behavioural tipping points.

  13. 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.

  14. Temporal variability of the Antarctic Ice sheet observed from space-based geodesy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memin, A.; King, M. A.; Boy, J. P.; Remy, F.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) mass balance still remains challenging as several processes compete to differing degrees at the basin scale with regional variations, leading to multiple mass redistribution patterns. For instance, analysis of linear trends in surface-height variations from 1992-2003 and 2002-2006 shows that the AIS is subject to decimetric scale variability over periods of a few years. Every year, snowfalls in Antarctica represent the equivalent of 6 mm of the mean sea level. Therefore, any fluctuation in precipitation can lead to changes in sea level. Besides, over the last decade, several major glaciers have been thinning at an accelerating rate. Understanding the processes that interact on the ice sheet is therefore important to precisely determine the response of the ice sheet to a rapid changing climate and estimate its contribution to sea level changes. We estimate seasonal and interannual changes of the AIS between January 2003 and October 2010 and to the end of 2016 from a combined analysis of surface-elevation and surface-mass changes derived from Envisat data and GRACE solutions, and from GRACE solutions only, respectively. While we obtain a good correlation for the interannual signal between the two techniques, important differences (in amplitude, phase, and spatial pattern) are obtained for the seasonal signal. We investigate these discrepancies by comparing the crustal motion observed by GPS and those predicted using monthly surface mass balance derived from the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO.

  15. 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.

  16. Measurements and experiments on Geomorphic processes in Antarctic ice-free mountains: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norikazu Matsuoka

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to review dynamic approaches to geomorphic processes in the Antarctic ice-free areas, most of which lie in the cold desert zone, and to propose for future research. A variety of methodologies have been used to measure rock weathering, wind erosion, frost heave, slope processes and patterned ground formation. Whereas a number of attempts have been made to quantify rates of erosion or mass movements, difficulties in long-term, continuous monitoring have long militated against understanding of the physical processes that control the rates. Recent progress in automated data logging techniques enables us to acquire data on the timing and cause of geomorphic changes. These data, combined with cosmogenic exposure ages, can be applied to the reconstruction of Late Cenozoic landscape evolution. Experimental techniques should be standardized to promote intersite comparisons of morphogenetic environments.

  17. Links between Patagonian Ice Sheet fluctuations and Antarctic dust variability during the last glacial period (MIS 4-2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Jérôme; Lamy, Frank

    2010-06-01

    Antarctic and Greenland ice-core records reveal large fluctuations of dust input on both orbital and millennial time-scales with potential global climate implications. At least during glacial periods, the Antarctic dust fluctuations appear to be largely controlled by environmental changes in southern South America. We compare dust flux records from two Antarctic ice-cores to variations in the composition of the terrigenous supply at ODP Site 1233 located off southern Chile and known to record fluctuations in the extent of the northern part of the Patagonian ice-sheet (NPIS) during the last glacial period (Marine Isotope Stage, MIS, 4 to 2). Within age uncertainties, millennial-scale glacial advances (retreats) of the NPIS correlate to Antarctic dust maxima (minima). In turn, NPIS fluctuations were closely related to offshore sea surface temperature (SST) changes. This pattern suggests a causal link involving changes in temperature, in rock flour availability, in latitudinal extensions of the westerly winds and in foehn winds in the southern Pampas and Patagonia. We further suggest that the long-term trend of dust accumulation is partly linked to the sea-level related changes in the size if the Patagonian source area due to the particular morphology of the Argentine shelf. We suggest that sea-level drops at the beginning of MIS 4 and MIS 2 were important for long-term dust increases, while changes in the Patagonian dust source regions primarily control the early dust decrease during the MIS 4/3 transition and Termination 1.

  18. Uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the bedrock beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Brink, Uri S.; Hackney, R.I.; Bannister, S.; Stern, T.A.; Makovsky, Y.

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the largest noncontractional mountain belt in the world, have become the focus of modelers who explained their uplift by a variety of isostatic and thermal mechanisms. A problem with these models is a lack of available data to compare with model predictions. We report here the results of a 312-km-long geophysical traverse conducted in 1993/1994 in the hinterland of the TAM. Using detailed subglacial topography and gravity measurements, we confirm the origin of the TAM as a flexural uplift of the edge of East Antarctica. Using an elastic model with a free edge, we can jointly fit the topography and the gravity with a plate having an elastic thickness of 85 ?? 15 km and a preuplift elevation of 700 ?? 50 m for East Antarctica. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that the uplift is coincident with a relatively minor tectonic event of transtensional motion between East and West Antarctica during the Eocene rather than the Late Cretaceous rifting event that created the Ross Embayment. We suggest that this transtensional motion caused the continuous plate to break, which created an escarpment that significantly increased the rates of erosion and exhumation. Results from the geophysical traverse also extend our knowledge of the bedrock geology from the exposures within the TAM to the ice covered interior. Our interpretation suggests that the Ferrar flood basalts extend at least 100 km westward under the ice. The Beacon Supergroup of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments thins gradually under the ice and its reconstructed thickness is reminiscent of profiles of foreland basins. Finally, there is no indication in the gravity field for an incomplete rebound due to significant melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet since the last glacial period.

  19. Role of the Tropical Pacific in recent Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, F.; Bardet, D.; Allouache, C.; Gastineau, G.; Friedman, A. R.; Douville, H.; Voldoire, A.

    2017-12-01

    The recent (up to 2016) trends in Antarctic sea-ice cover - a global increase masking a dipole between the Ross and Bellingshausen-Weddel seas - are still not well understood, and not reproduced by CMIP5 coupled climate models. We here explore the potential role of atmospheric circulation changes around the Amundsen Sea, themselves possibly forced by tropical SSTs, an explanation that has been recently advanced. As a first check on this hypothesis, we compare the atmospheric circulation trends simulated by atmospheric GCMs coupled with an ocean or with imposed SSTs (AMIP experiment from CMIP5); the latter being in theory able to reproduce changes caused by natural SST variability. While coupled models simulate in aggregate trends that project on the SAM structure, strongest in summer, the AMIP simulations add in the winter season a pronounced Amundsen Sea Low signature (and a PNA signature in the northern hemisphere) both consistent with a Niña-like trend in the tropical Pacific. We then use a specific coupled GCM setup, in which surface wind anomalies over the tropical Pacific are strongly nudged towards the observed ones, including their interannual variability, but the model is free to evolve elsewhere. The two GCMs used then simulate a deepening trend in the Amundsen-Sea Low in winter, and are able to reproduce a dipole in sea-ice cover. Further analysis shows that the sea-ice dipole is partially forced by surface heat flux anomalies in early winter - the extent varying with the region and GCM used. The turbulent heat fluxes then act to damp the anomalies in late winter, which may however be maintained by ice-albedo feedbacks.

  20. Cascading water underneath Wilkes Land, East Antarctic ice sheet, observed using altimetry and digital elevation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, T.; Berthier, E.; Rémy, F.

    2014-04-01

    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 analyse the event, we combined altimetry data from several sources and subglacial topography. 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 acquired in January 2006 and February 2012. At 5.2 ± 1.5 km3, this is the largest single subglacial drainage event reported so far in Antarctica. Elevation differences between ICESat laser altimetry spanning 2003-2009 and the SPOT5 DEM indicate that the discharge started in November 2006 and lasted approximately 2 years. A 13 m uplift of the surface, corresponding to a refilling of about 0.6 ± 0.3 km3, was observed between the end of the discharge in October 2008 and February 2012. Using the 35-day temporal resolution of Envisat radar altimetry, we monitored the subsequent filling and drainage of connected subglacial lakes located downstream of CookE2. The total volume of water traveling within the theoretical 500-km-long flow paths computed with the BEDMAP2 data set is similar to the volume that drained from Lake CookE2, and our observations suggest that most of the water released from Lake CookE2 did not reach the coast but remained trapped underneath the ice sheet. Our study illustrates how combining multiple remote sensing techniques allows monitoring of the timing and magnitude of subglacial water flow beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet.

  1. The impact of dynamic topography change on Antarctic Ice Sheet stability during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austermann, J.; Pollard, D.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Moucha, R.; Forte, A. M.; Deconto, R. M.; Rowley, D. B.; Raymo, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene warm period (MPWP; ~ 3Ma), characterized by globally elevated temperatures (2-3º C) and carbon dioxide levels of ~400ppm, is commonly used as a testing ground for investigating ice sheet stability in a slightly warmer world. The central, unanswered question in this regard is the extent of East Antarctic melting during the MPWP. Here we assess the potential role of dynamic topography on this issue. Model reconstructions of the evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet during the ice age require an estimate of bedrock elevation through time. Ice sheet models account for changes in bedrock elevation due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), often using simplified models of the GIA process, but they generally do not consider other processes that may perturb subglacial topography. One such notable process is dynamic topography, i.e. the deflection of the solid surface of the Earth due to convective flow and buoyancy variations within the mantle and lithosphere. Paleo-shorelines of Pliocene age reflect the influence of dynamic topography, but the impact of these bedrock elevation changes on ice sheet stability in the Antarctic region is unknown. In this study we use viscous flow simulations of mantle dynamics to predict changes in dynamic topography and reconstruct bedrock elevations below the Antarctic Ice Sheet since the MPWP. We furthermore couple this reconstruction to a three-dimensional ice sheet model in order to explore the impact of dynamic topography on the extent of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Pliocene. Our modeling indicates that uplift occurred in the area of the Transantarctic Mountains and the adjacent Wilkes Basin. This predicted uplift, which is consistent with geological inferences of uplift in the Transantarctic Mountains, implies a significantly (~100-200 m) lower elevation of the Wilkes Basin in the Pliocene. This lower elevation leads to ~400 km of additional retreat of the grounding line in this region relative to simulations

  2. Green icebergs formed by freezing of organic-rich seawater to the base of Antarctic ice shelves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Stephen G.; Roesler, Collin S.; Morgan, Vincent I.; Brandt, Richard E.; Goodwin, Ian D.; Allison, Ian

    1993-01-01

    Although most icebergs are blue, green icebergs are seen occasionally in the Antarctic ocean. Chemical and isotopic analysis of samples from green icebergs indicate that the ice consists of desalinated frozen seawater, as does the basal ice from the Amery Ice Shelf. Spectral reflectance of a green iceberg measured near 67°S, 62°E, confirms that the color is inherent to the ice, not an artifact of the illumination. Pure ice appears blue owing to its absorption of red photons. Addition of a constituent that absorbs blue photons can shift the peak reflectance from blue to green. Such a constituent was identified by spectrophotometric analysis of core samples from this iceberg and from the Amery basal ice, and of seawater samples from Prydz Bay off the Amery Ice Shelf. Analysis of the samples by fluorescence spectroscopy indicates that the blue absorption, and hence the inherent green color, is due to the presence of marine-derived organic matter in the green iceberg, basal ice, and seawater. Thick accumulations of green ice, in icebergs and at the base of ice shelves, indicate that high concentrations of organic matter exist in seawater for centuries at the depth of basal freezing.

  3. δ13Catm and [CO2] measurements in Antarctic ice cores, 160 kyrBP - present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggleston, Sarah; Schmitt, Jochen; Schneider, Robert; Joos, Fortunat; Fischer, Hubertus

    2014-05-01

    Measurements from Antarctic ice cores allow us to reconstruct atmospheric concentrations of climatically important gases including CO2 over the past 800 kyr. Such measurements show that [CO2] has varied in parallel with Antarctic temperatures on glacial-interglacial timescales. Knowledge of the variations of the stable carbon isotope of CO2, δ13Catm, can help us better understand the processes involved in these fluctuations. Here, we present a first complete δ13Catmrecord extending from 160 kyrBP to the present accompanied by δ15N2 measurements during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3, 57 - 29 kyrBP). The present record, measured primarily on ice from the EPICA Dome C and Talos Dome ice cores, has an average resolution of 500 yr, focused mainly on the Last Glacial Maximum and termination (180 yr; Schmitt et al., 2012), MIS 3 (660 yr), and Termination II through MIS 5.4 (590 yr; Schneider et al., 2013). Throughout the record, δ13Catm varies between approximately -6.8 and -6.4‰Following a period of relatively constant δ13Catm at the end of MIS 6 (around -6.8), the boundaries of MIS 5 correspond roughly with the beginning and end of a gradual enrichment in this isotope. In comparison, the more recent record depicts three more abrupt excursions to lighter values around 63 - 59, 46, and 17 kyrBP, in each case followed by a slower return (0.4o over the course of 5 - 15 kyr) to more enriched isotopic values. These coincide with Heinrich events 6, 5, and 1, respectively. No direct correlation is observed between the concentration and carbon isotope of CO2 over the last 160 kyr. The data indicate rather that numerous processes, such as uptake and release of atmospheric CO2 by the ocean and land biosphere, perhaps influenced by regions of growing permafrost during MIS 3 and 4, acting on a variety of timescales must be considered in explaining the evolution of δ13Catm on glacial-interglacial timescales. References: Schmitt, J. et al. Science 336, 711-714 (2012) Schneider

  4. Potential of the solid-Earth response for limiting long-term West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Hannes; Sasgen, Ingo; Pollard, David; Klemann, Volker

    2016-04-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is assumed to be inherently unstable because it is grounded below sea level in a large part, where the bedrock deepens from today's grounding line towards the interior of the ice sheet. Idealized simulations have shown that bedrock uplift due to isostatic adjustment of the solid Earth and the associated sea-level fall may stop the retreat of such a marine-based ice sheet (Gomez et al., 2012). Here, we employ a coupled model for ice-sheet dynamics and solid-Earth dynamics, including a gravitationally consistent description of sea level, to investigate the influence of the viscoelastic Earth structure on the WAIS' future stability (Konrad et al. 2015). For this, we start from a steady-state condition for the Antarctic Ice Sheet close to present-day observations and apply atmospheric and oceanic forcing of different strength to initiate the retreat of the WAIS and investigate the effect of the viscoelastic deformation on the ice evolution for a range of solid-Earth rheologies. We find that the climate forcing is the primary control on the occurrence of the WAIS collapse. However, for moderate climate forcing and a weak solid-Earth rheology associated with the West Antarctic rift system (asthenosphere viscosities of 3x10^19 Pa s or less), we find that the combined effect of bedrock uplift and gravitational sea-level fall limits the retreat to the Amundsen Sea embayment on millennial time scales. In contrast, a stiffer Earth rheology yields a collapse under these conditions. Under a stronger climate forcing, weak Earth structures do not prevent the WAIS collapse; however, they produce a delay of up to 5000 years in comparison to a stiffer solid-Earth rheology. In an additional experiment, we test the impact of sea-level rise from an assumed fast deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In cases when the climatic forcing is too weak to force WAIS collapse by itself, the additional rise in sea-level leads to disintegration of the WAIS

  5. Observation of hydro-acoustic signal from the Balleny Islands, Ross Sea, Antarctic: Seasonal ice activities and earthquakes from Pacific-Antarctic ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, J. K.; Kang, S. G.; Dziak, R. P.; Park, Y.; Lau, T. K. A.; Haxel, J.; Matsumoto, H.

    2017-12-01

    From January 2015 to March 2016, five hydrophone moorings were deployed near the Balleny Islands to obtain the long-term hydroacoustic record as a collaborative effort between the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the Korea Polar Research Institute. The goal of this hydro-acoustic project is to understand seasonal sea-ice activities and identify potential underwater volcanic sources within the Balleny seamounts. All five of the hydrophone moorings were recovered in March 2016, however only three of them recorded 14 months of continuous, broadband (1 kHz sample rate) hydro-acoustic data successfully. In spite of coordinating problem by partial recovery, recorded data contain valuable information for seasonal sea-ice activities and earthquakes from Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. We analyzed events from ice-quakes and earthquakes statistically. The number of ice-quakes is maximum in the austral summer while minimum in the austral winter which shows a clear seasonal pattern consistent with freeze-thaw cycles. Comparing with global earthquakes catalogue, number of earthquake events are correlated well with the catalogue. Because the austral winter is more calm by ice-quakes, however, we can detect more earthquakes in this season.

  6. The FOODBANCS project: Introduction and sinking fluxes of organic carbon, chlorophyll- a and phytodetritus on the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Craig R.; Mincks, Sarah; DeMaster, David J.

    2008-11-01

    The impact of the highly seasonal Antarctic primary production cycle on shelf benthic ecosystems remains poorly evaluated. Here we describe a times-series research project on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf designed to evaluate the seafloor deposition, and subsequent ecological and biogeochemical impacts, of the summer phytoplankton bloom along a transect crossing the Antarctic shelf near Anvers Island. During this project, entitled Food for Benthos on the Antarctic Continental Shelf (FOODBANCS), we deployed replicate sediment traps 150-170 m above the seafloor (total water-column depth of 590 m) on the central shelf from December 1999 to March 2001, recovering trap samples every 3-4 months. In addition, we used a seafloor time-lapse camera system, as well as video surveys conducted at 3-4 months intervals, to monitor the presence and accumulation of phytodetritus at the sediment-water interface. The fluxes of particulate organic carbon and chlorophyll- a into sediment traps (binned over 3-4 month intervals) showed patterns consistent with seasonal variability, with average summer fluxes during the first year exceeding winter fluxes by a factor of ˜2-3. However, inter-annual variability in summer fluxes was even greater than seasonal variability, with 4-10-fold differences in the flux of organic carbon and chlorophyll- a between the summer seasons of 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. Phytodetrital accumulation at the shelf floor also exhibited intense inter-annual variability, with no visible phytodetritus from essentially December 1999 to November 2000, followed by pulsed accumulation of 1-2 cm of phytodetritus over a ˜30,000 km 2 shelf area by March 2001. Comparisons with other studies suggest that the levels of inter-annual variability we observed are typical of the Antarctic shelf over decadal time scales. We conclude that fluxes of particulate organic carbon, chlorophyll- a and phytodetritus to WAP-shelf sediments vary intensely on seasonal to inter

  7. 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

  8. Firn-air Properties and Influences at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battle, M. O.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Montzka, S. A.; Sofen, E. D.; Tans, P. P.

    2007-12-01

    In December 2005, we collected samples of firn air from a pair of dedicated boreholes drilled at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS-D), immediately adjacent to the WAIS-D deep ice coring effort currently underway at 79° 28'S, 112° 7'W at an elevation of ~1800m. The site is characterized by moderate temperatures (annual mean of -31°C) and moderate accumulation (24 cm/yr ice-equivalent). These samples were analyzed for a wide variety of atmospheric species by laboratories at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NOAA-ESRL, University of Colorado/INSTAAR, UC Irvine and Penn. State University. In this presentation, we focus on general properties of the firn air at this site and the influences on its composition, as inferred from concentration data for CO2, CH4, and a range of halogenated species, as well as the stable isotope ratios of N2 and several noble gases. Preliminary analyses indicate the presence of a shallow convective zone (a few meters or less), a diffusive region extending down to roughly 65m and a lock-in zone from 65m to the firn-ice transition at 76.5m. There is also evidence of a thermally-driven seasonal cycle in composition in the upper 25m of the firn. Modeling studies indicate that the accumulation rate at this site is low enough that the downward advection of air accompanying firn compression has a very small influence on the firn air profile. Air at the bottom of the diffusive column has a CO2-based age of 10-15 years (depending on the definition of "mean age"), while the air at the firn-ice transition is ~38 years old. Concentrations of halogenated species in the samples collected imply atmospheric histories that are generally consistent with those derived from direct atmospheric measurements and from firn air collected at other sites. Additional properties of the air, and their controlling processes will also be presented.

  9. Emperors in hiding: when ice-breakers and satellites complement each other in Antarctic exploration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Ancel

    Full Text Available Evaluating the demographic trends of marine top predators is critical to understanding the processes involved in the ongoing rapid changes in Antarctic ecosystems. However, the remoteness and logistical complexity of operating in Antarctica, especially during winter, make such an assessment difficult. Satellite imaging is increasingly recognised as a valuable method for remote animal population monitoring, yet its accuracy and reliability are still to be fully evaluated. We report here the first ground visit of an emperor penguin colony first discovered by satellite, but also the discovery of a second one not indicated by satellite survey at that time. Several successive remote surveys in this coastal region of East Antarctica, both before and after sudden local changes, had indeed only identified one colony. These two colonies (with a total of ca. 7,400 breeding pairs are located near the Mertz Glacier in an area that underwent tremendous habitat change after the glacier tongue broke off in February 2010. Our findings therefore suggest that a satellite survey, although offering a major advance since it allows a global imaging of emperor penguin colonies, may miss certain colony locations when challenged by certain features of polar ecosystems, such as snow cover, evolving ice topology, and rapidly changing habitat. Moreover our survey shows that this large seabird has considerable potential for rapid adaptation to sudden habitat loss, as the colony detected in 2009 may have moved and settled on new breeding grounds. Overall, the ability of emperor penguin colonies to relocate following habitat modification underlines the continued need for a mix of remote sensing and field surveys (aerial photography and ground counts, especially in the less-frequented parts of Antarctica, to gain reliable knowledge about the population demography and dynamics of this flagship species of the Antarctic ecosystem.

  10. Emperors in hiding: when ice-breakers and satellites complement each other in Antarctic exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ancel, André; Cristofari, Robin; Fretwell, Peter T; Trathan, Phil N; Wienecke, Barbara; Boureau, Matthieu; Morinay, Jennifer; Blanc, Stéphane; Le Maho, Yvon; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-01-01

    Evaluating the demographic trends of marine top predators is critical to understanding the processes involved in the ongoing rapid changes in Antarctic ecosystems. However, the remoteness and logistical complexity of operating in Antarctica, especially during winter, make such an assessment difficult. Satellite imaging is increasingly recognised as a valuable method for remote animal population monitoring, yet its accuracy and reliability are still to be fully evaluated. We report here the first ground visit of an emperor penguin colony first discovered by satellite, but also the discovery of a second one not indicated by satellite survey at that time. Several successive remote surveys in this coastal region of East Antarctica, both before and after sudden local changes, had indeed only identified one colony. These two colonies (with a total of ca. 7,400 breeding pairs) are located near the Mertz Glacier in an area that underwent tremendous habitat change after the glacier tongue broke off in February 2010. Our findings therefore suggest that a satellite survey, although offering a major advance since it allows a global imaging of emperor penguin colonies, may miss certain colony locations when challenged by certain features of polar ecosystems, such as snow cover, evolving ice topology, and rapidly changing habitat. Moreover our survey shows that this large seabird has considerable potential for rapid adaptation to sudden habitat loss, as the colony detected in 2009 may have moved and settled on new breeding grounds. Overall, the ability of emperor penguin colonies to relocate following habitat modification underlines the continued need for a mix of remote sensing and field surveys (aerial photography and ground counts), especially in the less-frequented parts of Antarctica, to gain reliable knowledge about the population demography and dynamics of this flagship species of the Antarctic ecosystem.

  11. Report on workshop "Study of the Antarctic ice sheet and glacier using ERS-1/JERS-1 SAR data"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naohiko Hirasawa

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of the workshop is to discuss recent results of Antarctic research using SAR data. It was held on February 6,1996 at the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR, the number of participants being about 30. The contents of the workshop are demonstration of various SAR images, comparison with pictures from an airplane and visible images, comparison with observational data on ice conditions and demonstration of problems in interferometry.

  12. Seawater and Detrital Marine Pb Isotopes as Monitors of Antarctic Weathering Following Ice Sheet Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenn, C.; Martin, E. E.; Basak, C.

    2011-12-01

    Comparisons of seawater and detrital Pb isotopes from sites proximal to Antarctica at the Eocene/Oligocene transition (EOT) are being used to understand variations in continental weathering associated with the development of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Previous work has shown that seawater and detrital archives yield similar isotopic values during Eocene warmth, which is interpreted to record congruent chemical weathering of the continent. In contrast, distinct isotopic values for the two phases at the EOT represents increased incongruent mechanical weathering during growth of the ice sheet. For this study we expanded beyond the initial glaciation at the EOT to determine whether less dramatic changes in ice volume and climate also produce variations in weathering and intensity that are recorded by seawater and detrital Pb isotopes. We collected Nd and Pb isotope data from extractions of Fe-Mn oxide coatings of bulk decarbonated marine sediments, which preserve seawater isotopic values, and from complete dissolutions of the remaining silicate fraction for Ocean Drilling Program Site 748 on Kerguelen Plateau (1300 m modern water depth). The data spans an interval of deglaciation from ~23.5-27 Ma documented by δ18O that has been equated to a ~30% decrease in ice volume on Antarctica (Pekar and Christie-Blick, 2008, Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclim., Palaeoecol.). Initial results from Site 748 include the first ɛNd values for intermediate waters in the Oligocene Southern Ocean and reveal a value of ~-8 over the entire 3.5 my interval, which is consistent with values reported for deep Indian Ocean sites at this time and similar to deeper Southern Ocean sites. Corresponding detrital ɛNd values are less radiogenic and decrease from -9 to -13 during the study interval. Detrital 206Pb/204Pb values also decrease during the warming interval, while seawater 206Pb/204Pb values increase. The decrease in detrital values indicates the composition of source materials entering

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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)

  14. Oceanic an climatic consequences of a sudden large-scale West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarff, Katie; Green, Mattias; Schmittner, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric warming is progressing to the point where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will experience an elevated rate of discharge. The current discharge rate of WAIS is around 0.005Sv, but this rate will most likely accelerate over this century. The input of freshwater, in the form of ice, may have a profound effect on oceanic circulation systems, including potentially reducing the formation of deep water in the Southern Ocean and thus triggering or enhancing the bipolar seesaw. Using UVic - an intermediate complexity ocean-climate model - we investigate how various hosing rates from the WAIS will impact of the present and future ocean circulation and climate. These scenarios range from observed hosing rates (~0.005Sv) being applied for 100 years, to a total collapse of the WAIS over the next 100 years (the equivalent to a0.7Sv hosing). We show that even the present day observed rates can have a significant impact on the ocean and atmospheric temperatures, and that the bipolar seesaw may indeed be enhanced by the Southern Ocean hosing. Consequently, there is a speed-up of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) early on during the hosing, which leads to a warming over the North Atlantic, and a subsequent reduction in the MOC on centennial scales. The larger hosing cases show more dramatic effects with near-complete shutdowns of the MOC during the hosing. Furthermore, global warming scenarios based on the IPCC "business as usual" scenario show that the atmospheric warming will change the response of the ocean to Southern Ocean hosing and that the warming will dominate the perturbation. The potential feedback between changes in the ocean stratification in the scenarios and tidally driven abyssal mixing via tidal conversion is also explored.

  15. Mesospheric front observations by the OH airglow imager carried out at Ferraz Station on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giongo, Gabriel Augusto; Valentin Bageston, José; Prado Batista, Paulo; Wrasse, Cristiano Max; Dornelles Bittencourt, Gabriela; Paulino, Igo; Paes Leme, Neusa Maria; Fritts, David C.; Janches, Diego; Hocking, Wayne; Schuch, Nelson Jorge

    2018-02-01

    The main goals of this work are to characterize and investigate the potential wave sources of four mesospheric fronts identified in the hydroxyl near-infrared (OH-NIR) airglow images, obtained with an all-sky airglow imager installed at Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station (EACF, as per its Portuguese acronym) located on King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. We identified and analyzed four mesospheric fronts in 2011 over King George Island. In addition, we investigate the atmospheric background environment between 80 and 100 km altitude and discuss the ducts and propagation conditions for these waves. For that, we used wind data obtained from a meteor radar operated at EACF and temperature data obtained from the TIMED/SABER satellite. The vertical wavenumber squared, m2, was calculated for each of the four waves. Even though no clearly defined duct (indicated by positive values of m2 sandwiched between layers above and below with m2 wind in the wave propagation direction (near to south) above the OH peak (88-92 km). The likely wave sources for these four cases were investigated by using meteorological satellite images and in two cases we could find that strong instabilities were potential sources, i.e., a cyclonic activity and a large convective cloud cell. In the other two cases it was not possible to associate troposphere sources as potential candidates for the generation of such wave fronts observed in the mesosphere and secondary wave sources were attributed to these cases.

  16. High-Resolution Digitization of the Film Archive of SPRI/NSF/TUD Radar Sounding of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, D. M.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Mackie, E. J.; Vega, K. I.; Emmons, J. R.; Winstein, K.; Bingham, R. G.; Benham, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    The airborne radio echo sounding data collected during the SPRI/NSF/TUD surveys of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies were recorded on a combination of 35mm and super-8 mm black-and-white optical film. These data represent the oldest extant continent-scale geophysical observations of ice thickness, internal layering and conditions beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. As such, when compared with modern radar sounding observations, they offer a unique opportunity to investigate temporal changes in ice sheet conditions across half a century. However, the storage of these data on film, paper-prints, and scans of those prints have made such comparison at the full radiometric and geometric resolution of the data difficult. To address this challenge, we utilized a state-of-the-art high-resolution Hollywood film scanning system to digitize the entire SPRI/NSF/TUD optical film archive. This has resulted in over two million digital images with information at the full spatial and brightness-level resolution of the original film. We present the process and results of this scanning as well as the current progress in formatting, registering, and positioning these data for release and use by the wider radio glaciological community. We also discuss the glaciological insights enabled by this effort.

  17. Imaging the Antarctic Ice Sheet Subsurface with the HF GPR TAPIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Gall, A.; Ciarletti, V.; Berthelier, J.; Reineix, A.; Ney, R.; Bonaimé, S.; Corbel, C.

    2006-12-01

    An HF impulse polarimetric Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) operating at very low frequencies (ranging from ~2 to 8MHz) has been developed in the frame of the NetLander mission. This instrument, named TAPIR (Terrestrial And Planetary Investigation by Radar), was designed to probe the Martian subsurface down to kilometric depth and search for potential water reservoirs. Although the NetLander mission was cancelled in 2003, the interest on the exploration of Martian subsurface was recently enhanced by the promising observations of the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) on board of the ESA Mars Express orbiter. In particular, MARSIS detected the base of the North Polar Layered Deposits, penetrating up to ~1.8km the ice-rich upper layer of the underground. Such results suggest that TAPIR, which operates in the same frequency range as MARSIS and can performed a higher number of coherent integrations, is able to reach deeper structures. Yet, in contrast with classical GPRs, TAPIR can not move onto the surface and thus won't provide 2D or 3D scan of the subsurface. To retrieve, in spite of this NetLander restraint, the 3D distribution of the reflecting facets of the underground, the instrument was equipped with two electrical dipoles and a rotating magnetic sensor. These antennas allow to derive, from the measured values of 5 components of the wave field, the direction of arrival of the reflected waves hence the inclination of the buried reflectors. The first validation of this innovative concept was carried out during the RANETA (RAdar of NEtlander in Terre Adélie) campaign organized by the Institute Paul-Emile Victor in January-February 2004. This campaign took place on the Antarctic ice sheet close to the French-Italian Cap Prudhomme station. 8 soundings of the ice shelf were performed on various sites corresponding to different altitudes above the sea level (ranging from ~285m to ~1100m). We shall provide a detailed description of the

  18. Contribution of sea ice microbial production to Antarctic benthic communities is driven by sea ice dynamics and composition of functional guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wing, Stephen R; Leichter, James J; Wing, Lucy C; Stokes, Dale; Genovese, Sal J; McMullin, Rebecca M; Shatova, Olya A

    2018-04-28

    Organic matter produced by the sea ice microbial community (SIMCo) is an important link between sea ice dynamics and secondary production in near-shore food webs of Antarctica. Sea ice conditions in McMurdo Sound were quantified from time series of MODIS satellite images for Sept. 1 through Feb. 28 of 2007-2015. A predictable sea ice persistence gradient along the length of the Sound and evidence for a distinct change in sea ice dynamics in 2011 were observed. We used stable isotope analysis (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) of SIMCo, suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) and shallow water (10-20 m) macroinvertebrates to reveal patterns in trophic structure of, and incorporation of organic matter from SIMCo into, benthic communities at eight sites distributed along the sea ice persistence gradient. Mass-balance analysis revealed distinct trophic architecture among communities and large fluxes of SIMCo into the near-shore food web, with the estimates ranging from 2 to 84% of organic matter derived from SIMCo for individual species. Analysis of patterns in density, and biomass of macroinvertebrate communities among sites allowed us to model net incorporation of organic matter from SIMCo, in terms of biomass per unit area (g/m 2 ), into benthic communities. Here, organic matter derived from SIMCo supported 39 to 71 per cent of total biomass. Furthermore, for six species, we observed declines in contribution of SIMCo between years with persistent sea ice (2008-2009) and years with extensive sea ice breakout (2012-2015). Our data demonstrate the vital role of SIMCo in ecosystem function in Antarctica and strong linkages between sea ice dynamics and near-shore secondary productivity. These results have important implications for our understanding of how benthic communities will respond to changes in sea ice dynamics associated with climate change and highlight the important role of shallow water macroinvertebrate communities as sentinels of change for the Antarctic marine

  19. Interannual variation of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from a combined analysis of satellite gravimetry and altimetry data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mémin, A.; Flament, T.; Alizier, B.; Watson, C.; Rémy, F.

    2015-07-01

    Assessment of the long term mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and thus the determination of its contribution to sea level rise, requires an understanding of interannual variability and associated causal mechanisms. We performed a combined analysis of surface-mass and elevation changes using data from the GRACE and Envisat satellite missions, respectively. Using empirical orthogonal functions and singular value decompositions of each data set, we find a quasi 4.7-yr periodic signal between 08/2002 and 10/2010 that accounts for ∼ 15- 30% of the time variability of the filtered and detrended surface-mass and elevation data. Computation of the density of this variable mass load corresponds to snow or uncompacted firn. Changes reach maximum amplitude within the first 100 km from the coast where it contributes up to 30-35% of the annual rate of accumulation. Extending the analysis to 09/2014 using surface-mass changes only, we have found anomalies with a periodicity of about 4-6 yrs that circle the AIS in about 9-10 yrs. These properties connect the observed anomalies to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW) which is known to affect several key climate variables, including precipitation. It suggests that variability in the surface-mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet may also be modulated by the ACW.

  20. Aves, Charadriiformes, Scolopacidae, Limosa haemastica, (Linnaeus, 1758: First record from South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juares, M. A.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We report herein the southernmost record of the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica, at two localities inthe Antarctic: Esperanza/Hope Bay (January 2005 and 25 de Mayo/King George Island (October 2008. On both occasionsa pair of specimens with winter plumage was observed.

  1. Isotopic composition of ice core air reveals abrupt Antarctic warming during and after Heinrich Event 1a

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J. D.; Bereiter, B.; Baggenstos, D.; Kawamura, K.; Shackleton, S. A.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctic temperature variations during Heinrich events, as recorded by δ18O­ice­, generally show more gradual changes than the abrupt warmings seen in Greenland ice. However, quantitative temperature interpretation of the water isotope temperature proxy is difficult as the relationship between δ18Oice and temperature is not constant through time. Fortunately, ice cores offer a second temperature proxy based on trapped gases. During times of surface warming, thermal fractionation of gases in the column of unconsolidated snow (firn) on top of the ice sheet results in isotopically heavier nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar) being trapped in the ice core bubbles. During times of surface cooling, isotopically lighter gases are trapped. Measurements of δ15N and δ40Ar can therefore be used, in combination with a model for the height of the column of firn, to quantitatively reconstruct surface temperatures. In the WAIS Divide Ice Core, the two temperature proxies show a brief disagreement during Heinrich Stadial 1. Despite δ18Oice recording relatively constant temperature, the nitrogen and argon isotopes imply an abrupt warming between 16 and 15.8 kyr BP, manifest as an abrupt 1.25oC increase in the firn temperature gradient. To our knowledge, this would be the first evidence that such abrupt climate change has been recorded in an Antarctic climate proxy. If confirmed by more detailed studies, this event may represent warming due to an extreme southward shift of the Earth's thermal equator (and the southern hemisphere westerly wind belt), caused by the 16.1 ka Heinrich Event.

  2. Spatial Patterns of Variability in Antarctic Surface Temperature: Connections to the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode and the Southern Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Ron; Comiso, Josefino C.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The 17-year (1982-1998) trend in surface temperature shows a general cooling over the Antarctic continent, warming of the sea ice zone, with moderate changes over the oceans. Warming of the peripheral seas is associated with negative trends in the regional sea ice extent. Effects of the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) and the extrapolar Southern Oscillation (SO) on surface temperature are quantified through regression analysis. Positive polarities of the SAM are associated with cold anomalies over most of Antarctica, with the most notable exception of the Antarctic Peninsula. Positive temperature anomalies and ice edge retreat in the Pacific sector are associated with El Nino episodes. Over the past two decades, the drift towards high polarity in the SAM and negative polarity in the SO indices couple to produce a spatial pattern with warmer temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula and peripheral seas, and cooler temperatures over much of East Antarctica.

  3. Remote sensing evidence of lava-ground ice interactions associated with the Lost Jim Lava Flow, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcucci, Emma C.; Hamilton, Christopher W.; Herrick, Robert R.

    2017-12-01

    Thermokarst terrains develop when ice-bearing permafrost melts and causes the overlying surface to subside or collapse. This process occurs widely throughout Arctic regions due to environmental and climatological factors, but can also be induced by localized melting of ground ice by active lava flows. The Lost Jim Lava Flow (LJLF) on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska provides evidence of former lava-ground ice interactions. Associated geomorphic features, on the scale of meters to tens of meters, were identified using satellite orthoimages and stereo-derived digital terrain models. The flow exhibits positive- and mixed-relief features, including tumuli ( N = 26) and shatter rings ( N = 4), as well as negative-relief features, such as lava tube skylights ( N = 100) and irregularly shaped topographic depressions ( N = 1188) that are interpreted to include lava-rise pits and lava-induced thermokarst terrain. Along the margins of the flow, there are also clusters of small peripheral pits that may be the products of meltwater or steam escape. On Mars, we observed morphologically similar pits near lava flow margins in northeastern Elysium Planitia, which suggests a common formation mechanism. Investigating the LJLF may therefore help to elucidate processes of lava-ground ice interaction on both Earth and Mars.

  4. Stochastic modelling of basal temperatures in divide regions of the Antarctic ice sheet over the last 1.5 million years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Liefferinge, Brice; Pattyn, Frank; Cavitte, Marie G. P.; Young, Duncan A.; Roberts, Jason L.

    2017-04-01

    The quest for oldest ice in Antarctica has recently been launched through an EU H2020 project (Beyond EPICA - Oldest Ice) and aims at identifying suitable areas for a potential future drilling. Retrieving an ice core of such age is essential to understand the relation between orbital changes and atmospheric composition during the mid-Pliocene transition. However, sites for a potential undisturbed record of 1.5 million-year old ice in Antarctica are difficult to find and require slow-moving ice (preferably an ice divide) and basal conditions that are not disturbed by large topographic variations. Furthermore, ice should be sufficiently thick but cold basal conditions should still prevail, since basal melting would destroy the bottom layers. Therefore, ice-flow conditions and thermodynamic characteristics are crucial for identifying potential locations of undisturbed ice. Van Liefferinge and Pattyn (2013) identified suitable areas based on a pan-Antarctic simplified thermodynamic ice sheet model and demonstrated that uncertainty in geothermal conditions remain a major unknown. In order to refine these estimates, and provide uncertainties, we employ a full thermo-mechanically coupled higher-order ice sheet model (Pattyn, 2003; Pattyn et al., 2004). Initial conditions for the calculations are based on an inversion of basal slipperiness, based on observed surface topography (Pollard and DeConto, 2012; Pattyn, in prep.). Uncertainties in geothermal conditions are introduced using the convolution of two Gaussian probability density functions: (a) the reconstruction of the Antarctic ice sheet geometry and testing ice thickness variability over the last 2 million years (Pollard and DeConto, 2009) and (b) the surface temperature reconstruction over the same period (Snyder et al., 2016). The standard deviation, the skewness and the kurtosis of the whole Antarctic ice sheet are analyzed to observe likely probable melt conditions. Finally, we focus on model results in the

  5. The characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in Antarctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Louiza; Thomas, David N.; Stedmon, Colin A.; Granskog, Mats A.; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Krapp, Rupert H.; Meiners, Klaus M.; Lannuzel, Delphine; van der Merwe, Pier; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.

    2011-05-01

    An investigation of coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and its relationships to physical and biogeochemical parameters in Antarctic sea ice and oceanic water have indicated that ice melt may both alter the spectral characteristics of CDOM in Antarctic surface waters and serve as a likely source of fresh autochthonous CDOM and labile DOC. Samples were collected from melted bulk sea ice, sea ice brines, surface gap layer waters, and seawater during three expeditions: one during the spring to summer and two during the winter to spring transition period. Variability in both physical (temperature and salinity) and biogeochemical parameters (dissolved and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, as well as chlorophyll a) was observed during and between studies, but CDOM absorption coefficients measured at 375 nm (a 375) did not differ significantly. Distinct peaked absorption spectra were consistently observed for bulk ice, brine, and gap water, but were absent in the seawater samples. Correlation with the measured physical and biogeochemical parameters could not resolve the source of these peaks, but the shoulders and peaks observed between 260 and 280 nm and between 320 to 330 nm respectively, particularly in the samples taken from high light-exposed gap layer environment, suggest a possible link to aromatic and mycosporine-like amino acids. Sea ice CDOM susceptibility to photo-bleaching was demonstrated in an in situ 120 hour exposure, during which we observed a loss in CDOM absorption of 53% at 280 nm, 58% at 330 nm, and 30% at 375 nm. No overall coincidental loss of DOC or DON was measured during the experimental period. A relationship between the spectral slope (S) and carbon-specific absorption (a *375) indicated that the characteristics of CDOM can be described by the mixing of two broad end-members; and aged material, present in brine and seawater samples characterised by high S values and low a *375; and a fresh material, due to elevated in situ

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazin, L.; Landais, A.; Lemieux-Dudon, B.; Toyé Mahamadou Kele, H.; Veres, D.; Parrenin, F.; Martinerie, P.; Ritz, C.; Capron, E.; Lipenkov, V.; Loutre, M.-F.; Raynaud, D.; Vinther, B.; Svensson, A.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Severi, M.; Blunier, T.; Leuenberger, M.; Fischer, H.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Chappellaz, J.; Wolff, E.

    2013-08-01

    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 had 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 (thousands of years before present) (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010). In this paper, together with the companion paper of Veres et al. (2013), 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 framework, 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 additional 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 is now independent of other archives and shows only small differences, most of the time within the original uncertainty range calculated by Datice, when compared with the previous ice core reference age scale EDC3, the Dome F chronology, or using a comparison between speleothems and methane. For instance, the largest deviation between AICC2012 and EDC3 (5.4 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Bazin

    2013-08-01

    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 had 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 (thousands of years before present (Lemieux-Dudon et al., 2010. In this paper, together with the companion paper of Veres et al. (2013, 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 framework, 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 additional 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 is now independent of other archives and shows only small differences, most of the time within the original uncertainty range calculated by Datice, when compared with the previous ice core reference age scale EDC3, the Dome F chronology, or using a comparison between speleothems and methane. For instance, the largest deviation between AICC2012 and EDC3 (5.4 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.

  8. 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)

  9. Mesospheric front observations by the OH airglow imager carried out at Ferraz Station on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Giongo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The main goals of this work are to characterize and investigate the potential wave sources of four mesospheric fronts identified in the hydroxyl near-infrared (OH-NIR airglow images, obtained with an all-sky airglow imager installed at Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station (EACF, as per its Portuguese acronym located on King George Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. We identified and analyzed four mesospheric fronts in 2011 over King George Island. In addition, we investigate the atmospheric background environment between 80 and 100 km altitude and discuss the ducts and propagation conditions for these waves. For that, we used wind data obtained from a meteor radar operated at EACF and temperature data obtained from the TIMED/SABER satellite. The vertical wavenumber squared, m2, was calculated for each of the four waves. Even though no clearly defined duct (indicated by positive values of m2 sandwiched between layers above and below with m2 < 0 was found in any of the events, favorable propagation conditions for horizontal propagation of the fronts were found in three cases. In the fourth case, the wave front did not find any duct support and it appeared to dissipate near the zenith, transferring energy and momentum to the medium and, consequently, accelerating the wind in the wave propagation direction (near to south above the OH peak (88–92 km. The likely wave sources for these four cases were investigated by using meteorological satellite images and in two cases we could find that strong instabilities were potential sources, i.e., a cyclonic activity and a large convective cloud cell. In the other two cases it was not possible to associate troposphere sources as potential candidates for the generation of such wave fronts observed in the mesosphere and secondary wave sources were attributed to these cases.

  10. Population-Level Transcriptomic Responses of the Southern Ocean Salp Salpa thompsoni to Environment Variability of the Western Antarctic Peninsula Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucklin, A. C.; Batta Lona, P. G.; Maas, A. E.; O'Neill, R. J.; Wiebe, P. H.

    2015-12-01

    In response to the changing Antarctic climate, the Southern Ocean salp Salpa thompsoni has shown altered patterns of distribution and abundance that are anticipated to have profound impacts on pelagic food webs and ecosystem dynamics. The physiological and molecular processes that underlay ecological function and biogeographical distribution are key to understanding present-day dynamics and predicting future trajectories. This study examined transcriptome-wide patterns of gene expression in relation to biological and physical oceanographic conditions in coastal, shelf and offshore waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region during austral spring and summer 2011. Based on field observations and collections, seasonal changes in the distribution and abundance of salps of different life stages were associated with differences in water mass structure of the WAP. Our observations are consistent with previous suggestions that bathymetry and currents in Bransfield Strait could generate a retentive cell for an overwintering population of S. thompsoni, which may generate the characteristic salp blooms found throughout the region later in summer. The statistical analysis of transcriptome-wide patterns of gene expression revealed differences among salps collected in different seasons and from different habitats (i.e., coastal versus offshore) in the WAP. Gene expression patterns also clustered by station in austral spring - but not summer - collections, suggesting stronger heterogeneity of environmental conditions. During the summer, differentially expressed genes covered a wider range of functions, including those associated with stress responses. Future research using novel molecular transcriptomic / genomic characterization of S. thompsoni will allow more complete understanding of individual-, population-, and species-level responses to environmental variability and prediction of future dynamics of Southern Ocean food webs and ecosystems.

  11. Geochemical signatures of tephras from Quaternary Antarctic Peninsula volcanoes Geoquímica de tefras de volcanes Cuaternarios de la Península Antártica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Kraus

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the northern Antarctic Peninsula area, at least 12 Late Plelstocene-Holocene volcanic centers could be potential sources of tephra layers in the region. We present unique geochemical fingerprints for ten of these volcanoes using major, trace, rare earth element, and isotope data from 95 samples of tephra and other eruption products. The volcanoes have predominantly basaltic and basaltic andesitic compositions. The Nb/Y ratio proves useful to distinguish between volcanic centers located on the eastern (Larsen Rift and those situated on the western side (Bransfield Rift of the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition, the Sr/Nb ratio (for samples with SiO2 En la parte norte de la Península Antártica existen, por lo menos, 12 centros volcánicos del Pleistoceno Tardío-Holoceno que podrían representar las fuentes de horizontes de tefra reconocidos en la región. Se reportan aquí análisis químicos de 10 de estos volcanes, que incluyen análisis de elementos mayores, trazas, tierras raras y composición isotópica de 95 muestras de tefra u otros productos eruptivos. Los volcanes tienen, en su mayoría, composición basáltica a basáltico-andesítica. Las razones Nb/Y resultan útiles para distinguir entre centros volcánicos ubicados al lado oriental (Larsen Rift de aquellos ubicados al lado occidental (Bransfield Rift de la Península Antártica. Adicionalmente, las razones Sr/Nb (para muestras con SiO2 <63 wt%, Sr/Y, Ba/La, Zr/Hf y Th/Nb sirven para caracterizar los productos generados por cada centro volcánico. Análisis de microsonda en vidrio muestran que las rocas estudiadas tienen bajos contenidos de K2O, y que vidrios de rocas provenientes de volcanes ubicados en el rift de Bransfield son ricos en SiO2, mientras que las de volcanes del rift de Larsen tienden hacía contenidos elevados de álcalis. Se propone un algoritmo para la identificación del volcán de origen de un horizonte de tefra cualquiera, basado en las distintivas

  12. Large-Ensemble modeling of past and future variations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet with a coupled ice-Earth-sea level model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, David; DeConto, Robert; Gomez, Natalya

    2016-04-01

    To date, most modeling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's response to future warming 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 of the last ~20,000 years to test the model against the large-scale variations during this period. The ice model is coupled to a global Earth-sea level model to improve modeling of the bedrock response and to capture ocean-ice gravitational interactions. Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large Ensemble (LE) statistical methods, performing sets of 625 runs from 30,000 years to present with systematically varying model parameters. Objective scores for each run are calculated using modern data and past reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea level records, cosmogenic elevation-age data and uplift rates. The LE results are analyzed to calibrate 4 particularly uncertain model parameters that concern marginal ice processes and interaction with the ocean. LE's are extended into the future with climates following RCP scenarios. An additional scoring criterion tests the model's ability to reproduce estimated sea-level high stands in the warm mid-Pliocene, for which drastic retreat mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure are needed in the model. The LE analysis provides future sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds. Sensitivities of future LE results to Pliocene sea-level estimates, coupling to the Earth-sea level model, and vertical profiles of Earth properties, will be presented.

  13. On the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding of the Antarctic ice sheet at P-band

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dall, Jørgen; Kusk, Anders; Corr, Hugh

    . In this study the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding is assessed. A two-step approach is applied: (1) Key ice sheet parameters are estimated from the airborne POLARIS data acquired in Antarctica. (2) The performance of potential space-based ice sounding radars is simulated based on the estimated ice...... data analysis estimating the scattering patterns via the Doppler spectra of the POLARIS data. The scattering patterns of the ice surfaces are relevant because the geometry of a space-based radar increases the risk that off-nadir surface clutter masks the nadir depth-signal of interest. Currently...... the ice sheet model is being established and validated. At the symposium measured and simulated satellite waveforms will be compared, and the feasibility of space-based ice sounding will be addressed....

  14. Glacial–interglacial dynamics of Antarctic firn columns: comparison between simulations and ice core air-δ15N measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Capron

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Correct estimation of the firn lock-in depth is essential for correctly linking gas and ice chronologies in ice core studies. Here, two approaches to constrain the firn depth evolution in Antarctica are presented over the last deglaciation: outputs of a firn densification model, and measurements of δ15N of N2 in air trapped in ice core, assuming that δ15N is only affected by gravitational fractionation in the firn column. Since the firn densification process is largely governed by surface temperature and accumulation rate, we have investigated four ice cores drilled in coastal (Berkner Island, BI, and James Ross Island, JRI and semi-coastal (TALDICE and EPICA Dronning Maud Land, EDML Antarctic regions. Combined with available ice core air-δ15N measurements from the EPICA Dome C (EDC site, the studied regions encompass a large range of surface accumulation rates and temperature conditions. Our δ15N profiles reveal a heterogeneous response of the firn structure to glacial–interglacial climatic changes. While firn densification simulations correctly predict TALDICE δ15N variations, they systematically fail to capture the large millennial-scale δ15N variations measured at BI and the δ15N glacial levels measured at JRI and EDML – a mismatch previously reported for central East Antarctic ice cores. New constraints of the EDML gas–ice depth offset during the Laschamp event (~41 ka and the last deglaciation do not favour the hypothesis of a large convective zone within the firn as the explanation of the glacial firn model–δ15N data mismatch for this site. While we could not conduct an in-depth study of the influence of impurities in snow for firnification from the existing datasets, our detailed comparison between the δ15N profiles and firn model simulations under different temperature and accumulation rate scenarios suggests that the role of accumulation rate may have been underestimated in the current description of firnification

  15. Albedo of the ice covered Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas

    OpenAIRE

    A. I. Weiss; J. C. King; T. A. Lachlan-Cope; 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...

  16. Effects of ocean acidification on the physiological performance and carbon production of the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia sp. ICE-H.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Chang-Feng; Liu, Fang-Ming; Zheng, Zhou; Wang, Yi-Bin; Li, Xue-Gang; Yuan, Hua-Mao; Li, Ning; An, Mei-Ling; Wang, Xi-Xi; He, Ying-Ying; Li, Lu-Lu; Miao, Jin-Lai

    2017-07-15

    Ocean acidification (OA) resulting from increasing atmospheric CO 2 strongly influences marine ecosystems, particularly in the polar ocean due to greater CO 2 solubility. Here, we grew the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia sp. ICE-H in a semicontinuous culture under low (~400ppm) and high (1000ppm) CO 2 levels. Elevated CO 2 resulted in a stimulated physiological response including increased growth rates, chlorophyll a contents, and nitrogen and phosphorus uptake rates. Furthermore, high CO 2 enhanced cellular particulate organic carbon production rates, indicating a greater shift from inorganic to organic carbon. However, the cultures grown in high CO 2 conditions exhibited a decrease in both extracellular and intracellular carbonic anhydrase activity, suggesting that the carbon concentrating mechanisms of Nitzschia sp. ICE-H may be suppressed by elevated CO 2 . Our results revealed that OA would be beneficial to the survival of this sea ice diatom strain, with broad implications for global carbon cycles in the future ocean. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Antarctic ice sheet thickness estimation using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio method with single-station seismic ambient noise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Yan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We report on a successful application of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (H / V method, generally used to investigate the subsurface velocity structures of the shallow crust, to estimate the Antarctic ice sheet thickness for the first time. Using three-component, five-day long, seismic ambient noise records gathered from more than 60 temporary seismic stations located on the Antarctic ice sheet, the ice thickness measured at each station has comparable accuracy to the Bedmap2 database. Preliminary analysis revealed that 60 out of 65 seismic stations on the ice sheet obtained clear peak frequencies (f0 related to the ice sheet thickness in the H / V spectrum. Thus, assuming that the isotropic ice layer lies atop a high velocity half-space bedrock, the ice sheet thickness can be calculated by a simple approximation formula. About half of the calculated ice sheet thicknesses were consistent with the Bedmap2 ice thickness values. To further improve the reliability of ice thickness measurements, two-type models were built to fit the observed H / V spectrum through non-linear inversion. The two-type models represent the isotropic structures of single- and two-layer ice sheets, and the latter depicts the non-uniform, layered characteristics of the ice sheet widely distributed in Antarctica. The inversion results suggest that the ice thicknesses derived from the two-layer ice models were in good concurrence with the Bedmap2 ice thickness database, and that ice thickness differences between the two were within 300 m at almost all stations. Our results support previous finding that the Antarctic ice sheet is stratified. Extensive data processing indicates that the time length of seismic ambient noise records can be shortened to two hours for reliable ice sheet thickness estimation using the H / V method. This study extends the application fields of the H / V method and provides an effective and independent way to measure

  18. 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

  19. Geostatistical analysis and isoscape of ice core derived water stable isotope records in an Antarctic macro region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatvani, István Gábor; Leuenberger, Markus; Kohán, Balázs; Kern, Zoltán

    2017-09-01

    Water stable isotopes preserved in ice cores provide essential information about polar precipitation. In the present study, multivariate regression and variogram analyses were conducted on 22 δ2H and 53 δ18O records from 60 ice cores covering the second half of the 20th century. Taking the multicollinearity of the explanatory variables into account, as also the model's adjusted R2 and its mean absolute error, longitude, elevation and distance from the coast were found to be the main independent geographical driving factors governing the spatial δ18O variability of firn/ice in the chosen Antarctic macro region. After diminishing the effects of these factors, using variography, the weights for interpolation with kriging were obtained and the spatial autocorrelation structure of the dataset was revealed. This indicates an average area of influence with a radius of 350 km. This allows the determination of the areas which are as yet not covered by the spatial variability of the existing network of ice cores. Finally, the regional isoscape was obtained for the study area, and this may be considered the first step towards a geostatistically improved isoscape for Antarctica.

  20. Ice recrystallization inhibition proteins (IRIPs) and freeze tolerance in the cryophilic Antarctic hair grass Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Ulrik P; Polotnianka, Renatam M; Sivakumaran, Kailayapillai A; Chew, Orinda; Mackin, Leanne; Kuiper, Micheal J; Talbot, Jonathan P; Nugent, Gregory D; Mautord, Julie; Schrauf, Gustavo E; Spangenberg, German C

    2009-04-01

    Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica E. Desv.), the only grass indigenous to Antarctica, has well-developed freezing tolerance, strongly induced by cold acclimation. Here, we show that in response to low temperatures, D. antarctica expresses potent recrystallization inhibition (RI) activity that, inhibits the growth of small ice crystals into potentially damaging large ones, is proteinaceous and localized to the apoplasm. A gene family from D. antarctica encoding putative homologs of an ice recrystallization inhibition protein (IRIP) has been isolated and characterized. IRIPs are apoplastically targeted proteins with two potential ice-binding motifs: 1-9 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and c. 16 'IRIP' repeats. IRIP genes appear to be confined to the grass subfamily Pooideae and their products, exhibit sequence similarity to phytosulphokine receptors and are predicted to adopt conformations with two ice-binding surfaces. D. antarctica IRIP (DaIRIP) transcript levels are greatly enhanced in leaf tissue following cold acclimation. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing a DaIRIP has novel RI activity, and purified DaIRIP, when added back to extracts of leaves from non-acclimated D. antarctica, can reconstitute the activity found in acclimated plants. We propose that IRIP-mediated RI activity may contribute to the cryotolerance of D. antarctica, and thus to its unique ability to have colonized Antarctica.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...... this zone to be a confined aquifer situated in sediments with a porosity of 23-42%. Discovery of this aquifer suggests that subsurface liquid water may be more pervasive in regions of continuous permafrost than previously thought and may represent an extensive habitat for microbial populations. Key Points...... Geophysical survey finds low resistivities beneath a lake in Antarctic Dry Valleys Liquid brine abundant beneath Antarctic lake Aquifer provides microbial refugium in cold desert environment...

  3. Antarctic Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and Ice Sheet Mass Balance using GRACE: A Report from the Ice-sheet Mass Balance Exercise (IMBIE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, E. R.; Wahr, J. M.; Schrama, E. J.; Milne, G. A.; Barletta, V.; Horwath, M.; Whitehouse, P.

    2012-12-01

    In preparation for the Inter-govermental Panel on Climate Change: Assessment Report 5 (IPCC AR5), ESA and NASA have formed a committee of experts to perform a formal set of comparative experiments concerning space observations of ice sheet mass balance. This project began in August of 2011 and has now concluded with a report submitted for Science (Shepherd et al., 2012). The focus of the work conducted is to re-evaluate scientific reports on the mass balance of Greenland ice sheet (GIS) and Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). The most serious discrepancies have been reported for the AIS, amounting to as much as 0.9 mm/yr in discrepant sea level contribution. A direct method of determining the AIS is by space gravimetry. However, for this method to contribute to our understanding of sea level change, we require knowledge of present-day non-elastic vertical movements of bedrock in Antarctica. Quantifying the uncertainty and bias caused by lack of observational control on models of regional glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), was a major focus for our experiments. This regional process is the most problematic error source for GRACE-determinations of ice mass balance in Antarctica. While GIA likely dominates some large vertical motions in Antarctica that are now observed with GPS (Thomas et al., 2011, GRL), interpretations still require models. The reported uncertainty for space gravimetric (GRACE) based sea level sourcing is roughly 0.20 to 0.35 mm/yr. The uncertainty is also part of the error budget for mass balances derived from altimetry measurements, though at a much lower level. Analysis of the GRACE time series using CSR RL04 (2003.0-2010.10) for AIS mass balance reveals a small trend of order +1 to -24 Gt/yr without a GIA correction. Three periods were selected over which to perform inter-comparisons (see Table). One class of GIA models, that relies primarily on far field sea level reconstructions (e.g. ICE-5G), provide a GIA correction that places AIS mass imbalance (

  4. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK – Part 2: Dynamic equilibrium simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Martin

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a dynamic equilibrium simulation of the ice sheet-shelf system on Antarctica with the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK. The simulation is initialized with present-day conditions for bed topography and ice thickness and then run to steady state with constant present-day surface mass balance. Surface temperature and sub-shelf basal melt distribution are parameterized. Grounding lines and calving fronts are free to evolve, and their modeled equilibrium state is compared to observational data. A physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates allows for realistic calving fronts for various types of shelves. Steady-state dynamics including surface velocity and ice flux are analyzed for whole Antarctica and the Ronne-Filchner and Ross ice shelf areas in particular. The results show that the different flow regimes in sheet and shelves, and the transition zone between them, are captured reasonably well, supporting the approach of superposition of SIA and SSA for the representation of fast motion of grounded ice. This approach also leads to a natural emergence of sliding-dominated flow in stream-like features in this new 3-D marine ice sheet model.

  5. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK) - Part 2: Dynamic equilibrium simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, M. A.; Winkelmann, R.; Haseloff, M.; Albrecht, T.; Bueler, E.; Khroulev, C.; Levermann, A.

    2011-09-01

    We present a dynamic equilibrium simulation of the ice sheet-shelf system on Antarctica with the Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK). The simulation is initialized with present-day conditions for bed topography and ice thickness and then run to steady state with constant present-day surface mass balance. Surface temperature and sub-shelf basal melt distribution are parameterized. Grounding lines and calving fronts are free to evolve, and their modeled equilibrium state is compared to observational data. A physically-motivated calving law based on horizontal spreading rates allows for realistic calving fronts for various types of shelves. Steady-state dynamics including surface velocity and ice flux are analyzed for whole Antarctica and the Ronne-Filchner and Ross ice shelf areas in particular. The results show that the different flow regimes in sheet and shelves, and the transition zone between them, are captured reasonably well, supporting the approach of superposition of SIA and SSA for the representation of fast motion of grounded ice. This approach also leads to a natural emergence of sliding-dominated flow in stream-like features in this new 3-D marine ice sheet model.

  6. Broad-scale predictability of carbohydrates and exopolymers in Antarctic and Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Graham J C; Aslam, Shazia N; Michel, Christine; Niemi, Andrea; Norman, Louiza; Meiners, Klaus M; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Paterson, Harriet; Thomas, David N

    2013-09-24

    Sea ice can contain high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), much of which is carbohydrate-rich extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microalgae and bacteria inhabiting the ice. Here we report the concentrations of dissolved carbohydrates (dCHO) and dissolved EPS (dEPS) in relation to algal standing stock [estimated by chlorophyll (Chl) a concentrations] in sea ice from six locations in the Southern and Arctic Oceans. Concentrations varied substantially within and between sampling sites, reflecting local ice conditions and biological content. However, combining all data revealed robust statistical relationships between dCHO concentrations and the concentrations of different dEPS fractions, Chl a, and DOC. These relationships were true for whole ice cores, bottom ice (biomass rich) sections, and colder surface ice. The distribution of dEPS was strongly correlated to algal biomass, with the highest concentrations of both dEPS and non-EPS carbohydrates in the bottom horizons of the ice. Complex EPS was more prevalent in colder surface sea ice horizons. Predictive models (validated against independent data) were derived to enable the estimation of dCHO concentrations from data on ice thickness, salinity, and vertical position in core. When Chl a data were included a higher level of prediction was obtained. The consistent patterns reflected in these relationships provide a strong basis for including estimates of regional and seasonal carbohydrate and dEPS carbon budgets in coupled physical-biogeochemical models, across different types of sea ice from both polar regions.

  7. 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°.

  8. A new albedo parameterization for use in climate models over the Antarctic ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831891; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; Flanner, M.G.; Gardner, A.S.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611

    2011-01-01

    A parameterization for broadband snow surface albedo, based on snow grain size evolution, cloud optical thickness, and solar zenith angle, is implemented into a regional climate model for Antarctica and validated against field observations of albedo for the period 1995–2004. Over the Antarctic

  9. Equatorial heat accumulation as a long-term trigger of permanent Antarctic ice sheets during the Cenozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, Maxime; Hermoso, Michaël; Minoletti, Fabrice

    2016-10-18

    Growth of the first permanent Antarctic ice sheets at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT), ∼33.7 million years ago, indicates a major climate shift within long-term Cenozoic cooling. The driving mechanisms that set the stage for this glaciation event are not well constrained, however, owing to large uncertainties in temperature reconstructions during the Eocene, especially at lower latitudes. To address this deficiency, we used recent developments in coccolith biogeochemistry to reconstruct equatorial Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric pCO 2 values from pelagic sequences preceding and spanning the EOT. We found significantly more variability in equatorial SSTs than previously reported, with pronounced cooling from the Early to Middle Eocene and subsequent warming during the Late Eocene. Thus, we show that the Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary was preceded by a period of heat accumulation in the low latitudes, likely focused in a progressively contracting South Atlantic gyre, which contributed to cooling high-latitude austral regions. This prominent redistribution of heat corresponds to the emplacement of a strong meridional temperature gradient that typifies icehouse climate conditions. Our equatorial coccolith-derived geochemical record thus highlights an important period of global climatic and oceanic upheaval, which began 4 million years before the EOT and, superimposed on a long-term pCO 2 decline, drove the Earth system toward a glacial tipping point in the Cenozoic.

  10. Seasonal cycle of circulation in the Antarctic Peninsula and the off-shelf transport of shelf waters into southern Drake Passage and Scotia Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Mingshun; Charette, Matthew A.; Measures, Christopher I.; Zhu, Yiwu; Zhou, Meng

    2013-06-01

    The seasonal cycle of circulation and transport in the Antarctic Peninsula shelf region is investigated using a high-resolution (˜2 km) regional model based on the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS). The model also includes a naturally occurring tracer with a strong source over the shelf (radium isotope 228Ra, t1/2=5.8 years) to investigate the sediment Fe input and its transport. The model is spun-up for three years using climatological boundary and surface forcing and then run for the 2004-2006 period using realistic forcing. Model results suggest a persistent and coherent circulation system throughout the year consisting of several major components that converge water masses from various sources toward Elephant Island. These currents are largely in geostrophic balance, driven by surface winds, topographic steering, and large-scale forcing. Strong off-shelf transport of the Fe-rich shelf waters takes place over the northeastern shelf/slope of Elephant Island, driven by a combination of topographic steering, extension of shelf currents, and strong horizontal mixing between the ACC and shelf waters. These results are generally consistent with recent and historical observational studies. Both the shelf circulation and off-shelf transport show a significant seasonality, mainly due to the seasonal changes of surface winds and large-scale circulation. Modeled and observed distributions of 228Ra suggest that a majority of Fe-rich upper layer waters exported off-shelf around Elephant Island are carried by the shelfbreak current and the Bransfield Strait Current from the shallow sills between Gerlache Strait and Livingston Island, and northern shelf of the South Shetland Islands, where strong winter mixing supplies much of the sediment derived nutrients (including Fe) input to the surface layer.

  11. Fun at Antarctic grounding lines: Ice-shelf channels and sediment transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, Reinhard; Mayer, Christoph; Eisen, Olaf; Helm, Veit; Ehlers, Todd A.; Pattyn, Frank; Berger, Sophie; Favier, Lionel; Hewitt, Ian H.; Ng, Felix; Fürst, Johannes J.; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Bergeot, Nicolas; Matsuoka, Kenichi

    2017-04-01

    Meltwater beneath the polar ice sheets drains, in part, through subglacial conduits. Landforms created by such drainages are abundant in areas formerly covered by ice sheets during the last glacial maximum. However, observations of subglacial conduit dynamics under a contemporary ice sheet are lacking. We present results from ice-penetrating radar to infer the existence of subglacial conduits upstream of the grounding line of Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The conduits are aligned with ice-shelf channels, and underlain by esker ridges formed from sediment deposition due to reduced water outflow speed near the grounding line. In turn, the eskers modify local ice flow to initiate the bottom topography of the ice-shelf channels, and create small surface ridges extending onto the shelf. Relict features on the shelf are interpreted to indicate a history of these interactions and variability of past subglacial drainages. Because ice-shelf channels are loci where intense melting occurs to thin an ice shelf, these findings expose a novel link between subglacial drainage, sedimentation, and ice-shelf stability. To investigate the role of sediment transport beneath ice sheets further, we model the sheet-shelf system of the Ekstömisen catchment, Antarctica. A 3D finite element model (Elmer/ICE) is used to solve the transients full Stokes equation for isotropic, isothermal ice with a dynamic grounding line. We initialize the model with surface topography from the TanDEM-X satellites and by inverting simultaneously for ice viscosity and basal drag using present-day surface velocities. Results produce a flow field which is consitent with sattelite and on-site observations. Solving the age-depth relationship allows comparison with radar isochrones from airborne data, and gives information about the atmospheric/dynamic history of this sector. The flow field will eventually be used to identify potential sediment sources and sinks which we compare with more than 400 km of

  12. Continent-Wide Estimates of Antarctic Strain Rates from Landsat 8-Derived Velocity Grids and Their Application to Ice Shelf Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, K. E.; Scambos, T.; Anderson, R. S.; Rajaram, H.; Pope, A.; Haran, T.

    2017-12-01

    Strain rates are fundamental measures of ice flow used in a wide variety of glaciological applications including investigations of bed properties, calculations of basal mass balance on ice shelves, application to Glen's flow law, and many other studies. However, despite their extensive application, strain rates are calculated using widely varying methods and length scales, and the calculation details are often not specified. In this study, we compare the results of nominal and logarithmic strain-rate calculations based on a satellite-derived velocity field of the Antarctic ice sheet generated from Landsat 8 satellite data. Our comparison highlights the differences between the two commonly used approaches in the glaciological literature. We evaluate the errors introduced by each code and their impacts on the results. We also demonstrate the importance of choosing and specifying a length scale over which strain-rate calculations are made, which can have large local impacts on other derived quantities such as basal mass balance on ice shelves. We present strain-rate data products calculated using an approximate viscous length-scale with satellite observations of ice velocity for the Antarctic continent. Finally, we explore the applications of comprehensive strain-rate maps to future ice shelf studies, including investigations of ice fracture, calving patterns, and stability analyses.

  13. Applications of AVHRR-Derived Ice Motions for the Arctic and Antarctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslanik, James; Emery, William

    1998-01-01

    Characterization and diagnosis of sea ice/atmosphere/ocean interactions require a synthesis of observations and modeling to identify the key mechanisms controlling the ice/climate system. In this project, we combined product generation, observational analyses, and modeling to define and interpret variability in ice motion in conjunction with thermodynamic factors such as surface temperature and albedo. The goals of this work were twofold: (1) to develop and test procedures to produce an integrated set of polar products from remotely-sensed and supporting data; and (2) to apply these data to understand processes at work in controlling sea ice distribution.

  14. Paraglacial dynamics in Little Ice Age glaciated environments in the Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Marc; Serrano, Enrique; Ruiz-Fernández, Jesús; Gómez-Ortiz, Antonio; Palacios, David

    2017-04-01

    Three Iberian mountain ranges encompassed glaciers during the Little Ice Age (LIA): the Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains and Sierra Nevada. The gradual warming trend initiated during the second half of the XIX century promoted the progressive shrinking of these glaciers, which completely melted during the first half of the 20th century in the Cantabrian Mountains and Sierra Nevada and reduced by 80% of their LIA extent in the Pyrenees. Currently, the formerly glaciated environments are located within the periglacial belt and still present to a major or lesser degree signs of paraglacial activity. LIA moraines are devoid of vegetation and composed of highly unstable sediments that are being intensely mobilized by slope processes. Inside the moraines, different landforms and processes generated following LIA glacial retreat have generated: (i) buried ice trapped within rock debris supplied from the cirque walls, which has also generated rock glaciers and protalus lobes; (ii) semi-permanent snow fields distributed above the ice-patches remnants of the LIA glaciers, and (iii) small periglacial features such as frost mounds, sorted circles and solifluction landforms generated by processes such as solifluction and cryoturbation. Present-day morphodynamics is mostly related to seasonal frost conditions, though patches of permafrost have formed in some areas in contact with the buried ice. This 'geomorphic permafrost' is undergoing a process of degradation since it is not balanced with present-day climate conditions. This is reflected in the occurrence of multiple collapses and subsidences of the debris cover where the frozen bodies sit. In the highest areas of the Pyrenees there is a permafrost belt next to the small glaciated environments in the highest massifs. Finally, we propose a model for paraglacial activity in Iberian mountain ranges and compare it to other mid-latitude mountain environments as well as to other past deglaciation stages.

  15. Broad-scale predictability of carbohydrates and exopolymers in Antarctic and Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Graham J. C.; Aslam, Shazia N.; Michel, Christine; Niemi, Andrea; Norman, Louiza; Meiners, Klaus M.; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna; Paterson, Harriet; Thomas, David N.

    2013-01-01

    Sea ice can contain high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), much of which is carbohydrate-rich extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by microalgae and bacteria inhabiting the ice. Here we report the concentrations of dissolved carbohydrates (dCHO) and dissolved EPS (dEPS) in relation to algal standing stock [estimated by chlorophyll (Chl) a concentrations] in sea ice from six locations in the Southern and Arctic Oceans. Concentrations varied substantially within and between sampling sites, reflecting local ice conditions and biological content. However, combining all data revealed robust statistical relationships between dCHO concentrations and the concentrations of different dEPS fractions, Chl a, and DOC. These relationships were true for whole ice cores, bottom ice (biomass rich) sections, and colder surface ice. The distribution of dEPS was strongly correlated to algal biomass, with the highest concentrations of both dEPS and non-EPS carbohydrates in the bottom horizons of the ice. Complex EPS was more prevalent in colder surface sea ice horizons. Predictive models (validated against independent data) were derived to enable the estimation of dCHO concentrations from data on ice thickness, salinity, and vertical position in core. When Chl a data were included a higher level of prediction was obtained. The consistent patterns reflected in these relationships provide a strong basis for including estimates of regional and seasonal carbohydrate and dEPS carbon budgets in coupled physical-biogeochemical models, across different types of sea ice from both polar regions. PMID:24019487

  16. Geoologic controls on the architecture of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's basal interface: New results from West and East Antarctica from long range geophysics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Richter, T.; Aitken, A.; Siegert, M. J.; Roberts, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    The ice-rock interface underlying the Antarctic Ice Sheet was shaped by interactions between underlying gondwanan geology and the overlying ice sheet. The ice sheet now preserves from sedimentary infill an incredibly rugged terrain which now plays a critical role in shaping subglacial hydrology, and thus shape ice sheet behavior. This terrain can by imaged through aerogeophysical means, in particular through ice penetrating radar, while airborne potential fields measurements provide insight into the geological framework that controlled erosion. Over the post IPY era, the density of airborne coverage is only now reaching the point where small scale structure can be identified and placed in context. Of particular importance is understanding the formation of focused erosional valleys, 30-50 km wide, representing now buried subglacial fjords. After initial data from the GIMBLE project in West Antarctica, and five years of sustained long range ICECAP surveys over East Antarctica , we now have a better view of the diversity of these features. The local erosion of these valleys, often cutting through significant topographic barriers, irregularly samples the underlying geology, provided a complex story in the sediment to the Antarctic margin. These valleys now provide the subglacial conduits for significant ice sheet catchments, in particular for subglacial water, including the inland catchments of DeVicq, Thwaites, and Pine Island Glaciers in West Antarctica, and Denman Glacier, Totten Glacier, Byrd Glacier and Cook Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. We find that these features, now sometimes hundreds of kilometers inland of the modern grounding line, often nucleate on or are aligned with structure inherited from the assembly of the Antarctic continent. While many of these features currently host active outlet glaciers or their tributaries, some do not, implying avenues for ice sheet change. In West Antarctica, we find a new deep connection between the coast and interior basin

  17. 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

  18. EBSD analysis of subgrain boundaries and dislocation slip systems in Antarctic and Greenland ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weikusat, Ilka; Kuiper, Ernst-Jan N.; Pennock, Gill M.; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Drury, Martyn R.

    2017-09-01

    Ice has a very high plastic anisotropy with easy dislocation glide on basal planes, while glide on non-basal planes is much harder. Basal glide involves dislocations with the Burgers vector b = 〈a〉, while glide on non-basal planes can involve dislocations with b = 〈a〉, b = [c], and b = 〈c + a〉. During the natural ductile flow of polar ice sheets, most of the deformation is expected to occur by basal slip accommodated by other processes, including non-basal slip and grain boundary processes. However, the importance of different accommodating processes is controversial. The recent application of micro-diffraction analysis methods to ice, such as X-ray Laue diffraction and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), has demonstrated that subgrain boundaries indicative of non-basal slip are present in naturally deformed ice, although so far the available data sets are limited. In this study we present an analysis of a large number of subgrain boundaries in ice core samples from one depth level from two deep ice cores from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core at 656 m of depth) and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core at 719 m of depth). EBSD provides information for the characterization of subgrain boundary types and on the dislocations that are likely to be present along the boundary. EBSD analyses, in combination with light microscopy measurements, are presented and interpreted in terms of the dislocation slip systems. The most common subgrain boundaries are indicative of basal 〈a〉 slip with an almost equal occurrence of subgrain boundaries indicative of prism [c] or 〈c + a〉 slip on prism and/or pyramidal planes. A few subgrain boundaries are indicative of prism 〈a〉 slip or slip of 〈a〉 screw dislocations on the basal plane. In addition to these classical polygonization processes that involve the recovery of dislocations into boundaries, alternative mechanisms are discussed for the formation of subgrain boundaries that are not related to the

  19. EBSD analysis of subgrain boundaries and dislocation slip systems in Antarctic and Greenland ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Weikusat

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Ice has a very high plastic anisotropy with easy dislocation glide on basal planes, while glide on non-basal planes is much harder. Basal glide involves dislocations with the Burgers vector b = 〈a〉, while glide on non-basal planes can involve dislocations with b = 〈a〉, b = [c], and b = 〈c + a〉. During the natural ductile flow of polar ice sheets, most of the deformation is expected to occur by basal slip accommodated by other processes, including non-basal slip and grain boundary processes. However, the importance of different accommodating processes is controversial. The recent application of micro-diffraction analysis methods to ice, such as X-ray Laue diffraction and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD, has demonstrated that subgrain boundaries indicative of non-basal slip are present in naturally deformed ice, although so far the available data sets are limited. In this study we present an analysis of a large number of subgrain boundaries in ice core samples from one depth level from two deep ice cores from Antarctica (EPICA-DML deep ice core at 656 m of depth and Greenland (NEEM deep ice core at 719 m of depth. EBSD provides information for the characterization of subgrain boundary types and on the dislocations that are likely to be present along the boundary. EBSD analyses, in combination with light microscopy measurements, are presented and interpreted in terms of the dislocation slip systems. The most common subgrain boundaries are indicative of basal 〈a〉 slip with an almost equal occurrence of subgrain boundaries indicative of prism [c] or 〈c + a〉 slip on prism and/or pyramidal planes. A few subgrain boundaries are indicative of prism 〈a〉 slip or slip of 〈a〉 screw dislocations on the basal plane. In addition to these classical polygonization processes that involve the recovery of dislocations into boundaries, alternative mechanisms are discussed for the formation of subgrain

  20. Inverted Basal Shear Stress of Antarctic and Greenland Ice Streams and Glaciers, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes basal shear distributions inferred from surface observations - surface ice velocities (Joughin et al., 2010, Rignot et al., 2011), bed and...

  1. 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.

  2. Sea-level response to melting of Antarctic ice shelves on multi-centennial timescales with the fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model (f.ETISh v1.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pattyn

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea-level rise is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse as a response to ocean (and atmospheric forcing. This paper presents Antarctic sea-level response to sudden atmospheric and oceanic forcings on multi-centennial timescales with the newly developed fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet (f.ETISh model. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid ice sheet–ice shelf model with vertically integrated thermomechanical coupling, making the model two-dimensional. Its marine boundary is represented by two different flux conditions, coherent with power-law basal sliding and Coulomb basal friction. The model has been compared to existing benchmarks. Modelled Antarctic ice sheet response to forcing is dominated by sub-ice shelf melt and the sensitivity is highly dependent on basal conditions at the grounding line. Coulomb friction in the grounding-line transition zone leads to significantly higher mass loss in both West and East Antarctica on centennial timescales, leading to 1.5 m sea-level rise after 500 years for a limited melt scenario of 10 m a−1 under freely floating ice shelves, up to 6 m for a 50 m a−1 scenario. The higher sensitivity is attributed to higher ice fluxes at the grounding line due to vanishing effective pressure. Removing the ice shelves altogether results in a disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and (partially marine basins in East Antarctica. After 500 years, this leads to a 5 m and a 16 m sea-level rise for the power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction conditions at the grounding line, respectively. The latter value agrees with simulations by DeConto and Pollard (2016 over a similar period (but with different forcing and including processes of hydrofracturing and cliff failure. The chosen parametrizations make model results largely independent of spatial resolution so

  3. Sea-level response to melting of Antarctic ice shelves on multi-centennial timescales with the fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet model (f.ETISh v1.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank

    2017-08-01

    The magnitude of the Antarctic ice sheet's contribution to global sea-level rise is dominated by the potential of its marine sectors to become unstable and collapse as a response to ocean (and atmospheric) forcing. This paper presents Antarctic sea-level response to sudden atmospheric and oceanic forcings on multi-centennial timescales with the newly developed fast Elementary Thermomechanical Ice Sheet (f.ETISh) model. The f.ETISh model is a vertically integrated hybrid ice sheet-ice shelf model with vertically integrated thermomechanical coupling, making the model two-dimensional. Its marine boundary is represented by two different flux conditions, coherent with power-law basal sliding and Coulomb basal friction. The model has been compared to existing benchmarks. Modelled Antarctic ice sheet response to forcing is dominated by sub-ice shelf melt and the sensitivity is highly dependent on basal conditions at the grounding line. Coulomb friction in the grounding-line transition zone leads to significantly higher mass loss in both West and East Antarctica on centennial timescales, leading to 1.5 m sea-level rise after 500 years for a limited melt scenario of 10 m a-1 under freely floating ice shelves, up to 6 m for a 50 m a-1 scenario. The higher sensitivity is attributed to higher ice fluxes at the grounding line due to vanishing effective pressure. Removing the ice shelves altogether results in a disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and (partially) marine basins in East Antarctica. After 500 years, this leads to a 5 m and a 16 m sea-level rise for the power-law basal sliding and Coulomb friction conditions at the grounding line, respectively. The latter value agrees with simulations by DeConto and Pollard (2016) over a similar period (but with different forcing and including processes of hydrofracturing and cliff failure). The chosen parametrizations make model results largely independent of spatial resolution so that f.ETISh can potentially be

  4. Very little in situ produced radiocarbon retained in accumulating Antarctic ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

    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

  5. Synergism between elevated pCO2 and temperature on the Antarctic sea ice diatom Nitzschia lecointei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Torstensson

    2013-10-01

    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 (FA content. Optimal growth rate was observed around 5 °C in a separate experiment. Carbon enrichment only promoted (6% growth rate closer to the optimal growth, but not at the control temperature (−1.8 °C. At −1.8 °C and at ∼960 μatm pCO2, the total FA content was reduced relative to the ∼390 μatm treatment, although no difference between pCO2 treatments was observed at 2.5 °C. A large proportion (97% of the total FAs comprised on average of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA at −1.8 °C. Cellular PUFA content was reduced at ∼960 relative to ∼390 μatm pCO2. Effects of carbon enrichment may be different depending on ocean warming scenario or season, e.g. reduced cellular FA content in response to elevated CO2 at low temperatures only, reflected as reduced food quality for higher trophic levels. Synergy between warming and acidification may be particularly important in polar areas since a narrow thermal window generally limits cold-water organisms.

  6. 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.

  7. The evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladant, Jean-Baptiste; Donnadieu, Yannick; Dumas, Christophe

    2017-04-01

    An increasing number of studies suggest that the Middle to Late Eocene has witnessed the waxing and waning of relatively small ephemeral ice sheets. These alternating episodes culminated in the Eocene-Oligocene transition (34 - 33.5 Ma) during which a sudden and massive glaciation occurred over Antarctica. Data studies have demonstrated that this glacial event is constituted of two 50 kyr-long steps, the first of modest (10 - 30 m of equivalent sea level) and the second of major (50 - 90 m esl) glacial amplitude, and separated by 200 kyrs. Since a decade, modeling studies have put forward the primary role of CO2 in the initiation of this glaciation, in doing so marginalizing the original "gateway hypothesis". Here, we investigate the impacts of CO2 and orbital parameters on the evolution of the ice sheet during the 500 kyrs of the EO transition using a tri-dimensional interpolation method. The latter allows precise orbital variations, CO2 evolution and ice sheet feedbacks (including the albedo) to be accounted for. Our results show that orbital variations are instrumental in initiating the first step of the EO glaciation but that the primary driver of the major second step is the atmospheric pCO2 crossing a modelled glacial threshold of 900 ppm. Although model-dependant, this higher glacial threshold makes a stronger case for ephemeral Middle-Late Eocene ice sheets. In addition, sensitivity tests demonstrate that the small first step only exists if the absolute pCO2 value remains within 100 ppm higher than the glacial threshold during the first 250 kyrs of the transition. Thereby, the pCO2 sufficiently counterbalances the strong insolation minima occurring at 33.9 and 33.8 Ma but is low enough to allow the ice sheet to nucleate. Nevertheless, questions remain as to what may cause this pCO2 drop.

  8. Seismometers on Europa: Insights from Modeling and Antarctic Ice Shelf Analogs (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerr, N. C.; Brunt, K. M.; Cammarano, F.; Hurford, T. A.; Lekic, V.; Panning, M. P.; Rhoden, A.; Sauber, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    The outer satellites of the Solar System are a diverse suite of objects that span a large spectrum of sizes, compositions, and evolutionary histories; constraining their internal structures is key for understanding their formation, evolution, and dynamics. In particular, Jupiter's icy satellite Europa has compelling evidence for the existence of a global subsurface ocean beneath a surface layer of water ice. This ocean decouples the ice shell from the solid silicate mantle, and amplifies tidally driven large-scale surface deformation. The complex fissures and cracks seen by orbital flybys suggest brittle failure is an ongoing and active process in the ice crust, therefore indicating a high level of associated seismic activity. Seismic probing of the ice, oceanic, and rocky layers would provide altogether new information on the structure, evolution, and even habitability of Europa. Any future missions (penetrators, landers, and rovers) planning to take advantage of seismometers to image the Europan interior would need to be built around predictions for the expected background noise levels, seismicity, wavefields, and elastic properties of the interior. A preliminary suite of seismic velocity profiles for Europa has been calculated using moment of inertia constraints, planetary mass and density, estimates of moon composition, thermal structure, and experimentally determined relationships of elastic properties for relevant materials at pressure, temperature and depth. While the uncertainties in these models are high, they allow us to calculate a first-order seismic response using 1-D and 3-D high frequency wave propagation codes for global and regional scale structures. Here, we show how future seismic instruments could provide detailed elastic information and reduced uncertainties on the internal structure of Europa. For example, receiver functions and surface wave orbits calculated for a single seismic instrument would provide information on crustal thickness and

  9. Antarctic news clips, 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-08-01

    Published stories are presented that sample a year's news coverage of Antarctica. The intent is to provide the U.S. Antarctic Program participants with a digest of current issues as presented by a variety of writers and popular publications. The subject areas covered include the following: earth science; ice studies; stratospheric ozone; astrophysics; life science; operations; education; antarctic treaty issues; and tourism

  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. Very little in situ produced radiocarbon retained in accumulating Antarctic ice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

    Ice samples from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, were analyzed for 14 CO 2 and 14 CO 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 14 C, 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.; hide

    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

  14. Capillary ion chromatography with on-column focusing for ultra-trace analysis of methanesulfonate and inorganic anions in limited volume Antarctic ice core samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Estrella Sanz; Poynter, Sam; Curran, Mark; Haddad, Paul R; Shellie, Robert A; Nesterenko, Pavel N; Paull, Brett

    2015-08-28

    Preservation of ionic species within Antarctic ice yields a unique proxy record of the Earth's climate history. Studies have been focused until now on two proxies: the ionic components of sea salt aerosol and methanesulfonic acid. Measurement of the all of the major ionic species in ice core samples is typically carried out by ion chromatography. Former methods, whilst providing suitable detection limits, have been based upon off-column preconcentration techniques, requiring larger sample volumes, with potential for sample contamination and/or carryover. Here, a new capillary ion chromatography based analytical method has been developed for quantitative analysis of limited volume Antarctic ice core samples. The developed analytical protocol applies capillary ion chromatography (with suppressed conductivity detection) and direct on-column sample injection and focusing, thus eliminating the requirement for off-column sample preconcentration. This limits the total sample volume needed to 300μL per analysis, allowing for triplicate sample analysis with Application to composite ice-core samples is demonstrated, with coupling of the capillary ion chromatograph to high resolution mass spectrometry used to confirm the presence and purity of the observed methanesulfonate peak. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The effects of sub-ice-shelf melting on dense shelf water formation and export in idealized simulations of Antarctic margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Gustavo; Stern, Alon; Harrison, Matthew; Sergienko, Olga; Hallberg, Robert

    2017-04-01

    Dense shelf water (DSW) is formed in coastal polynyas around Antarctica as a result of intense cooling and brine rejection. A fraction of this water reaches ice shelves cavities and is modified due to interactions with sub-ice-shelf melt water. This modified water mass contributes to the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water, and consequently, influences the large-scale ocean circulation. Here, we investigate the role of sub-ice-shelf melting in the formation and export of DSW using idealized simulations with an isopycnal ocean model (MOM6) coupled with a sea ice model (SIS2) and a thermodynamic active ice shelf. A set of experiments is conducted with variable horizontal grid resolutions (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 km), ice shelf geometries and atmospheric forcing. In all simulations DSW is spontaneously formed in coastal polynyas due to the combined effect of the imposed atmospheric forcing and the ocean state. Our results show that sub-ice-shelf melting can significantly change the rate of dense shelf water outflows, highlighting the importance of this process to correctly represent bottom water formation.

  16. 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?

  17. Regional Antarctic snow accumulation over the past 1000 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. R. Thomas

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Here we present Antarctic snow accumulation variability at the regional scale over the past 1000 years. A total of 79 ice core snow accumulation records were gathered and assigned to seven geographical regions, separating the high-accumulation coastal zones below 2000 m of elevation from the dry central Antarctic Plateau. The regional composites of annual snow accumulation were evaluated against modelled surface mass balance (SMB from RACMO2.3p2 and precipitation from ERA-Interim reanalysis. With the exception of the Weddell Sea coast, the low-elevation composites capture the regional precipitation and SMB variability as defined by the models. The central Antarctic sites lack coherency and either do not represent regional precipitation or indicate the model inability to capture relevant precipitation processes in the cold, dry central plateau. Our results show that SMB for the total Antarctic Ice Sheet (including ice shelves has increased at a rate of 7 ± 0.13 Gt decade−1 since 1800 AD, representing a net reduction in sea level of ∼ 0.02 mm decade−1 since 1800 and ∼ 0.04 mm decade−1 since 1900 AD. The largest contribution is from the Antarctic Peninsula (∼ 75 % where the annual average SMB during the most recent decade (2001–2010 is 123 ± 44 Gt yr−1 higher than the annual average during the first decade of the 19th century. Only four ice core records cover the full 1000 years, and they suggest a decrease in snow accumulation during this period. However, our study emphasizes the importance of low-elevation coastal zones, which have been under-represented in previous investigations of temporal snow accumulation.

  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. Antarctic research today

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hempel, G.

    1982-01-01

    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.)

  20. Satellite gravimetry observation of Antarctic snow accumulation related to ENSO

    OpenAIRE

    Ingo Sasgen; Henryk Dobslaw; Z. Martinec; Maik Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Interannual ice-mass variations along the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and in the Amundsen Sea Sector (AS) are obtained for the years 2002 until 2009 using satellite data of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, that correlate well (r ≈ 0.7) with accumulation variations based on the net precipitation from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. Moreover, mass signals for AP and AS are anti-correlated in time (r ≈ − 0.4) and contain El Niño Southern Oscillation signatures re...

  1. Early spawning of Antarctic krill in the Scotia Sea is fuelled by “superfluous” feeding on non-ice associated phytoplankton blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Katrin; Atkinson, Angus; Venables, Hugh J.; Pond, David W.

    2012-01-01

    The spawning success of Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) is generally assumed to depend on substantial winter sea ice extent, as ice biota can serve as a food source during winter/spring and the seasonal ice melt conditions the upper water column for extensive phytoplankton blooms. However, direct observations during spring are rare. Here we studied krill body condition and maturity stage in relation to feeding (i.e. stomach fullness, diet, absorption of individual fatty acids and defecation rate) across the Scotia Sea in November 2006. The phytoplankton concentrations were low at the marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the southern Scotia Sea (Stn. 1, 2, and 3), high in open waters of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current Front (SACCF) in the central Scotia Sea (Stn. 5), and moderate further north (Stn. 6 and 7). Krill had low lipid reserves (˜6.5% of dry mass, DM), low mass:length ratios (˜1.7 mg DM mm -1), and small digestive glands (˜7% of total DM) near the ice edge. The stomachs contained lithogenic particles, diatom debris, and bacterial fatty acids, but low proportions of diatom-indicating fatty acids, which suggest that these krill were feeding on detritus rather than on fresh ice algae. In the SACCF, krill had higher lipid reserves (˜10% of DM), high mass:length ratios (˜2.2 mg DM mm -1), and large digestive glands (˜16% of total DM). Stomach content and tissue composition indicate feeding on diatoms. In the north, moderate food concentrations co-occurred with low lipid reserves in krill, and moderate mass:length ratios and digestive gland sizes. Only in the phytoplankton bloom in the SACCF had the mating season already started and some females were about to spawn. Based on the way krill processed their food at the different stations, we indicate two mechanisms that can lead to fast regeneration of body reserves and oocyte maturation in E. superba. One is "superfluous" feeding at high food concentrations, which maximises the overall nutrient gain

  2. Crustal heat production and estimate of terrestrial heat flow in central East Antarctica, with implications for thermal input to the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodge, John W.

    2018-02-01

    Terrestrial heat flow is a critical first-order factor governing the thermal condition and, therefore, mechanical stability of Antarctic ice sheets, yet heat flow across Antarctica is poorly known. Previous estimates of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica come from inversion of seismic and magnetic geophysical data, by modeling temperature profiles in ice boreholes, and by calculation from heat production values reported for exposed bedrock. Although accurate estimates of surface heat flow are important as an input parameter for ice-sheet growth and stability models, there are no direct measurements of terrestrial heat flow in East Antarctica coupled to either subglacial sediment or bedrock. As has been done with bedrock exposed along coastal margins and in rare inland outcrops, valuable estimates of heat flow in central East Antarctica can be extrapolated from heat production determined by the geochemical composition of glacial rock clasts eroded from the continental interior. In this study, U, Th, and K concentrations in a suite of Proterozoic (1.2-2.0 Ga) granitoids sourced within the Byrd and Nimrod glacial drainages of central East Antarctica indicate average upper crustal heat production (Ho) of about 2.6 ± 1.9 µW m-3. Assuming typical mantle and lower crustal heat flux for stable continental shields, and a length scale for the distribution of heat production in the upper crust, the heat production values determined for individual samples yield estimates of surface heat flow (qo) ranging from 33 to 84 mW m-2 and an average of 48.0 ± 13.6 mW m-2. Estimates of heat production obtained for this suite of glacially sourced granitoids therefore indicate that the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet is underlain in part by Proterozoic continental lithosphere with an average surface heat flow, providing constraints on both geodynamic history and ice-sheet stability. The ages and geothermal characteristics of the granites indicate that crust in central

  3. Katabatic winds diminish precipitation contribution to the Antarctic ice mass balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grazioli, Jacopo; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Gallée, Hubert; Forbes, Richard M; Genthon, Christophe; Krinner, Gerhard; Berne, Alexis

    2017-10-10

    Snowfall in Antarctica is a key term of the ice sheet mass budget that influences the sea level at global scale. Over the continental margins, persistent katabatic winds blow all year long and supply the lower troposphere with unsaturated air. We show that this dry air leads to significant low-level sublimation of snowfall. We found using unprecedented data collected over 1 year on the coast of Adélie Land and simulations from different atmospheric models that low-level sublimation accounts for a 17% reduction of total snowfall over the continent and up to 35% on the margins of East Antarctica, significantly affecting satellite-based estimations close to the ground. Our findings suggest that, as climate warming progresses, this process will be enhanced and will limit expected precipitation increases at the ground level.

  4. Changes of deep Pacific overturning circulation and carbonate chemistry during middle Miocene East Antarctic ice sheet expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaolin; Tian, Jun; Ma, Wentao; Li, Ke; Yu, Jimin

    2018-02-01

    East Antarctic ice sheet expansion (EAIE) at ∼13.9 Ma in the middle Miocene represents a major climatic event during the long-term Cenozoic cooling, but ocean circulation and carbon cycle changes during this event remain unclear. Here, we present new fish teeth isotope (εNd) and benthic foraminiferal B/Ca records from the South China Sea (SCS), newly integrated meridional Pacific benthic foraminiferal δ18O and δ13C records and simulated results from a biogeochemical box model to explore the responses of deep Pacific Ocean circulation and carbon cycle across EAIE. The εNd and meridional benthic δ13C records reveal a more isolated Pacific Deep Water (PDW) and a sluggish Pacific meridional overturning circulation during the post-EAIE with respect to the pre-EAIE owing to weakened southern-sourced deep water formation. The deep-water [CO23-] and calcium carbonate mass accumulation rate in the SCS display markedly similar increases followed by recoveries to the pre-EAIE level during EAIE, which were probably caused by a shelf-basin shift of CaCO3 deposition and strengthened weathering due to a sea level fall within EAIE. The model results show that the ∼1‰ positive δ13C excursion during EAIE could be attributed to increased weathering of high-δ13C shelf carbonates and a terrestrial carbon reservoir expansion. The drawdown of atmospheric CO2 over the middle Miocene were probably caused by combined effects of increased shelf carbonate weathering, expanded land biosphere carbon storage and a sluggish deep Pacific meridional overturning circulation.

  5. Report on field research of the Spanish Antarctic Campaign 2014/15: a cooperative international research project with the 56th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakae Kudoh

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A study on the limnological and ecological characteristics of maritime Antarctic lakes on Byers Peninsula, Livingstone Island, South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica, was conducted by the Spanish Antarctic Research Campaign during the 2014/15 season, in cooperation with the research program of the 56th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition. Limnological surveys of three hillside lakes and three lagoons near beaches were conducted under conditions of heavy snow cover. Soils and biological samples in the catchment areas of the lakes and lagoons were also collected and analyzed. The hillside lakes were covered by thick ice and snow, which maintained winter water conditions in the lakes, such as irreversible stratification, oxygen depletion of bottom water, very weak underwater light conditions, etc., even in mid-January, although swimming zooplankton were abundant. Water samples were also collected in coastal lagoons and streams, an environment in which birds and marine mammals transport materials through the aquatic system.

  6. Laser induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.): in situ and remote detection of life in Antarctic and Alaskan ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.; Sattler, Birgit

    2009-08-01

    Once thought to be a barren desert devoid of life, it now appears that Earth's cryosphere is an ice ecosystem harbouring a rich community of metabolically active microorganisms inhabiting ice, snow, water, and lithic environments. The ability to rapidly survey this ecosystem during in situ and orbital missions is of considerable interest for monitoring Earth's carbon budget and for efficiently searching for life on Mars or any exoplanet with an analogous cryosphere. Laser induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) imaging and spectroscopy using excitation in ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths have been proposed as non-destructive astrobiological survey tools to search for amino acids, nucleic acids, microbial life, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) deep in the Mars regolith. However, the technique is easily adapted to search for larger, more complex biomolecular targets using longer wavelength sources. Of particular interest is the ability for excitation at blue, green, and red wavelengths to produce visible and near infrared fluorescence of photosynthetic pigments in cyanobacteria-dominated microbial communities populating the ice of alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic lakes, glaciers, ice sheets, and even the supercooled water-ice droplets of clouds. During the Tawani 2008 International Antarctic Expedition we tested the in situ use of the technique as part of a field campaign in the Dry Valleys of Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. In the spring of 2009, we performed airborne remote sensing tests of the technology in Alaska. In this paper we review our in situ laser detection experiments and present for the first time preliminary results on our efforts to detect cryosphere L.I.F.E. from an airborne platform.

  7. Dry calving processes at the ice cliff of an antarctic local glacier: the study case of Strandline Glacier (Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiraglia, C.; Motta, M.; Vassena, G.; Diolaiuti, G.

    2003-04-01

    In Antartic coastal area, where the ice sheet and the large outlet glaciers do not reach the sea and where some rugged mountain chains are often present, many small glaciers can be found. They are the so called local or alpine type glaciers, which have their terminus ground-based such as the real alpine glaciers and rarely reach the main valley floors. They are practically isolated and independent from the supply flowing down from the plateau and their mass balance is mainly controlled by sublimation and aeolic erosion and accumulation. The glaciers closer to the coast are submitted to the melting as well, and when the terminus is cliff-shaped they are also affected by dry calving. The most known and studied Antarctic local glaciers are placed in the Dry Valleys region (Chinn, 1985), but this kind of glaciers is also diffused all along the Northern Victoria Land coastal region (Chinn and others, 1989). Since the first Italian Antarctic expedition (1985), many studies have been carried out on this type of glaciers, which can be usefull for detailed mass balance evaluations and for obtaining information about the effects of the present climatic dynamics on the Antarctic coastal environment (Baroni and Orombelli, 1987; Baroni and others, 1995; Meneghel, 1999; Vassena and others., 2001). The Strandline Glacier (74 41 S; 164 07 E), in particular is a small alpine glacier (0,79 kmq) on the coast of Terra Nova Bay, Northern Victoria Land; it is a cold glacier where accumulation and ablation basins are mainly controlled by wind processes. Its terminus forms in the central part a grounded ice cliff about 30 m high, about 130 m far from the sea. On that glacier mass balance, surface velocity and calving rate were measured. During the southern summer season 2000-2001 many topographycal profiles of the ice cliff were surveyed by using both classical topographical and glaciological methods (total station and stakes) and GPS technique. It was so possible to detect the short term

  8. 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

  9. Air temperature and relative humidity in Dome Fuji Station buildings, East Antarctic ice sheet, in 2003

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takao Kameda

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to clarify the living condition in Dome Fuji Station in 2003, air temperature and relative humidity in the station were measured. Thermocouples with data logger and a ventilated psychrometer were used for the measurements. Average air temperature from February 11, 2003 to January 14, 2004 (missing period: July 19 to August 17 in the Dome Fuji Station buildings were as follows: Generator room 24.7℃, Dining room 23.5℃, Observation room 21.1℃, Dormitory room 18.2℃, Corridor 18.2℃, Food storage 8.2℃ and Old ice coring site -51.3℃. Average outside air temperature (1.5m height from the snow surface during the period was -54.4℃. A remarkable increase of outside air temperature (+30℃ at maximum due to a blocking high event was observed from October 31, 2003 to November 10, 2003 at Dome Fuji, during which increase of air temperature from 5 to 8°C in the station buildings was recorded. Snow on the station buildings was partly melted and some of the melted water penetrated into the station. This was the only time snow melted during the wintering over party's stay at the station. Average relative humidity in the station buildings obtained using a small humidifier was about 25%; the relative humidity without using the humidifier ranged from 9.0 to 22.9%.

  10. Geochemical analysis of ice cores from Antarctic crossing-preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammes, Daiane; Simoes, Jefferson; Ceron, Masiel; Santos, Maria; Vieria, Rosemary

    2009-01-01

    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).

  11. 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.; Ford, R. Glenn; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Distinguishing summertime atmospheric production of nitrate across the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, G.; Buffen, A. M.; Ma, H.; Hu, Z.; Sun, B.; Li, C.; Yu, J.; Ma, T.; An, C.; Jiang, S.; Li, Y.; Hastings, M. G.

    2018-06-01

    Surface snow and atmospheric samples collected along a traverse from the coast to the ice sheet summit (Dome A) are used to investigate summertime atmospheric production of nitrate (NO3-) across East Antarctica. The strong relationship observed between δ15N and δ18O of nitrate in the surface snow suggests a large (lesser) extent of nitrate photolysis in the interior (coastal) region. A linear correlation between the oxygen isotopes of nitrate (δ18O and Δ17O) indicates mixing of various oxidants that react with NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) to produce atmospheric nitrate. On the plateau, the isotopes of snow nitrate are best explained by local reoxidation chemistry of NOx, possibly occurring in both condensed and gas phases. Nitrate photolysis results in redistribution of snow nitrate, and the plateau snow is a net exporter of nitrate and its precursors. Our results suggest that while snow-sourced NOx from the plateau due to photolysis is a significant input to the nitrate budget in coastal snow (up to ∼35%), tropospheric transport from mid-low latitudes dominates (∼65%) coastal snow nitrate. The linear relationship of δ18O vs. Δ17O of the snow nitrate suggests a predominant role of hydroxyl radical (OH) and ozone (O3) in nitrate production, although a high Δ17O(O3) is required to explain the observations. Across Antarctica the oxygen isotope composition of OH appears to be dominated by exchange with water vapor, despite the very dry environment. One of the largest uncertainties in quantifying nitrate production pathways is the limited knowledge of atmospheric oxidant isotopic compositions.

  13. 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.

  14. The Antarctic ice core chronology (AICC2012): an optimized multi-parameter and multi-site dating approach for the last 120 thousand years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veres, D.; Bazin, L.; Landais, A.; Toyé Mahamadou Kele, H.; Lemieux-Dudon, B.; Parrenin, F.; Martinerie, P.; Blayo, E.; Blunier, T.; Capron, E.; Chappellaz, J.; Rasmussen, S. O.; Severi, M.; Svensson, A.; Vinther, B.; Wolff, E. W.

    2013-08-01

    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 timescale 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. (2013) 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 slightly improved timing for the bipolar sequence of events over Marine Isotope Stage 3 associated with the seesaw mechanism, with maximum differences of about 600 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 before. It is

  15. 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

    2013-08-01

    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 timescale 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. (2013 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 slightly improved timing for the bipolar sequence of events over Marine Isotope Stage 3 associated with the seesaw mechanism, with maximum differences of about 600 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 before

  16. Antarctic science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summerhayes, Colin

    Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed Antarctica and swam in its seas. Since then, life evolved as the climate cooled into the ice ages. Life will no doubt continue to evolve there as the globe now warms. But nowadays, humans are having a profound and direct effect on life in Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic islands, and the surrounding Southern Ocean, which are being invaded by a wide range of alien species including microbes, algae, fungi, bryophytes, land plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, and mammals.

  17. The Antarctica component of postglacial rebound model ICE-6G_C (VM5a) based on GPS positioning, exposure age dating of ice thicknesses, and relative sea level histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argus, Donald F.; Peltier, W. R.; Drummond, R.; Moore, Angelyn W.

    2014-07-01

    A new model of the deglaciation history of Antarctica over the past 25 kyr has been developed, which we refer to herein as ICE-6G_C (VM5a). This revision of its predecessor ICE-5G (VM2) has been constrained to fit all available geological and geodetic observations, consisting of: (1) the present day uplift rates at 42 sites estimated from GPS measurements, (2) ice thickness change at 62 locations estimated from exposure-age dating, (3) Holocene relative sea level histories from 12 locations estimated on the basis of radiocarbon dating and (4) age of the onset of marine sedimentation at nine locations along the Antarctic shelf also estimated on the basis of 14C dating. Our new model fits the totality of these data well. An additional nine GPS-determined site velocities are also estimated for locations known to be influenced by modern ice loss from the Pine Island Bay and Northern Antarctic Peninsula regions. At the 42 locations not influenced by modern ice loss, the quality of the fit of postglacial rebound model ICE-6G_C (VM5A) is characterized by a weighted root mean square residual of 0.9 mm yr-1. The Southern Antarctic Peninsula is inferred to be rising at 2 mm yr-1, requiring there to be less Holocene ice loss there than in the prior model ICE-5G (VM2). The East Antarctica coast is rising at approximately 1 mm yr-1, requiring ice loss from this region to have been small since Last Glacial Maximum. The Ellsworth Mountains, at the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, are inferred to be rising at 5-8 mm yr-1, indicating large ice loss from this area during deglaciation that is poorly sampled by geological data. Horizontal deformation of the Antarctic Plate is minor with two exceptions. First, O'Higgins, at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, is moving southeast at a significant 2 mm yr-1 relative to the Antarctic Plate. Secondly, the margins of the Ronne and Ross Ice Shelves are moving horizontally away from the shelf centres at an approximate rate of 0.8 mm yr-1, in

  18. Uncertainties in the Antarctic Ice Sheet Contribution to Sea Level Rise: Exploration of Model Response to Errors in Climate Forcing, Boundary Conditions, and Internal Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, N.; Seroussi, H. L.; Boening, C.; Larour, E. Y.; Limonadi, D.; Schodlok, M.; Watkins, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory-University of California at Irvine Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a thermo-mechanical 2D/3D parallelized finite element software used to physically model the continental-scale flow of ice at high resolutions. Embedded into ISSM are uncertainty quantification (UQ) tools, based on the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA) software. ISSM-DAKOTA offers various UQ methods for the investigation of how errors in model input impact uncertainty in simulation results. We utilize these tools to regionally sample model input and key parameters, based on specified bounds of uncertainty, and run a suite of continental-scale 100-year ISSM forward simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Resulting diagnostics (e.g., spread in local mass flux and regional mass balance) inform our conclusion about which parameters and/or forcing has the greatest impact on century-scale model simulations of ice sheet evolution. The results allow us to prioritize the key datasets and measurements that are critical for the minimization of ice sheet model uncertainty. Overall, we find that Antartica's total sea level contribution is strongly affected by grounding line retreat, which is driven by the magnitude of ice shelf basal melt rates and by errors in bedrock topography. In addition, results suggest that after 100 years of simulation, Thwaites glacier is the most significant source of model uncertainty, and its drainage basin has the largest potential for future sea level contribution. This work is performed at and supported by the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Supercomputing time is also supported through a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere program.

  19. 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.

  20. Spatially Extensive Standardized Surveys Reveal Widespread, Multi-Decadal Increase in East Antarctic Adélie Penguin Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Southwell

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. A glimpse beneath Antarctic sea ice: observation of platelet-layer thickness and ice-volume fraction with multi-frequency EM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, S.; Hoppmann, M.; Hunkeler, P. A.; Kalscheuer, T.; Gerdes, R.

    2015-12-01

    In Antarctica, ice crystals (platelets) form and grow in supercooled waters below ice shelves. These platelets rise and accumulate beneath nearby sea ice to form a several meter thick 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 for ice - ocean interactions. 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 sub-ice platelet-layer thickness and electrical conductivity, and calculated ice-volume fractions from platelet-layer conductivities using Archie's Law. The thickness results agreed well with drill-hole validation datasets within the uncertainty range, and the ice-volume fraction also yielded plausible results. Our findings imply that multi-frequency EM induction sounding is a suitable approach to efficiently map sea-ice and platelet-layer properties. However, we emphasize that the successful application of this technique requires a break with traditional EM sensor calibration strategies due to the need of absolute calibration with respect to a physical forward model.

  2. New details about the LGM extent and subsequent retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klages, J. P.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J. A.; Graham, A. G. C.; Nitsche, F. O.; Frederichs, T.; Arndt, J. E.; Gebhardt, C.; Robin, Z.; Uenzelmann-Neben, G.; Gohl, K.; Jernas, P.; Wacker, L.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years several previously undiscovered grounding-zone wedges (GZWs) have been described within the Abbot-Cosgrove palaeo-ice stream trough on the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf. These GZWs document both the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 26.5-19 cal. ka BP) grounding-line extent and the subsequent episodic retreat within this trough that neighbors the larger Pine Island-Thwaites trough to the west. Here we combine bathymetric, seismic, and geologic data showing that 1) the grounding line in Abbot Trough did not reach the continental shelf break at any time during the last glacial period, and 2) a prominent stacked GZW constructed from six individual wedges lying upon another was deposited 100 km upstream from the LGM grounding-line position. The available data allow for calculating volumes for most of these individual GZWs and for the entire stack. Sediment cores were recovered seawards from the outermost GZW in the trough, and from the individual wedges of the stacked GZW in order to define the LGM grounding-line extent, and provide minimum grounding-line retreat ages for the respective positions on the stacked GZW. We present implications of a grounded-ice free outer shelf throughout the last glacial period. Furthermore, we assess the significance of the grounding-line stillstand period recorded by the stacked GZW in Abbot Trough for the timing of post-LGM retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from the Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf.

  3. Antarctic climate variability on regional and continental scales over the last 2000 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Stenni

    2017-11-01

    Antarctic Peninsula regions, and these trends are robust across the distribution of records that contribute to the unweighted isotopic composites and also significant in the weighted temperature reconstructions. Only for the Antarctic Peninsula is this most recent century-scale trend unusual in the context of natural variability over the last 2000 years. However, projected warming of the Antarctic continent during the 21st century may soon see significant and unusual warming develop across other parts of the Antarctic continent. The extended Antarctica2k ice core isotope database developed by this working group opens up many avenues for developing a deeper understanding of the response of Antarctic climate to natural and anthropogenic climate forcings. The first long-term quantification of regional climate in Antarctica presented herein is a basis for data–model comparison and assessments of past, present and future driving factors of Antarctic climate.

  4. 78 FR 28000 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-13

    ... 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has... facilities and equipment. Location Antarctic Peninsula region, ASPA 117-Avian Island, ASPA 128 Cape...

  5. P-wave velocity structure beneath the northern Antarctic Peninsula: evidence of a steeply subducting slab and a deep-rooted low-velocity anomaly beneath the central Bransfield Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yongcheol; Kim, Kwang-Hee; Lee, Joohan; Yoo, Hyun Jae; Plasencia L., Milton P.

    2012-12-01

    Upper-mantle structure between 100 and 300 km depth below the northern Antarctic Peninsula is imaged by modelling P-wave traveltime residuals from teleseismic events recorded on the King Sejong Station (KSJ), the Argentinean/Italian stations (JUBA and ESPZ), an IRIS/GSN Station (PMSA) and the Seismic Experiment in Patagonia and Antarctica (SEPA) broad-band stations. For measuring traveltime residuals, we applied a multichannel cross-correlation method and inverted for upper-mantle structure using VanDecar's method. The new 3-D velocity model reveals a subducted slab with a ˜70° dip angle at 100-300 km depth and a strong low-velocity anomaly confined below the SE flank of the central Bransfield Basin. The low velocity is attributed to a thermal anomaly in the mantle that could be as large as 350-560 K and which is associated with high heat flow and volcanism in the central Bransfield Basin. The low-velocity zone imaged below the SE flank of the central Bransfield Basin does not extend under the northern Bransfield Basin, suggesting that the rifting process in that area likely involves different geodynamic processes.

  6. New constraints on the structure and dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet from the joint IPY/Ice Bridge ICECAP aerogeophysical project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Siegert, M. J.; van Ommen, T. D.; Roberts, J. L.; Wright, A.; Warner, R. C.; Holt, J. W.; Young, N. W.; Le Meur, E.; Legresy, B.; Cavitte, M.; Icecap Team

    2010-12-01

    Ice within marine basins of East Antarctica, and their outlets, represent the ultimate limit on sea level change. The region of East Antarctica between the Ross Sea and Wilkes Land hosts a number of major basin, but has been poorly understood. Long range aerogeophysics from US, Australian and French stations, with significant British and IceBridge support, has, under the banner of the ICECAP project, greatly improved our knowledge of ice thickness, surface elevation, and crustal structure of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, as well as the Totten Glacier, Cook Ice Shelf, and Byrd Glacier. We will discuss the evolution of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, new constraints on the geometry of the major outlet glaciers, as well as our results from surface elevation change measurements over dynamic regions of the ice sheet. We will discuss the implications of our data for the presence of mid Pleistocene ice in central East Antarctica. Future directions for ICECAP will be discussed.

  7. Consistent Richness-Biomass Relationship across Environmental Gradients in a Marine Macroalgal-Dominated Subtidal Community on the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson Valdivia

    Full Text Available Biodiversity loss has spurred the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research over a range of ecosystems. In Antarctica, however, the relationship of taxonomic and functional diversity with ecosystem properties (e.g., community biomass has received less attention, despite the presence of sharp and dynamic environmental stress gradients that might modulate these properties. Here, we investigated whether the richness-biomass relationship in macrobenthic subtidal communities is still apparent after accounting for environmental stress gradients in Fildes Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Measurements of biomass of mobile and sessile macrobenthic taxa were conducted in the austral summer 2013/4 across two environmental stress gradients: distance from nearest glaciers and subtidal depth (from 5 to 30 m. In general, community biomass increased with distance from glaciers and water depth. However, generalised additive models showed that distance from glaciers and depth accounted for negligible proportions of variation in the number of functional groups (i.e., functional richness and community biomass when compared to taxonomic richness. Functional richness and community biomass were positive and saturating functions of taxonomic richness. Large endemic, canopy-forming brown algae of the order Desmarestiales dominated the community biomass across both gradients. Accordingly, differences in the composition of taxa accounted for a significant and large proportion (51% of variation in community biomass in comparison with functional richness (10%. Our results suggest that the environmental factors here analysed may be less important than biodiversity in shaping mesoscale (several km biomass patterns in this Antarctic system. We suggest that further manipulative, hypothesis-driven research should address the role of biodiversity and species' functional traits in the responses of Antarctic subtidal communities to environmental variation.

  8. Spatial Patterns of Long-Term Erosion Rates Beneath the Marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Insights into the Physics of Continental Scale Glacial Erosion from a Comparison with the Ice-Velocity Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howat, I. M.; Tulaczyk, S.; Mac Gregor, K.; Joughin, I.

    2001-12-01

    As part of the effort to build quantitative models of glacial erosion and sedimentation, it is particularly important to construct scaled relations between erosion, transport, and sedimentation rates and appropriate glaciological variables (e.g., ice velocity). Recent acquisition of bed topography and ice velocity data for the marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)[Joughin et al., 1999; Lythe et al., in press] provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate continental-scale patterns of glacial erosion and their relationship to the ice velocity field. Utilizing this data, we construct a map of estimated long-term erosion rates beneath the WAIS. In order to calculate long-term erosion rates from the available data, we assume that: (1) the ice sheet has been present for ~5 mill. years, (2) the initial topography beneath the WAIS was that of a typical ( ~200 m.b.s.l.) continental shelf, and (3) the present topography is near local isostatic equilibrium (Airy type). The map of long-term erosion rates constructed in this fashion shows an intriguing pattern of relatively high rates (of the order of 0.1 mm/yr) concentrated beneath modern ice stream tributaries (ice velocity ~100 m/yr), but much lower erosion rates (of the order of 0.01 mm/yr) beneath both the modern fast-moving ice streams ( ~400 m/yr.) and the slow-moving parts of the ice sheet ( ~10 m/yr). This lack of clear correlation between the estimated erosion rates and ice velocity is somewhat unexpected given that both observational and theoretical studies have shown that bedrock erosion rates beneath mountain glaciers can often be calculated by multiplying the basal sliding velocity by a constant (typically of the order of ~10^-4)(Humphrey and Raymond, 1993 and Mac Gregor et al., 2000). We obtain an improved match between estimated erosion rates and bed topography by calculating erosion rates using horizontal gradients within the ice velocity field rather than the magnitude of ice velocity, as consistent

  9. Precipitation Modeling over the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and the Relationship to the Surface Mass Balance and Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromwich, David H.; Chen, Qui-Shi

    2005-01-01

    Atmospheric numerical simulation and dynamic retrieval method with atmospheric numerical analyses are used to assess the spatial and temporal variability of Antarctic precipitation for the last two decades. First, the Polar MM5 has been run over Antarctica to study the Antarctic precipitation. With a horizontal resolution of 60km, the Polar MM5 has been run for the period of July 1996 through June 1999 in a series of short-term forecasts from initial and boundary conditions provided by the ECMWF operational analyses. In comparison with climatological maps, the major features of the spatial distribution of Antarctic precipitation are well captured by the Polar MM5. Drift snow effects on redistribution of surface accumulation over Antarctica are also assessed with surface wind fields from Polar MM5 in this study. There are complex divergence and convergence patterns of drift snow transport over Antarctica, especially along the coast. It is found that areas with large drift snow transport convergence and divergence are located around escarpment areas where there is large katabatic wind acceleration. In addition, areas with large snow transport divergence are generally accompanied by areas with large snow transport convergence nearby, indicating that drift snow transport is of local importance for the redistribution of the snowfall

  10. 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

  11. Rare earth elements determined in Antarctic ice by inductively coupled plasma-Time of flight, quadrupole and sector field-mass spectrometry: An inter-comparison study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dick, D.; Wegner, A.; Gabrielli, P.; Ruth, U.; Barbante, C.; Kriews, M.

    2008-01-01

    Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a suitable tool for multi-element analysis at low concentration levels. Rare earth element (REE) determinations in standard reference materials and small volumes of molten ice core samples from Antarctica have been performed with an ICP-time of flight-MS (ICP-TOF-MS) system. Recovery rates for REE in e.g. SPS-SW1 amounted to ∼103%, and the relative standard deviations were 3.4% for replicate analysis at REE concentrations in the lower ng L -1 range. Analyses of REE concentrations in Antarctic ice core samples showed that the ICP-TOF-MS technique meets the demands of restricted sample mass. The data obtained are in good agreement with ICP-Quadrupole-MS (ICP-Q-MS) and ICP-Sector Field-MS (ICP-SF-MS) results. The ICP-TOF-MS system determines accurately and precisely REE concentrations exceeding 5 ng L -1 while between 0.5 and 5 ng L -1 accuracy and precision are element dependent

  12. Interannual and seasonal variability in short-term grazing impact of Euphausia superba in nearshore and offshore waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, R. M.; Quetin, L. B.; Haberman, K. L.

    1998-11-01

    Our focus in this paper is the interaction between macrozooplanktonic grazers and primary producers, and the interannual and seasonal variability in the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Palmer LTER) study region from Anvers Island to Adelaide Island. Short-term grazing estimates are calculated by integrating (1) theoretical and experimental estimates of ingestion rates in response to the standing stock of phytoplankton, and (2) field measurements of phytoplankton standing stock and grazer biomass. Field data come from three austral summer cruises (January/February of 1993, 1994, and 1995) and one sequence of seasonal cruises (summer, fall and winter 1993). The relative and absolute abundance of the dominant macrozooplankton grazers, Euphausia superba and Salpa thompsoni, varied by at least an order of magnitude on the spatial and temporal scales observed. Mean grazing rates ranged from 0.4 to 9.0 μg chlorophyll m -2 h -1 for the Antarctic krill and salp populations over the three summer cruises. This leads to variability in the flow of carbon from the primary producers through the grazers on the same scales. Temporal and spatial variability in grazing impact and faecal pellet production are high.

  13. Spatio-Temporal Variability of Recent Snow Accumulation Across the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Using Ultra-High Frequency Radar and Shallow Firn Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, D. G.; Rupper, S.; Forster, R. R.; Miège, C.; Brewer, S.; Koenig, L.

    2017-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could be a substantial source of future sea level rise, with 3+ meters of potential increase stored in the ice sheet. Adequate predictions of WAIS contributions, however, depend on well-constrained surface mass balance estimates for the region. Given the sparsity of available data, such estimates are tenuous. Although new data are periodically added, further research (both to collect more data and better utilize existing data) is critical to addressing these issues. Here we present accumulation data from 9 shallow firn cores and 600 km of Ku band radar traces collected as part of the Satellite Era Antarctic Traverse (SEAT) 2011/2012 field season. Using these data, combined with similar data collected during the SEAT 2010/2011 field season, we investigate the spatial variability in accumulation across the WAIS Divide and surrounding regions. We utilize seismic interpretation and 3D visualization tools to investigate the extent and variations of laterally continuous internal horizons in the radar profiles, and compare the results to nearby firn cores. Previous results show that clearly visible, laterally continuous horizons in radar returns in this area do not always represent annual accumulation isochrones, but can instead represent multi-year or sub-annual events. The automated application of Bayesian inference techniques to averaged estimates of multiple adjacent radar traces, however, can estimate annually-resolved independent age-depth scales for these radar data. We use these same automated techniques on firn core isotopic records to infer past snow accumulation rates, allowing a direct comparison with the radar-derived results. Age-depth scales based on manual annual-layer counting of geochemical and isotopic species from these same cores provide validation for the automated approaches. Such techniques could theoretically be applied to additional radar/core data sets in polar regions (e.g. Operation IceBridge), thereby

  14. 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

  15. Interannual Variability in Weddell Sea Ice Formation and Bottom Water Outflow in Response to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinkwater, M.; Kreyscher, M.

    1997-01-01

    The seasonal sea-ice cover surrounding the continent of Antarctica, together with the circumpolar current belt, form a contiguous pathway for propagation and transfer of climatological anomalies around the Sourthern hemisphere.

  16. 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.

    the austral summer of 2003. The retrieved ice core samples were labelled, packed in good quality LDPE containers and subsequently shipped in -20ºC deep freezer facilities. These cores were archived in frozen conditions in custom-made expanded polypropylene...: Glaciochemistry, Stable isotope, Ice core, Solar activity, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. regions offer continuous and highly resolved long-term records of reliable information on major atmospheric parameters like temperature, composition and trace gases. Among...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Dynamics of the ice mass in Antarctica in the time of warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. M. Kotlyakov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The modern age of global warming affect the general state of the Antarctic ice sheet and its mass balance. Studies of the Southern polar region of the Earth during the International Geophysical Year  (1957–1958 called the assumption of growth in the modern ice mass in East Antarctica. However, with the development of new methods, this conclusion has been questioned. At the turn of the century the study of global processes Earth started to use the satellite radar or laser altimetry and satellite gravimetry, which allows determining change of different masses on the Earth, including ice bodies. From the beginning of the XXI century, these methods have been used to calculate the continental ice balance. In our study, we analyze different data of recent years, supporting the earlier conclusion on continued growth of the ice mass in East Antarctica. How‑ ever, in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, on the contrary, there is increased loss of ice, leveling the increased income of ice mass of in the Central Antarctica. So all in all in the modern era of global warm‑ ing, the ice mass in Antarctica appears to be decreasing despite some growth of the East Antarctic ice sheet. Fluctuations of land ice mass reflect in the sea level variations, but in comparison with the scale of the Ant‑ arctic ice sheet its contribution to sea‑level rise is not so significant. The main reason for this is that the mass accumulation in East Antarctica with significant probability prevails over the ice outflow.

  1. Peatland Ecosystem Processes in the Maritime Antarctic During Warm Climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loisel, Julie; Yu, Zicheng; Beilman, David W; Kaiser, Karl; Parnikoza, Ivan

    2017-09-27

    We discovered a 50-cm-thick peat deposit near Cape Rasmussen (65.2°S), in the maritime Antarctic. To our knowledge, while aerobic 'moss banks' have often been examined, waterlogged 'peatlands' have never been described in this region before. The waterlogged system is approximately 100 m 2 , with a shallow water table. Surface vegetation is dominated by Warnstorfia fontinaliopsis, a wet-adapted moss commonly found in the Antarctic Peninsula. Peat inception was dated at 2750 cal. BP and was followed by relatively rapid peat accumulation (~0.1 cm/year) until 2150 cal. BP. Our multi-proxy analysis then shows a 2000-year-long stratigraphic hiatus as well as the recent resurgence of peat accumulation, sometime after 1950 AD. The existence of a thriving peatland at 2700-2150 cal. BP implies regionally warm summer conditions extending beyond the mid-Holocene; this finding is corroborated by many regional records showing moss bank initiation and decreased sea ice extent during this time period. Recent peatland recovery at the study site (maritime Antarctic region may promote a more peatland-rich landscape in the future.

  2. Optical-televiewer-based identification and characterization of material facies associated with an Antarctic ice-shelf rift

    OpenAIRE

    Hubbard, B.; Tison, J.-L.; Pattyn, F.; Dierckx, M.; Boereboom, T.; Samyn, D.

    2012-01-01

    We have drilled 13 boreholes within and around a through-cutting rift on the (unofficially named) Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. Logging by optical televiewer (OPTV) combined with core inspection has resulted in the identification and characterization of several material facies. Outside the rift, OPTV-imaged annual layering indicates ~150 years of accumulation over the 66m length of one of the boreholes. Luminosity analysis of this image also reveals the presence of numerous dark me...

  3. Analysis of the projected regional sea-ice changes in the Southern Ocean during the twenty-first century

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefebvre, W.; Goosse, H. [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique Georges Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

    2008-01-15

    Using the set of simulations performed with atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4), the projected regional distribution of sea ice for the twenty-first century has been investigated. Averaged over all those model simulations, the current climate is reasonably well reproduced. However, this averaging procedure hides the errors from individual models. Over the twentieth century, the multimodel average simulates a larger sea-ice concentration decrease around the Antarctic Peninsula compared to other regions, which is in qualitative agreement with observations. This is likely related to the positive trend in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index over the twentieth century, in both observations and in the multimodel average. Despite the simulated positive future trend in SAM, such a regional feature around the Antarctic Peninsula is absent in the projected sea-ice change for the end of the twenty-first century. The maximum decrease is indeed located over the central Weddell Sea and the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas. In most models, changes in the oceanic currents could play a role in the regional distribution of the sea ice, especially in the Ross Sea, where stronger southward currents could be responsible for a smaller sea-ice decrease during the twenty-first century. Finally, changes in the mixed layer depth can be found in some models, inducing locally strong changes in the sea-ice concentration. (orig.)

  4. Climate and sea level in isotope stage 5: an East Antarctic ice surge at approximately 95,000 BP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollin, J.T.

    1980-01-01

    Six high-resolution records correlated with marine isotope stage 5 suggest that substage 5c was essentially interglacial, and was terminated by a catastrophic cooling. Over sixty 230 Th dates indicate that the sea level in substage 5c rose to at least -2 m. Amino acid rations, archaeology, pollen and lithostratigraphy suggest that the sea later jumped to about +16 m. The combination of the cooling and the large jump points to an East Antartic ice surge, at approximately 95 kyr BP. (author)

  5. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R.; Geruo, A.; Barletta, Valentia R.; Bentley, Mike J.; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H.; Bromwich, David H.; Forsberg, Rene; Galin, Natalia; hide

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods-especially in Greenland and West Antarctica-and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 plus or minus 49, +14 plus or minus 43, -65 plus or minus 26, and -20 plus or minus 14 gigatonnes year(sup -1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 plus or minus 0.20 millimeter year(sup -1) to the rate of global sea-level rise.

  6. Coastal-change and glaciological map of the Ronne Ice Shelf area, Antarctica, 1974-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrigno, Jane G.; Foley, K.M.; Swithinbank, C.; Williams, R.S.; Dalide, L.M.

    2005-01-01

    (MSS) images of Ant-arctica and the subsequent repeat coverage made possible with Landsat and other satellite images provided an excellent means of documenting changes in the coastline of Antarctica (Ferrigno and Gould, 1987). The availability of this information provided the impetus for carrying out a comprehensive analysis of the glaciological features of the coastal regions and changes in ice fronts of Antarctica (Swithinbank, 1988; Williams and Ferrigno, 1988). The project was later modified to include Landsat 4 and 5 MSS and Th