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Sample records for west antarctic ice

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. West Antarctic ice sheet and CO/sub 2/ greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mercer, J H

    1978-01-26

    If the global consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow at its present rate, atmospheric CO/sub 2/ content will double in about 50 years. Climatic models suggest that the resultant greenhouse-warming effect will be greatly magnified in high latitudes. The computed temperature rise at lat 80/sup 0/S could start rapid deglaciation of West Antarctica, leading to a 5 m rise in sea level.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) Field Campaign Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lubin, Daniel [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography; Bromwich, David H [Ohio State University; Vogelmann, Andrew M [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Verlinde, Johannes [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States); Russell, Lynn M [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Scripps Inst. of Oceanography

    2017-09-15

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) is the most technologically advanced atmospheric and climate science campaign yet fielded in Antarctica. AWARE was motivated be recent concern about the impact of cryospheric mass loss on global sea level rise. Specifically, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is now the second largest contributor to rising sea level, after the Greenland Ice Sheet. As steadily warming ocean water erodes the grounding lines of WAIS components where they meet the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas, the retreating grounding lines moving inland and downslope on the underlying terrain imply mechanical instability of the entire WAIS. There is evidence that this point of instability may have already been reached, perhaps signifying more rapid loss of WAIS ice mass. At the same time, the mechanical support provided by adjacent ice shelves, and also the fundamental stability of exposed ice cliffs at the ice sheet grounding lines, will be adversely impacted by a warming atmosphere that causes more frequent episodes of surface melting. The surface meltwater damages the ice shelves and ice cliffs through hydrofracturing. With the increasing concern regarding these rapid cryospheric changes, AWARE was motivated by the need to (a) diagnose the surface energy balance in West Antarctica as related to both summer season climatology and potential surface melting, and (b) improve global climate model (GCM) performance over Antarctica, such that future cryospheric projections can be more reliable.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Dating glacimarine sediments from the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea using a multi-tool box: Implications for West Antarctic ice-sheet extent and retreat during the last glacial cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, C. D.; Smith, J.; Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Maher, B.; Moreton, S.; Wacker, L.; Frederichs, T.; Wiers, S.; Jernas, P.; Anderson, J. B.; Ehrmann, W. U.; Graham, A. G. C.; Gohl, K.; Larter, R. D.

    2016-02-01

    Satellite data and in-situ measurements show that today considerable mass loss is occurring from the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The observational record only spans the past four decades, and until recently the long-term context of the current deglaciation was poorly constrained. This information is, however, crucial for understanding WAIS dynamics, evaluating the role of forcing mechanisms for ice-sheet melting, and testing and calibrating ice-sheet models that attempt to predict future WAIS behavior and its impact on global sea level. Over the past decade several multinational marine expeditions and terrestrial fieldwork campaigns have targeted the Amundsen Sea shelf and its hinterland to reconstruct the WAIS configuration during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and its subsequent deglacial history. The resulting studies succeeded in shedding light on the maximum WAIS extent at the LGM and the style, pattern and speed of its retreat and thinning thereafter. Despite this progress, however, significant uncertainties and discrepancies between marine and terrestrial reconstructions remain, which may arise from difficulties in dating sediment cores from the Antarctic shelf, especially their deglacial sections. Resolving these issues is crucial for understanding the WAIS' contribution to post-LGM sea-level rise, its sensitivity to different forcing mechanisms and its future evolution. Here we present chronological constraints on WAIS advance in the Amundsen Sea and its retreat from 20 ka BP into the Holocene that were obtained by various techniques, such as 14C dating of large ( 10 mg) and small (sample aliquots of calcareous microfossils, 14C dating of acid-insoluble organic matter combusted at low (300 °C) and high (800 °C) temperatures and dating of sediment cores by using geomagnetic paleointensity. We will compare the different age constraints and discuss their reliability, applicability and implications for WAIS history.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) Science Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lubin, D [National Science Foundation; Bromwich, DH [Ohio State University; Russell, LM [Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Verlinde, J [The Pennsylvania State University; Vogelmann, AM [Brookhaven National Laboratory

    2015-10-01

    West Antarctica is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and this warming is closely connected with global sea level rise. The discovery of rapid climate change on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has challenged previous explanations of Antarctic climate change that focused on strengthening of circumpolar westerlies in response to the positive polarity trend in the Southern Annular Mode. West Antarctic warming does not yet have a comprehensive explanation: dynamical mechanisms may vary from one season to the next, and these mechanisms very likely involve complex teleconnections with subtropical and tropical latitudes. The prime motivation for this proposal is that there has been no substantial atmospheric science or climatological field work on West Antarctica since the 1957 International Geophysical Year and that research continued for only a few years. Direct meteorological information on the WAIS has been limited to a few automatic weather stations for several decades, yet satellite imagery and meteorological reanalyses indicate that West Antarctica is highly susceptible to advection of warm and moist maritime air with related cloud cover, depending on the location and strength of low pressure cells in the Amundsen, Ross, and Bellingshausen Seas. There is a need to quantify the role of these changing air masses on the surface energy balance, including all surface energy components and cloud-radiative forcing. More generally, global climate model simulations are known to perform poorly over the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, and the marked scarcity of cloud information at southern high latitudes has so far inhibited significant progress. Fortunately, McMurdo Station, where the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Facility’s (ARM’s) most advanced cloud and aerosol instrumentation is situated, has a meteorological relationship with the WAIS via circulation patterns in the Ross and Amundsen Seas. We can therefore gather sophisticated data with cloud

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Topographic Steering of Enhanced Ice Flow at the Bottleneck Between East and West Antarctica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winter, Kate; Ross, Neil; Ferraccioli, Fausto

    2018-01-01

    Hypothesized drawdown of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet through the “bottleneck” zone between East and West Antarctica would have significant impacts for a large proportion of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Earth observation satellite orbits and a sparseness of radio echo sounding data have restricted...... investigations of basal boundary controls on ice flow in this region until now. New airborne radio echo sounding surveys reveal complex topography of high relief beneath the southernmost Weddell/Ross ice divide, with three subglacial troughs connecting interior Antarctica to the Foundation and Patuxent Ice...... Streams and Siple Coast ice streams. These troughs route enhanced ice flow through the interior of Antarctica but limit potential drawdown of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet through the bottleneck zone. In a thinning or retreating scenario, these topographically controlled corridors of enhanced flow could...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.)

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Export of Ice-Cavity Water from Pine Island Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurnherr, Andreas; Jacobs, Stanley; Dutrieux, Pierre

    2013-04-01

    Stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is sensitive to changes in melting at the bottom of floating ice shelves that form the seaward extensions of Antarctic glaciers flowing into the ocean. Not least because observations in the cavities beneath ice shelves are difficult, heat fluxes and melt rates have been inferred from oceanographic measurements obtained near the ice edge (calving fronts). Here, we report on a set of hydrographic and velocity data collected in early 2009 near the calving front of the Amundsen Sea's fast-moving and (until recently) accelerating Pine Island Glacier and its associated ice shelf. CTD profiles collected along the southern half of the meridionally-trending ice front show clear evidence for export of ice-cavity water. That water was carried in the upper ocean along the ice front by a southward current that is possibly related to a striking clockwise gyre that dominated the (summertime) upper-ocean circulation in Pine Island Bay. Signatures of ice-cavity water appear unrelated to current direction along most of the ice front, suggesting that cross-frontal exchange is dominated by temporal variability. However, repeated hydrographic and velocity measurements in a small "ice cove" at the southern end of the calving front show a persistent strong (mean velocity peaking near 0.5 ms-1) outflow of ice-cavity water in the upper 500 m. While surface features (boils) suggested upwelling from deep below the ice shelf, vertical velocity measurements reveal 1) that the mean upwelling within the confines of the cove was too weak to feed the observed outflow, and 2) that large high-frequency internal waves dominated the vertical motion of water inside the cove. These observations indicate that water exchange between the Pine Island Ice Shelf cavity and the Amundsen sea is strongly asymmetric with weak broad inflow at depth and concentrated surface-intensified outflow of melt-laden deep water at the southern edge of the calving front. The lack of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Snow-atmosphere Transfer Function for Reversibly Deposited Chemical Species in West Antarctica, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Cores (WAISCORES) project, an NSF-funded project to understand the influence of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on...

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Interlaboratory comparison of {sup 10}Be concentrations in two ice cores from Central West Antarctica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodruff, Thomas E., E-mail: woodruft@purdue.edu [PRIME Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Welten, Kees C. [Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Caffee, Marc W. [PRIME Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States); Nishiizumi, Kunihiko [Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2013-01-15

    To improve sample processing efficiency for cosmogenic radionuclide measurements in samples from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide core, two chemical lines, one at Purdue University and one at University of California, Berkeley, are being used. Sections from two shallow ice cores from West Antarctica were processed at each lab, while all {sup 10}Be accelerator mass spectrometry measurements were performed at PRIME Lab, Purdue University. Duplicate samples gave {sup 10}Be results that are identical to within the AMS measurement uncertainties of 2-3%.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Extensive Holocene ice sheet grounding line retreat and uplift-driven readvance in West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingslake, J.; Scherer, R. P.; Albrecht, T.; Coenen, J. J.; Powell, R. D.; Reese, R.; Stansell, N.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Whitehouse, P. L.

    2017-12-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) reached its Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extent 29-14 kyr before present. Numerical models used to project future ice-sheet contributions to sea-level rise exploit reconstructions of post-LGM ice mass loss to tune model parameterizations. Ice-sheet reconstructions are poorly constrained in areas where floating ice shelves or a lack of exposed geology obstruct conventional glacial-geological techniques. In the Weddell and Ross Sea sectors, ice-sheet reconstructions have traditionally assumed progressive grounding line (GL) retreat throughout the Holocene. Contrasting this view, using three distinct lines of evidence, we show that the GL retreated hundreds of kilometers inland of its present position, before glacial isostatic rebound during the Mid to Late Holocene caused the GL to readvance to its current position. Evidence for retreat and readvance during the last glacial termination includes (1) widespread radiocarbon in sediment cores recovered from beneath ice streams along the Siple and Gould Coasts, indicating marine exposure at least 200 km inland of the current GL, (2) ice-penetrating radar observations of relic crevasses and other englacial structures preserved in slow-moving grounded ice, indicating ice-shelf grounding and (3) an ensemble of new ice-sheet simulations showing widespread post-LGM retreat of the GL inland of its current location and later readvance. The model indicates that GL readvance across low slope ice-stream troughs requires uplift-driven grounding of the ice shelf on topographic highs (ice rises). Our findings highlight ice-shelf pinning points and lithospheric response to unloading as drivers of major ice-sheet fluctuations. Full WAIS collapse likely requires GL retreat well beyond its current position in the Ronne and Ross Sectors and linkage via Amundsen Sea sector glaciers.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

  9. Summer Drivers of Atmospheric Variability Affecting Ice Shelf Thinning in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deb, Pranab; Orr, Andrew; Bromwich, David H.; Nicolas, Julien P.; Turner, John; Hosking, J. Scott

    2018-05-01

    Satellite data and a 35-year hindcast of the Amundsen Sea Embayment summer climate using the Weather Research and Forecasting model are used to understand how regional and large-scale atmospheric variability affects thinning of ice shelves in this sector of West Antarctica by melting from above and below (linked to intrusions of warm water caused by anomalous westerlies over the continental shelf edge). El Niño episodes are associated with an increase in surface melt but do not have a statistically significant impact on westerly winds over the continental shelf edge. The location of the Amundsen Sea Low and the polarity of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) have negligible impact on surface melting, although a positive SAM and eastward shift of the Amundsen Sea Low cause anomalous westerlies over the continental shelf edge. The projected future increase in El Niño episodes and positive SAM could therefore increase the risk of disintegration of West Antarctic ice shelves.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Ice Motion and Topography Near Margin Areas of Kamb Ice Stream, Antarctica, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes ice motion and topography measurements that were taken by measuring movement and altitude of poles set in the West Antarctic Ice Shelf. The...

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. RICE ice core: Black Carbon reflects climate variability at Roosevelt Island, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Aja; Edwards, Ross; Bertler, Nancy; Winton, Holly; Goodwin, Ian; Neff, Peter; Tuohy, Andrea; Proemse, Bernadette; Hogan, Chad; Feiteng, Wang

    2015-04-01

    The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project successfully drilled a deep ice core from Roosevelt Island during the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons. Located in the Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica, the site is an ideal location for investigating climate variability and the past stability of the Ross Ice Shelf. Black carbon (BC) aerosols are emitted by both biomass burning and fossil fuels, and BC particles emitted in the southern hemisphere are transported in the atmosphere and preserved in Antarctic ice. The past record of BC is expected to be sensitive to climate variability, as it is modulated by both emissions and transport. To investigate BC variability over the past 200 years, we developed a BC record from two overlapping ice cores (~1850-2012) and a high-resolution snow pit spanning 2010-2012 (cal. yr). Consistent results are found between the snow pit profiles and ice core records. Distinct decadal trends are found with respect to BC particle size, and the record indicates a steady rise in BC particle size over the last 100 years. Differences in emission sources and conditions may be a possible explanation for changes in BC size. These records also show a significant increase in BC concentration over the past decade with concentrations rising over 1.5 ppb (1.5*10^-9 ng/g), suggesting a fundamental shift in BC deposition to the site.

  7. Feedbacks of lithosphere dynamics and environmental change of the Cenozoic West Antarctic Rift System.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wateren, F.M.; Cloetingh, S.A.P.L.

    1999-01-01

    This special issue of Global and Planetary Change contains 11 contributions dealing with various aspects of the Cenozoic West Antarctic Rift System. During the last two decades, investigations of the interplay of tectonics and climate greatly improved understanding of Cenozoic global change. Major

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. The transition from diffuse to focused extension: Modeled evolution of the West Antarctic Rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta, Audrey D.; Harry, Dennis L.

    2007-03-01

    Two distinct stages of extension are recognized in the West Antarctic Rift system (WARS). During the first stage, beginning in the Late Cretaceous, extension was broadly distributed throughout much of West Antarctica. A second stage of extension in the late Paleogene was focused primarily in the Victoria Land Basin, near the boundary with the East Antarctic craton. The transition to focused extension was roughly coeval with volcanic activity and strike-slip faulting in the adjacent Transantarctic Mountains. This spatial and temporal correspondence suggests that the transition in extensional style could be the result of a change in plate motions or impingement of a plume. Here we use finite element models to study the processes and conditions responsible for the two-stage evolution of rifting in the WARS. Model results indicate that the transition from a prolonged period of broadly distributed extension to a later period of focused rifting did not require a change in the regional stress regime (changes in plate motion), or deep mantle thermal state (impingement of a plume). Instead, we attribute the transition from diffuse to focused extension to an early stage dominated by the initially weak accreted lithosphere of West Antarctica, and a later stage that concentrated around a secondary weakness located at the boundary between the juvenile West Antarctica lithosphere and Precambrian East Antarctic craton. The modeled transition in extension from the initially weak West Antarctica region to the secondary weakness at the West Antarctic-East Antarctic boundary is precipitated by strengthening of the West Antarctica lithosphere during syn-extensional thinning and cooling. The modeled syn-extensional strengthening of the WARS lithosphere promotes a wide-rift mode of extension between 105 and ˜ 65 Ma. By ˜ 65 Ma most of the extending WARS region becomes stronger than the area immediately adjacent to the East Antarctic craton and extension becomes concentrated near the

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Constraining ice sheet history in the Weddell Sea, West Antarctica, using ice fabric at Korff Ice Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisbourne, A.; Smith, A.; Kendall, J. M.; Baird, A. F.; Martin, C.; Kingslake, J.

    2017-12-01

    The grounding history of ice rises (grounded area of independent flow regime within a floating ice shelf) can be used to constrain large scale ice sheet history: ice fabric, resulting from the preferred orientation of ice crystals due to the stress regime, can be used to infer this grounding history. With the aim of measuring the present day ice fabric at Korff Ice Rise, West Antarctica, a multi-azimuth wide-angle seismic experiment was undertaken. Three wide-angle common-midpoint gathers were acquired centred on the apex of the ice rise, at azimuths of 60 degrees to one another, to measure variation in seismic properties with offset and azimuth. Both vertical and horizontal receivers were used to record P and S arrivals including converted phases. Measurements of the variation with offset and azimuth of seismic traveltimes, seismic attenuation and shear wave splitting have been used to quantify seismic anisotropy in the ice column. The observations cannot be reproduced using an isotropic ice column model. Anisotropic ray tracing has been used to test likely models of ice fabric by comparison with the data. A model with a weak girdle fabric overlying a strong cluster fabric provides the best fit to the observations. Fabric of this nature is consistent with Korff Ice Rise having been stable for the order of 10,000 years without any ungrounding or significant change in the ice flow configuration across the ice rise for this period. This observation has significant implications for the ice sheet history of the Weddell Sea sector.

  1. Dark ice dynamics of the south-west Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedstone, Andrew J.; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Cook, Joseph M.; Williamson, Christopher J.; Fettweis, Xavier; Hodson, Andrew J.; Tranter, Martyn

    2017-11-01

    Runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has increased in recent years due largely to changes in atmospheric circulation and atmospheric warming. Albedo reductions resulting from these changes have amplified surface melting. Some of the largest declines in GrIS albedo have occurred in the ablation zone of the south-west sector and are associated with the development of dark ice surfaces. Field observations at local scales reveal that a variety of light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) can be present on the surface, ranging from inorganic particulates to cryoconite materials and ice algae. Meanwhile, satellite observations show that the areal extent of dark ice has varied significantly between recent successive melt seasons. However, the processes that drive such large interannual variability in dark ice extent remain essentially unconstrained. At present we are therefore unable to project how the albedo of bare ice sectors of the GrIS will evolve in the future, causing uncertainty in the projected sea level contribution from the GrIS over the coming decades. Here we use MODIS satellite imagery to examine dark ice dynamics on the south-west GrIS each year from 2000 to 2016. We quantify dark ice in terms of its annual extent, duration, intensity and timing of first appearance. Not only does dark ice extent vary significantly between years but so too does its duration (from 0 to > 80 % of June-July-August, JJA), intensity and the timing of its first appearance. Comparison of dark ice dynamics with potential meteorological drivers from the regional climate model MAR reveals that the JJA sensible heat flux, the number of positive minimum-air-temperature days and the timing of bare ice appearance are significant interannual synoptic controls. We use these findings to identify the surface processes which are most likely to explain recent dark ice dynamics. We suggest that whilst the spatial distribution of dark ice is best explained by outcropping of particulates from

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Junhwa; Kim, Hyun-Cheol

    2016-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Revised East-West Antarctic plate motions since the Middle Eocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J.; Damaske, D.

    2010-12-01

    The middle Cenozoic (43-26 Ma) rifting between East and West Antarctica is defined by an episode of ultraslow seafloor spreading in the Adare Basin, located off northwestern Ross Sea. The absence of fracture zones and the lack of sufficient well-located magnetic anomaly picks have resulted in a poorly constrained kinematic model (Cande et al., 2000). Here we utilize the results from a dense aeromagnetic survey (Damaske et al., 2007) collected as part of GANOVEX IX 2005/06 campaign to re-evaluate the kinematics of the West Antarctic rift system since the Middle Eocene. We identify marine magnetic anomalies (anomalies 12o, 13o, 16y, and 18o) along a total of 25,000 km of the GPS navigated magnetic profiles. The continuation of these anomalies into the Northern Basin has allowed us to use the entire N-S length of this dataset in our calculations. A distinct curvature in the orientation of the spreading axis provides a strong constraint on our calculated kinematic models. The results from two- (East-West Antarctica) and three- (Australia-East Antarctica-West Antarctica) plate solutions agree well and create a cluster of rotation axes located south of the rift system, near the South Pole. These solutions reveal that spreading rate and direction, and therefore motion between East and West Antarctica, were steady between the Middle Eocene and Early Oligocene. Our kinematic solutions confirm the results of Davey and De Santis (2005) that the Victoria Land Basin has accommodated ~95 km of extension since the Middle Eocene. This magnetic pattern also provides valuable constraints on the post-spreading deformation of the Adare Basin (Granot et al., 2010). The Adare Basin has accommodated very little extension since the Late Oligocene (<7 km), but motion has probably increased southward. The details of this younger phase of motion are still crudely constrained.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Drilling, processing and first results for Mount Johns ice core in West Antarctica Ice Sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciele Schwanck

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: An ice core, 92.26 m in length, was collected near the ice divide of the West Antarctica ice sheet during the 2008/2009 austral summer. This paper described the fieldwork at the Mount Johns site (79º55'S; 94º23'W and presented the first results of the upper 45.00 m record covering approximately 125 years (1883 - 2008, dated by annual layer counting and volcanic reference horizons. Trace element concentrations in 2,137 samples were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The concentrations obtained for Al, Ba, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Sr and Ti are controlled by climate variations, the transport distance, and the natural sources of these aerosols. Natural dust contributions, mainly derived from the arid areas of Patagonia and Australia, are important sources for aluminum, barium, iron, manganese and titanium. Marine aerosols from sea ice and transported by air masses are important sources of sodium and magnesium. Calcium, potassium and strontium showed considerable inputs of both continental dust and marine aerosols.

  14. The Response of Ice Sheets to Climate Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, K.; Goldberg, D. N.; Holland, P. R.; Jordan, J. R.; Arthern, R. J.; Jenkins, A.

    2017-12-01

    West Antarctic Ice Sheet loss is a significant contributor to sea level rise. While the ice loss is thought to be triggered by fluctuations in oceanic heat at the ice shelf bases, ice sheet response to ocean variability remains poorly understood. Using a synchronously coupled ice-ocean model permitting grounding line migration, this study evaluates the response of an ice sheet to periodic variations in ocean forcing. Resulting oscillations in grounded ice volume amplitude is shown to grow as a nonlinear function of ocean forcing period. This implies that slower oscillations in climatic forcing are disproportionately important to ice sheets. The ice shelf residence time offers a critical time scale, above which the ice response amplitude is a linear function of ocean forcing period and below which it is quadratic. These results highlight the sensitivity of West Antarctic ice streams to perturbations in heat fluxes occurring at decadal time scales.

  15. Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution Project (RICE): A 65 Kyr ice core record of black carbon aerosol deposition to the Ross Ice Shelf, West Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Ross; Bertler, Nancy; Tuohy, Andrea; Neff, Peter; Proemse, Bernedette; Feiteng, Wang; Goodwin, Ian; Hogan, Chad

    2015-04-01

    Emitted by fires, black carbon aerosols (rBC) perturb the atmosphere's physical and chemical properties and are climatically active. Sedimentary charcoal and other paleo-fire records suggest that rBC emissions have varied significantly in the past due to human activity and climate variability. However, few paleo rBC records exist to constrain reconstructions of the past rBC atmospheric distribution and its climate interaction. As part of the international Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project, we have developed an Antarctic rBC ice core record spanning the past ~65 Kyr. The RICE deep ice core was drilled from the Roosevelt Island ice dome in West Antarctica from 2011 to 2013. The high depth resolution (~ 1 cm) record was developed using a single particle intracavity laser-induced incandescence soot photometer (SP2) coupled to an ice core melter system. The rBC record displays sub-annual variability consistent with both austral dry-season and summer biomass burning. The record exhibits significant decadal to millennial-scale variability consistent with known changes in climate. Glacial rBC concentrations were much lower than Holocene concentrations with the exception of several periods of abrupt increases in rBC. The transition from glacial to interglacial rBC concentrations occurred over a much longer time relative to other ice core climate proxies such as water isotopes and suggests . The protracted increase in rBC during the transition may reflected Southern hemisphere ecosystem / fire regime changes in response to hydroclimate and human activity.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Anomalous South Pacific lithosphere dynamics derived from new total sediment thickness estimates off the West Antarctic margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wobbe, Florian; Lindeque, Ansa; Gohl, Karsten

    2014-12-01

    Paleotopographic models of the West Antarctic margin, which are essential for robust simulations of paleoclimate scenarios, lack information on sediment thickness and geodynamic conditions, resulting in large uncertainties. A new total sediment thickness grid spanning the Ross Sea-Amundsen Sea-Bellingshausen Sea basins is presented and is based on all the available seismic reflection, borehole, and gravity modeling data offshore West Antarctica. This grid was combined with NGDC's global 5 arc minute grid of ocean sediment thickness (Whittaker et al., 2013) and extends the NGDC grid further to the south. Sediment thickness along the West Antarctic margin tends to be 3-4 km larger than previously assumed. The sediment volume in the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross Sea basins amounts to 3.61, 3.58, and 2.78 million km3, respectively. The residual basement topography of the South Pacific has been revised and the new data show an asymmetric trend over the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. Values are anomalously high south of the spreading ridge and in the Ross Sea area, where the topography seems to be affected by persistent mantle processes. In contrast, the basement topography offshore Marie Byrd Land cannot be attributed to dynamic topography, but rather to crustal thickening due to intraplate volcanism. Present-day dynamic topography models disagree with the presented revised basement topography of the South Pacific, rendering paleotopographic reconstructions with such a limited dataset still fairly uncertain.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Buried and Massive Ground Ice on the West Coast of Baidaratskaya Bay in the Kara Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. G. Belova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Using data on the structure, conditions of occurrence (bedding, and the isotope composition of massive ice beds on the West coast of Baydaratskaya Bay it was established that the massive ice beds even occurring in the same outcrop may be related to different genetic types. There are two groups of the massive ice: 1 the «upper» thick (> 3 m massive ice beds composed by buried basal glacier ice; and 2 the «lower» small ice beds (< 3 m, formed both intrasedimentally and as a result of burial of initially surface ice bodies. Sand thickness which included both groups of the massive ice started its formation before the glacial ice burial. As a result of advancing and later degradation of the glacier, probably moving from the Pay-Khoy ridge or from the Polar Ural, its lower (basal parts were preserved within the permafrost thickness. 

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Understanding Ice Shelf Basal Melting Using Convergent ICEPOD Data Sets: ROSETTA-Ice Study of Ross Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Frearson, N.; Tinto, K. J.; Das, I.; Fricker, H. A.; Siddoway, C. S.; Padman, L.

    2017-12-01

    The future stability of the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica will be susceptible to increases in both surface and basal melt as the atmosphere and ocean warm. The ROSETTA-Ice program is targeted at using the ICEPOD airborne technology to produce new constraints on Ross Ice Shelf, the underlying ocean, bathymetry, and geologic setting, using radar sounding, gravimetry and laser altimetry. This convergent approach to studying the ice-shelf and basal processes enables us to develop an understanding of the fundamental controls on ice-shelf evolution. This work leverages the stratigraphy of the ice shelf, which is detected as individual reflectors by the shallow-ice radar and is often associated with surface scour, form close to the grounding line or pinning points on the ice shelf. Surface accumulation on the ice shelf buries these reflectors as the ice flows towards the calving front. This distinctive stratigraphy can be traced across the ice shelf for the major East Antarctic outlet glaciers and West Antarctic ice streams. Changes in the ice thickness below these reflectors are a result of strain and basal melting and freezing. Correcting the estimated thickness changes for strain using RIGGS strain measurements, we can develop decadal-resolution flowline distributions of basal melt. Close to East Antarctica elevated melt-rates (>1 m/yr) are found 60-100 km from the calving front. On the West Antarctic side high melt rates primarily develop within 10 km of the calving front. The East Antarctic side of Ross Ice Shelf is dominated by melt driven by saline water masses that develop in Ross Sea polynyas, while the melting on the West Antarctic side next to Hayes Bank is associated with modified Continental Deep Water transported along the continental shelf. The two sides of Ross Ice Shelf experience differing basal melt in part due to the duality in the underlying geologic structure: the East Antarctic side consists of relatively dense crust, with low amplitude

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Photobiology of sea ice algae during initial spring growth in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hawes, Ian; Lund-Hansen, Lars Chresten; Sorrell, Brian Keith

    2012-01-01

    We undertook a series of measurements of photophysiological parameters of sea ice algae over 12 days of early spring growth in a West Greenland Fjord, by variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging. Imaging of the ice–water interface showed the development of ice algae in 0.3–0.4 mm wide brine...

  16. 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.

  17. 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....

  18. 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

  19. Mapping of a Hydrological Ice Sheet Drainage Basin on the West Greenland Ice Sheet Margin from ERS-1/2 SAR Interferometry, Ice-Radar Measurement, and Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Bøggild, C.E.; Stenseng, L.

    2002-01-01

    importance of the potential of the ice overburden pressure compared to the bedrock topography. The meltwater run-off for the basin delineations was modelled with an energy-balance model calibrated with observed ice-sheet ablation and compared to a 25 year time series of measured basin run-off. The standard......The hydrological ice-sheet basin draining into the Tasersiaq lake, West Greenland (66°13'N, 50°30'W), was delineated, First using standard digital elevation models (DEMs) for ice-sheet surface and bedrock, and subsequently using a new high-resolution dataset, with a surface DEM derived from repeat......-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a bedrock topography derived from an airborne 60 MHz ice-penetrating radar. The extent of the delineation was calculated from a water-pressure potential as a function of the ice-sheet surface and bedrock elevations and a hydraulic factor κ describing the relative...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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 (

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Estimating the future ice sheet hydropower potential in Paakitsoq, Ilulissat, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Mottram, R.H.; Nielsen, C.

    2008-01-01

    sheet has emphasized the risk of sudden changes in catchment supply. In this study, we present a thorough investigation of hydropower feasibility at the Paakitsoq basin, near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The catchment is completely dominated by the Greenland ice sheet which provides large quantities...... of meltwater during the summer season. However, geometrical changes in the ice sheet, for example due to a retreat or an advance of the ice sheet margin, could change the hydrological catchment within the ice sheet. Such a change would have a devastating economical impact as a hydropower plant is a significant...... long-term investment for an Arctic community of modest population. Here we present a new bedrock and surface map of the Paakitsoq/Swiss Camp part of the Greenland ice sheet and a prediction of the future discharge up to 2080 AD using regional climate model output, dynamic ice sheet modelling...

  14. 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°.

  15. 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

  16. Velocities of antarctic outlet glaciers determined from sequential Landsat images

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Thomas R.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Williams, Richard S.; Lucchitta, Baerbel K.

    1989-01-01

    Approximately 91.0 percent of the volume of present-day glacier ice on Earth is in Antarctica; Greenland contains about another 8.3 percent of the volume. Thus, together, these two great ice sheets account for an estimated 99.3 percent of the total. Long-term changes in the volume of glacier ice on our planet are the result of global climate change. Because of the relationship of global ice volume to sea level (± 330 cubic kilometers of glacier ice equals ± 1 millimeter sea level), changes in the mass balance of the antarctic ice sheet are of particular importance.Whether the mass balance of the east and west antarctic ice sheets is positive or negative is not known. Estimates of mass input by total annual precipitation for the continent have been made from scattered meteorological observations (Swithinbank 1985). The magnitude of annual ablation of the ice sheet from calving of outlet glaciers and ice shelves is also not well known. Although the velocities of outlet glaciers can be determined from field measurements during the austral summer,the technique is costly, does not cover a complete annual cycle,and has been applied to just a few glaciers. To increase the number of outlet glaciers in Antarctica for which velocities have been determined and to provide additional data for under-standing the dynamics of the antarctic ice sheets and their response to global climate change, sequential Landsat image of several outlet glaciers were measured.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. Ice-Ocean Interactions to the North-West of Greenland: Glaciers, Straits, Ice Bridges, and the Rossby Radius (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenchow, A.; Falkner, K. K.; Melling, H.; Johnson, H. L.; Huntley, H. S.; Ryan, P.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier at 81 N latitude is a major outlet glacier adjacent to Nares Strait. It terminates in a long (70 km), narrow (16 km) and thin (50 m) floating tongue and has a grounding line more than 500 m below sea level. A calving event in 2010 reduced the floating area by 25% and produced a single 240 km2 ice island currently moving south in Nares Strait where it will likely interact with island to potentially create a temporary polynya in Nares Strait. The 2010 calving from Petermann Glacier contributes bridge formed regularly at the southern end of Nares Strait creating the North-Water polynya near 79 N latitude. Since 2006 this ice bridge has largely failed to form, leading, perhaps, to the occasional formation of a secondary ice bridge 300 km to the north where Nares Strait connects to the Arctic Ocean. However, this ice bridge appears to form for shorter periods only. Consequently Arctic sea ice can now exit the Arctic in winter via pathways to the west of Greenland all year. We speculate that this changed ocean and sea ice regime in Nares Strait and the Arctic Ocean may contribute to the recently observed calving events in Petermann Fjord.

  4. 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

  5. Holocene glacial history of the west Greenland Ice Sheet inferred from cosmogenic exposure ages and threshold lakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj Krog; Kjaer, K. H.; Colding, Sune Oluf

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we use a combination of 10Be exposure ages and threshold lakes to constrain the ice sheet history in Godthåbs- and Buksefjorden, west Greenland (63-64°N) during the Holocene. The 10Be cosmogenic exposure ages have been used to quantify both the ice retreat and thinning of the west...

  6. Variability of Basal Melt Beneath the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Vaughan, David G.; Vornberger, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Observations from satellite and airborne platforms are combined with model calculations to infer the nature and efficiency of basal melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, by ocean waters. Satellite imagery shows surface features that suggest ice-shelf-wide changes to the ocean s influence on the ice shelf as the grounding line retreated. Longitudinal profiles of ice surface and bottom elevations are analyzed to reveal a spatially dependent pattern of basal melt with an annual melt flux of 40.5 Gt/a. One profile captures a persistent set of surface waves that correlates with quasi-annual variations of atmospheric forcing of Amundsen Sea circulation patterns, establishing a direct connection between atmospheric variability and sub-ice-shelf melting. Ice surface troughs are hydrostatically compensated by ice-bottom voids up to 150m deep. Voids form dynamically at the grounding line, triggered by enhanced melting when warmer-than-average water arrives. Subsequent enlargement of the voids is thermally inefficient (4% or less) compared with an overall melting efficiency beneath the ice shelf of 22%. Residual warm water is believed to cause three persistent polynyas at the ice-shelf front seen in Landsat imagery. Landsat thermal imagery confirms the occurrence of warm water at the same locations.

  7. Ice-Shelf Flexure and Tidal Forcing of Bindschadler Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Ryan T.; Parizek, Bryron R.; Alley, Richard B.; Brunt, Kelly M.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar

    2014-01-01

    Viscoelastic models of ice-shelf flexure and ice-stream velocity perturbations are combined into a single efficient flowline model to study tidal forcing of grounded ice. The magnitude and timing of icestream response to tidally driven changes in hydrostatic pressure and/or basal drag are found to depend significantly on bed rheology, with only a perfectly plastic bed allowing instantaneous velocity response at the grounding line. The model can reasonably reproduce GPS observations near the grounding zone of Bindschadler Ice Stream (formerly Ice Stream D) on semidiurnal time scales; however, other forcings such as tidally driven ice-shelf slope transverse to the flowline and flexurally driven till deformation must also be considered if diurnal motion is to be matched

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Unveiling the Antarctic subglacial landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Roland; Roberts, Jason

    2010-05-01

    revealed by this approach, and we advocate its consideration in future ice thickness data syntheses. REFERENCES Budd, W.F., and R.C. Warner, 1996. A computer scheme for rapid calculations of balance-flux distributions. Annals of Glaciology 23, 21-27. Bamber, J.L., J.L. Gomez Dans and J.A. Griggs, 2009. A new 1 km digital elevation model of the Antarctic derived from combined satellite radar and laser data. Part I: Data and methods. The Cryosphere 3 (2), 101-111. Griggs, J.A., and J.L. Bamber, 2009. A new digital elevation model of Antarctica derived from combined radar and laser altimetry data. Part II: Validation and error estimates, The Cryosphere, 3(2), 113-123. Le Brocq, A.M., A.J. Payne and M.J. Siegert, 2006. West Antarctic balance calculations: Impact of flux-routing algorithm, smoothing algorithm and topography. Computers and Geosciences 23(10): 1780-1795. Lythe, M. B., D.G. Vaughan, and the BEDMAP Consortium 2001, BEDMAP: A new ice thickness and subglacial topographic model of Antarctica, J. of Geophys. Res., 106(B6),11,335-11,351. van de Berg, W.J., M.R. van den Broeke, C.H. Reijmer, and E. van Meijgaard, 2006. Reassessment of the Antarctic surface mass balance using calibrated output of a regional atmospheric climate model, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D11104,doi:10.1029/2005JD006495. Warner, R.C., and W.F. Budd, 2000. Derivation of ice thickness and bedrock topography in data-gap regions over Antarctica, Annals of Glaciology, 31, 191-197. Wright, A.P., M.J. Siegert, A.M. Le Brocq, and D.B. Gore, 2008. High sensitivity of subglacial hydrological pathways in Antarctica to small ice-sheet changes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L17504, doi:10.1029/2008GL034937.

  13. Duality of Ross Ice Shelf systems: crustal boundary, ice sheet processes and ocean circulation from ROSETTA-Ice surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinto, K. J.; Siddoway, C. S.; Padman, L.; Fricker, H. A.; Das, I.; Porter, D. F.; Springer, S. R.; Siegfried, M. R.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Bell, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Bathymetry beneath Antarctic ice shelves controls sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation and has a major influence on the stability and dynamics of the ice sheets. Beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, the sea-floor bathymetry is a product of both tectonics and glacial processes, and is influenced by the processes it controls. New aerogeophysical surveys have revealed a fundamental crustal boundary bisecting the Ross Ice Shelf and imparting a duality to the Ross Ice Shelf systems, encompassing bathymetry, ocean circulation and ice flow history. The ROSETTA-Ice surveys were designed to increase the resolution of Ross Ice Shelf mapping from the 55 km RIGGS survey of the 1970s to a 10 km survey grid, flown over three years from New York Air National Guard LC130s. Radar, LiDAR, gravity and magnetic instruments provide a top to bottom profile of the ice shelf and the underlying seafloor, with 20 km resolution achieved in the first two survey seasons (2015 and 2016). ALAMO ocean-profiling floats deployed in the 2016 season are measuring the temperature and salinity of water entering and exiting the sub-ice water cavity. A significant east-west contrast in the character of the magnetic and gravity fields reveals that the lithospheric boundary between East and West Antarctica exists not at the base of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), as previously thought, but 300 km further east. The newly-identified boundary spatially coincides with the southward extension of the Central High, a rib of shallow basement identified in the Ross Sea. The East Antarctic side is characterized by lower amplitude magnetic anomalies and denser TAM-type lithosphere compared to the West Antarctic side. The crustal structure imparts a fundamental duality on the overlying ice and ocean, with deeper bathymetry and thinner ice on the East Antarctic side creating a larger sub-ice cavity for ocean circulation. The West Antarctic side has a shallower seabed, more restricted ocean access and a more complex history of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Persistent Tracers of Historic Ice Flow in Glacial Stratigraphy near Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Holschuh, Nicholas; Christianson, Knut; Conway, Howard; Jacobel, Robert W.; Welch, Brian C.

    2018-01-01

    Variations in properties controlling ice flow (e.g., topography, accumulation rate, basal friction) are recorded by structures in glacial stratigraphy. When anomalies that disturb the stratigraphy are fixed in space, the structures they produce advect away from the source, and can be used to trace flow pathways and reconstruct ice-flow patterns of the past. Here we provide an example of one of these persistent tracers: a prominent unconformity in the glacial layering that originates at Mt. Re...

  16. Cosmogenic 10Be ages from the Meirs and Garwood Valleys, Denton Hills, West Antarctica, suggest an absence in LGM Ice Sheet expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, David; Joy, Kurt; Storey, Bryan

    2014-05-01

    It has been hypothesised that during interglacials, thinning of the Ross Ice Shelf allowed a more open water environment with increased local precipitation. This resulted in outlet glaciers, which drain the Transantarctic Mountains and fed by the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, advancing during moist warmer periods, apparently out of phase with colder arid dry periods. Significantly the ice core record during these warm periods also shows increased accumulation continent wide The geomorphology of the Denton Hills in the Royal Society Range, West Antarctica, is a result of Miocene fluvial incision reworked by subsequent glacial advances throughout the Quaternary. The Garwood and Miers glacial valleys drain ice across the Denton Hills into the Shelf, and should thus show maximum extent during interstadials. To understand the chronology of late Quaternary glaciations, 15 granitic boulders from terminal moraines were sampled for 10Be and 26Al cosmogenic dating. Obtaining reliable exposure ages of erratics within moraines that represent timing of deposition (i.e. glacial advances) is problematic in polar regions, where glacial activity is principally controlled by ice sheet dynamics. Recycling of previously exposed debris, uncertainty in provenance of glacially transported boulders and a lack of a post-depositional hydrologic process to remove previously exposed material from a valley system, leads to ambiguities in multiple exposure ages from a single coeval glacial landform. More importantly, cold-based ice advance can leave a landform unmodified resulting in young erratics deposited on bedrock that shows weathering and/or inconsistent age-altitude relationships. Primarily, inheritance becomes a difficulty in qualifying exposure ages from polar regions. Preliminary results from the Garwood and Miers Valleys indicate that glaciers in the Denton Hills had begun to retreat from their last maximum positions no later than 23-37 ka, and thus the local last glacial maximum

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Ice stratigraphy at the Pakitsoq ice margin, West Greenland, derived from gas records

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaefer, H.; Petrenko, V. V.; Brook, E. J.

    2009-01-01

    at Pakitsoq. Sections containing ice from every distinct climatic interval during Termination I, including Last Glacial Maximum, Bolling/Allerod, Younger Dryas and the early Holocene, are identified. In the early Holocene, we find evidence for climatic fluctuations similar to signals found in deep ice cores...... from Greenland. A second glacial-interglacial transition exposed at the extreme margin of the ice is identified as another outcrop of Termination I (rather than the onset of the Eemian interglacial as postulated in earlier work). Consequently, the main structural feature at Pakitsoq is a large......-scale anticline with accordion-type folding in both exposed sequences of the glacial-Holocene transition, leading to multiple layer duplications and age reversals....

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mass balance of the Amitsulôq ice cap, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Bøggild, Carl Egede; Olesen, Ole B.

    2007-01-01

    We present detailed mass balance measurements from the Amitsulôq ice cap in West Greenland spanning from 1982 to 1990. The data includes summer and winter balances from 26 stake locations distributed over five transects covering the whole ice cap. The mass balance measurements are combined...... with a recent satellite-derived digital elevation model to calculate the specific balance, which is in turn compared to discharge data from the adjacent Tasersiaq basin. The correlation between specific summer balance and discharge is R2 = 0.93 indicating that the basin discharge is dominated by glacial...... meltwater, linking the hydropower potential of the basin closely to the fate of the adjoining Greenland ice-sheet margin....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.)

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ice-dammed lake drainage evolution at Russell Glacier, west Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Tweed, Fiona S.; Ng, Felix; Quincey, Duncan J.; Mallalieu, Joseph; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Mikkelsen, Andreas B.; Palmer, Steven J.; Yde, Jacob C.; Homer, Rachel; Russell, Andrew J.; Hubbard, Alun

    2017-11-01

    Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs) remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at fifteen minute intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph’s rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localised hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasised the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

  19. Low post-glacial rebound rates in the Weddell Sea due to Late Holocene ice-sheet readvance.

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley, S.L.; Hindmarsh, R.C.A.; Whitehouse, P.L.; Bentley, M.J.; King, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Many ice-sheet reconstructions assume monotonic Holocene retreat for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but an increasing number of glaciological observations infer that some portions of the ice sheet may be readvancing, following retreat behind the present-day margin. A readvance in the Weddell Sea region can reconcile two outstanding problems: (i) the present-day widespread occurrence of seemingly stable ice streams grounded on beds that deepen inland; and (ii) the inability of models of glacial...

  20. 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.

  1. Ice-Dammed Lake Drainage Evolution at Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L. Carrivick

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available KEY POINTS/HIGHLIGHTSTwo rapid ice-dammed lake drainage events gauged and ice dam geometry measured.A melt enlargement model is developed to examine the evolution of drainage mechanism(s.Lake temperature dominated conduit melt enlargement and we hypothesize a flotation trigger.Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at 15 min intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of <5%. About one third of the way through the rising limb, conduit melt enlargement became the dominant drainage mechanism. Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localized hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasized the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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%.

  7. 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).

  8. Constraining the Antarctic contribution to interglacial sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Mckay, R. M.; Barrett, P. J.; Levy, R. H.; Golledge, N. R.; Deconto, R. M.; Horgan, H. J.; Dunbar, G. B.

    2015-12-01

    Observations, models and paleoclimate reconstructions suggest that Antarctica's marine-based ice sheets behave in an unstable manner with episodes of rapid retreat in response to warming climate. Understanding the processes involved in this "marine ice sheet instability" is key for improving estimates of Antarctic ice sheet contribution to future sea-level rise. Another motivating factor is that far-field sea-level reconstructions and ice sheet models imply global mean sea level (GMSL) was up to 20m and 10m higher, respectively, compared with present day, during the interglacials of the warm Pliocene (~4-3Ma) and Late Pleistocene (at ~400ka and 125ka). This was when atmospheric CO2 was between 280 and 400ppm and global average surface temperatures were 1- 3°C warmer, suggesting polar ice sheets are highly sensitive to relatively modest increases in climate forcing. Such magnitudes of GMSL rise not only require near complete melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but a substantial retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Recent geological drilling initiatives on the continental margin of Antarctica from both ship- (e.g. IODP; International Ocean Discovery Program) and ice-based (e.g. ANDRILL/Antarctic Geological Drilling) platforms have provided evidence supporting retreat of marine-based ice. However, without direct access through the ice sheet to archives preserved within sub-glacial sedimentary basins, the volume and extent of ice sheet retreat during past interglacials cannot be directly constrained. Sediment cores have been successfully recovered from beneath ice shelves by the ANDRILL Program and ice streams by the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Sub-glacial Access Research Drilling) Project. Together with the potential of the new RAID (Rapid Access Ice Drill) initiative, these demonstrate the technological feasibility of accessing the subglacial bed and deeper sedimentary archives. In this talk I will outline the

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Three recent ice entrapments of Arctic cetaceans in West Greenland and the eastern Canadian High Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Three ice entrapments of Monodontids have been reported in the western North Atlantic since 1993. Hunters in Disko Bay, West Greenland, discovered one in March 1994 that included about 150 narwhals (Monodon monoceros. The entrapment occurred during a sudden cold period which caused ice to form rapidly. The trapped whales were subject to hunting, but about 50 of the killed whales could not be retrieved in the ice. The whales were trapped in a small opening in the ice and because of that they would probably have succumbed even if not discovered by hunters. Two entrapments involving white whales or belugas (Delphinapterus leucas occurred in the eastern Canadian Arctic in May 1999; one in Lancaster Sound discovered by polar bear (Ursus maritimus researchers and one in Jones Sound discovered by hunters. The first included one bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus and about 40 belugas that were being preyed upon by polar bears. The second involved at least 170 belugas, of which about 100 were killed by polar bears and 17 were taken by hunters. The entrapments in Disko Bay and Jones Sound both occurred in areas where entrapments have previously been reported, whereas the one in Lancaster Sound was in a new area.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Changes in flow of Crosson and Dotson ice shelves, West Antarctica, in response to elevated melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilien, David A.; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Benjamin; Shean, David E.

    2018-04-01

    Crosson and Dotson ice shelves are two of the most rapidly changing outlets in West Antarctica, displaying both significant thinning and grounding-line retreat in recent decades. We used remotely sensed measurements of velocity and ice geometry to investigate the processes controlling their changes in speed and grounding-line position over the past 20 years. We combined these observations with inverse modeling of the viscosity of the ice shelves to understand how weakening of the shelves affected this speedup. These ice shelves have lost mass continuously since the 1990s, and we find that this loss results from increasing melt beneath both shelves and the increasing speed of Crosson. High melt rates persisted over the period covered by our observations (1996-2014), with the highest rates beneath areas that ungrounded during this time. Grounding-line flux exceeded basin-wide accumulation by about a factor of 2 throughout the study period, consistent with earlier studies, resulting in significant loss of grounded as well as floating ice. The near doubling of Crosson's speed in some areas during this time is likely the result of weakening of its margins and retreat of its grounding line. This speedup contrasts with Dotson, which has maintained its speed despite increasingly high melt rates near its grounding line, likely a result of the sustained competency of the shelf. Our results indicate that changes to melt rates began before 1996 and suggest that observed increases in melt in the 2000s compounded an ongoing retreat of this system. Advection of a channel along Dotson, as well as the grounding-line position of Kohler Glacier, suggests that Dotson experienced a change in flow around the 1970s, which may be the initial cause of its continuing retreat.

  17. Evaluating Potential Tipping Points of Antarctic basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, G.; Sainan, S.; Pattyn, F.; Jourdain, N.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctica is currently loosing mass and its forthcoming contribution to sea-level rise could substantially increase during the coming centuries. This is essentially due to geometrical constraints, i.e., in regions where grounded ice lies on a bedrock below sea-level sloping down towards the interior of the ice sheet (retrograde slope). For such a configuration the ice sheet is considered potentially unstable, as suggested by theory. However, recent observations on accelerated grounding-line retreat and new insights in modeling Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers give evidence that such self-sustained retreat, called marine ice sheet instability (MISI), has already been on its way. Although West Antarctica appears to be the most vulnerable region for MISI occurrence, similar topographic configurations are also observed in East Antarctica, in the Wilkes Basin in particular. Therefore, evaluating the MISI potential at a pan-Antarctic scale is becoming a priority. Here, using the f.ETISh ice sheet model, an ensemble of simulations of the entire contemporary Antarctic ice sheet has been carried out. In particular, we investigate the debuttressing of ice shelves required to initiate MISI for each coastal region around Antarctica by forcing the model with realistic sub-shelf melt pulses of varying duration and amplitude. We further identify the currently grounded areas where the outlet glaciers could hardly stabilize, the Amundsen Sea Sector being the more prone to large self-sustained retreats. On the contrary, the ability of Cook and Ninnis ice shelves to recover after large perturbations and enough buttress upstream outlet glaciers tends to limit self-sustained retreat of the sector. For each basin, rates of contribution to sea-level rise are discussed together with the RCPs and time when tipping points could be reached and MISI triggered.

  18. Micromorphological features of the fine earth and skeletal fractions of soils of West Antarctica in the areas of Russian Antarctic stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumov, E. V.; Gagarina, E. I.; Sapega, V. F.; Vlasov, D. Yu.

    2013-12-01

    Micromorphological features of the fine earth and skeletal fractions of soils of West Antarctica forming under different conditions of pedogenesis have been studied in the areas of Russian Antarctic stations. The processes of mineral weathering and alteration of rock fragments are more pronounced in the Subantarctic soils with better developed humification and immobilization of iron compounds under conditions of surface overmoistening. The biogenic accumulative processes in the soils of King George Island result in the appearance of initial forms of humic plasma that have not been detected in the Antarctic soils in the areas of the Russkaya and Leningradskaya stations. Humus films on mineral grains are present in the soils of King George Island, and organic plasmic material is present in the ornithogenic soils under penguin guano on Lindsey Island. High-latitude Antarctic soils may contain surface concentrations of organic matter; rock fragments are covered by iron oxides and soluble salts. The formation of amorphous organic plasma takes place in the ornithogenic soils of Lindsey Island. The microprobe analysis indicates the presence of local concentrations of organic matter and pedogenic compounds not only on the surface of rock fragments but also in the fissures inside them. This analysis has also proved the translocation of guano-derived organic substances inside rock fragments through a system of fissures in the soils of Lindsey Island and the development of a network of pores inside rock fragments in the soils of King George Island.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Peeking Below the Snow Surface to Explore Amundsen Sea Climate Variability and Locate Optimal Ice-Core Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, P. D.; Fudge, T. J.; Medley, B.

    2016-12-01

    Observations over recent decades reveal rapid changes in ice shelves and fast-flowing grounded ice along the Amundsen Sea coast of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Long-term perspectives on this ongoing ice loss are needed to address a central question of Antarctic research: how much and how fast will Antarctic ice-loss raise sea level? Ice cores can provide insight into past variability of the atmospheric (wind) forcing of regional ocean dynamics affecting ice loss. Interannual variability of snow accumulation on coastal ice domes grounded near or within ice shelves reflects local to regional atmospheric circulation near the ice-ocean interface. Records of snow accumulation inferred from shallow ice cores strongly correlate with reanalysis precipitation and pressure fields, but ice cores have not yet been retrieved along the Amundsen Sea coast. High-frequency airborne radar data (NASA Operation IceBridge), however, have been collected over this region and we demonstrate that these data accurately reflect annual stratigraphy in shallow snow and firn (1 to 2 decades of accumulation). This further validates the agreement between radar snow accumulation records and climate reanalysis products. We then explore regional climate controls on local snow accumulation through comparison with gridded reanalysis products, providing a preview of what information longer coastal ice core records may provide with respect to past atmospheric forcing of ocean circulation and WAIS ice loss.

  2. Microalgal composition and primary production in Arctic sea ice: a seasonal study from Kobbeijord (Kangerluarsunnguaq), West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Ditte Marie; Rysgaard, Søren; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the microalgal community in sea ice and in the water column of Kobbefjord, west Greenland, through an entire sea ice season, Temporal variation in physical (photosynthetically active radiation [PAR), temperature, brine volume) and chemical (salinity, nutrient concentration......) properties confirmed that sea ice is a very dynamic habitat. Nevertheless, a viable sea ice algal comuunity was present throughout the year, with a species succession from flagellate dominance (dinoflagellates and cryptophytes) in December to February, followed by Chaetoceros simplex (a centric diatom...... (maxima of 1.8 and 2.6 mu g chl](-1) in March and May, respectively). Primary production mirrored biomass dynamic, which had 2 seasonal peaks of ca. 21 and 15 mg Cm-2 d(-1). Integrated primary production over 7 mo was 0.8 g Cm-2 in sea ice and 94.4 g C m(-2) in the water column, with the vast majority...

  3. Microalgal composition and primary production in Arctic sea ice: a seasonal study from Kobbeijord (Kangerluarsunnguaq), West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Ditte Marie; Rysgaard, Søren; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the microalgal community in sea ice and in the water column of Kobbefjord, west Greenland, through an entire sea ice season, Temporal variation in physical (photosynthetically active radiation [PAR), temperature, brine volume) and chemical (salinity, nutrient concentration...... (maxima of 1.8 and 2.6 mu g chl](-1) in March and May, respectively). Primary production mirrored biomass dynamic, which had 2 seasonal peaks of ca. 21 and 15 mg Cm-2 d(-1). Integrated primary production over 7 mo was 0.8 g Cm-2 in sea ice and 94.4 g C m(-2) in the water column, with the vast majority......) properties confirmed that sea ice is a very dynamic habitat. Nevertheless, a viable sea ice algal comuunity was present throughout the year, with a species succession from flagellate dominance (dinoflagellates and cryptophytes) in December to February, followed by Chaetoceros simplex (a centric diatom...

  4. 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.

  5. Climate hazards, adaptation and "resilience" of societies (early Little Ice Age, west of France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athimon, Emmanuelle; Maanan, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Over the past ten to fifteen years, climate hazards and adaptation have received more attention due to the current climate change. Climate historians have gathered strong evidence that the world's climate has evolved over the past millennium and one of the most significant changes took place during the Little Ice Age. Recently, a set of questions has emerged: what were the effects of the Little Ice Age on human's societies? How did humans adapt to these climate changes? How did they react to extreme weather-related events? Using examples of climate hazards from the West of France during the beginning of the Little Ice Age (xivth-xviith centuries) such as storms, flooding, drought, harsh winters, the poster aims at showing how the past societies can constitute a source of inspiration for present ones. Through schemas, this research exposes the system's rebound capacity, points out the importance of the historical depth in research on human's adaptation and resilience and shows the value of integrating a historical approach. It reveals that History contributes to the knowledge of the relationship between societies and climate hazards. Data on climate hazards and adaptation of societies stem from historical sources such as chronicles, diaries, books of accounts, records of cities repairs. To protect themselves and their goods, medieval and modern societies had developed specific skills, practices and strategies. From the xivth to the xviiith century, there is an increase of defense by dikes in the low Loire, as for example the construction of those amongst Longué and Ponts-de-Cé between the early xivth century and 1407. The French kingdom's authorities also tried increasingly to provide technical, material, logistical and fiscal support: for instance, during the winter 1564-1565, several bridges have been destroyed by a river flooding in Nantes. The King Charles IX then offered to people of Nantes part of the funds from taxes on the main activities such as the

  6. Ice-dammed lake drainage in west Greenland: Drainage pattern and implications on ice flow and bedrock motion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bjørk, Anders

    2017-01-01

    of surface loading in addition to ice mass change, when assessing glacial isostatic adjustment or elastic rebound using geodetic data. Moreover, the results illustrates a linkage between subglacial discharge and ice surface velocity, important for assessing ice flux, and thus mass balance, in a future...

  7. 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.

  8. Mapping ice-bonded permafrost with electrical methods in Sisimiut, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Permafrost delineation and thickness determination is of great importance in engineering related projects in arctic areas. In this paper, 2D geoelectrical measurements are applied and evaluated for permafrost mapping in an area in West Greenland. Multi-electrode resistivity profiles (MEP) have been...... collected and are compared with borehole information. It is shown that the permafrost thickness in this case is grossly overestimated by a factor of two to three. The difference between the inverted 2D resistivity sections and the borehole information is explained by macro-anisotropy due to the presence...... of horizontal ice-lenses in the frozen clay deposits. It is concluded that where the resistivity method perform well for lateral permafrost mapping, great care should be taken in evaluating permafrost thickness based on 2D resistivity profiles alone. Additional information from boreholes or other geophysical...

  9. Warming of the West Spitsbergen Current and sea ice north of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Piechura

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This research was supported by a grant from the Fifth European Union Frame-work Programme project ASOF-N, contract EVK2-CT-200200139, the Sixth Frame-work Programme DAMOCLES, contract 018509GOCE, and grants from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, decisions 61/N-IPY/2007/0 and 175/IPY/2007/01.AbstractAccording to the results of recent research, besides the atmospheric circulation, it is heat transport to the Arctic Ocean (AO by ocean currents, the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC in particular, that is playing a significant role in the process of Arctic warming. Data collected by the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAS, in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas, and Fram Strait during the last 20 years reveal considerable changes in the amount of heat transported by the WSC into the Arctic Ocean. An increase in Atlantic Water (AW temperature and the intensification of heat transport were observed in 2004-06; after this period, both parameters decreased. The aim of this study was to find out whether the fluctuations in heat input by the WSC have influenced the sea-ice distribution around Svalbard. In fact they do, but oceanic heat transport should nonetheless be regarded as just one of many processes influencing sea-ice behaviour.

  10. 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

  11. The future of ice sheets and sea ice: between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notz, Dirk

    2009-12-08

    We discuss the existence of cryospheric "tipping points" in the Earth's climate system. Such critical thresholds have been suggested to exist for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and the retreat of ice sheets: Once these ice masses have shrunk below an anticipated critical extent, the ice-albedo feedback might lead to the irreversible and unstoppable loss of the remaining ice. We here give an overview of our current understanding of such threshold behavior. By using conceptual arguments, we review the recent findings that such a tipping point probably does not exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. Hence, in a cooler climate, sea ice could recover rapidly from the loss it has experienced in recent years. In addition, we discuss why this recent rapid retreat of Arctic summer sea ice might largely be a consequence of a slow shift in ice-thickness distribution, which will lead to strongly increased year-to-year variability of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent. This variability will render seasonal forecasts of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent increasingly difficult. We also discuss why, in contrast to Arctic summer sea ice, a tipping point is more likely to exist for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet.

  12. Antarctic Lithosphere Studies: Progress, Problems and Promise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalziel, I. W. D.; Wilson, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    In the sixty years since the International Geophysical Year, studies of the Antarctic lithosphere have progressed from basic geological observations and sparse geophysical measurements to continental-scale datasets of radiometric dates, ice thickness, bedrock topography and characteristics, seismic imaging and potential fields. These have been augmented by data from increasingly dense broadband seismic and geodetic networks. The Antarctic lithosphere is known to have been an integral part, indeed a "keystone" of the Pangea ( 250-185Ma) and Gondwanaland ( 540-180 Ma) supercontinents. It is widely believed to have been part of hypothetical earlier supercontinents Rodinia ( 1.0-0.75 Ga) and Columbia (Nuna) ( 2.0-1.5 Ga). Despite the paucity of exposure in East Antarctica, the new potential field datasets have emboldened workers to extrapolate Precambrian geological provinces and structures from neighboring continents into Antarctica. Hence models of the configuration of Columbia and its evolution into Rodinia and Gondwana have been proposed, and rift-flank uplift superimposed on a Proterozoic orogenic root has been hypothesized to explain the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains. Mesozoic-Cenozoic rifting has imparted a strong imprint on the West Antarctic lithosphere. Seismic tomographic evidence reveals lateral variation in lithospheric thickness, with the thinnest zones within the West Antarctic rift system and underlying the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Upper mantle low velocity zones are extensive, with a deeper mantle velocity anomaly underlying Marie Byrd Land marking a possible mantle plume. Misfits between crustal motions measured by GPS and GIA model predictions can, in part, be linked with the changes in lithosphere thickness and mantle rheology. Unusually high uplift rates measured by GPS in the Amundsen region can be interpreted as the response of regions with thin lithosphere and weak mantle to late Holocene ice mass loss. Horizontal displacements across the TAM

  13. 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

  14. Deglacial temperature history of West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuffey, Kurt M.; Clow, Gary D.; Steig, Eric J.; Buizert, Christo; Fudge, T.J.; Koutnik, Michelle; Waddington, Edwin D.; Alley, Richard B.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    The most recent glacial to interglacial transition constitutes a remarkable natural experiment for learning how Earth’s climate responds to various forcings, including a rise in atmospheric CO2. This transition has left a direct thermal remnant in the polar ice sheets, where the exceptional purity and continual accumulation of ice permit analyses not possible in other settings. For Antarctica, the deglacial warming has previously been constrained only by the water isotopic composition in ice cores, without an absolute thermometric assessment of the isotopes’ sensitivity to temperature. To overcome this limitation, we measured temperatures in a deep borehole and analyzed them together with ice-core data to reconstruct the surface temperature history of West Antarctica. The deglacial warming was 11.3±1.8∘">11.3±1.8∘11.3±1.8∘C, approximately two to three times the global average, in agreement with theoretical expectations for Antarctic amplification of planetary temperature changes. Consistent with evidence from glacier retreat in Southern Hemisphere mountain ranges, the Antarctic warming was mostly completed by 15 kyBP, several millennia earlier than in the Northern Hemisphere. These results constrain the role of variable oceanic heat transport between hemispheres during deglaciation and quantitatively bound the direct influence of global climate forcings on Antarctic temperature. Although climate models perform well on average in this context, some recent syntheses of deglacial climate history have underestimated Antarctic warming and the models with lowest sensitivity can be discounted.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Modulation of Sea Ice Melt Onset and Retreat in the Laptev Sea by the Timing of Snow Retreat in the West Siberian Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, A. D.; Stroeve, J.; Serreze, M. C.; Rajagopalan, B.; Horvath, S.

    2017-12-01

    As much of the Arctic Ocean transitions to ice-free conditions in summer, efforts have increased to improve seasonal forecasts of not only sea ice extent, but also the timing of melt onset and retreat. This research investigates the potential of regional terrestrial snow retreat in spring as a predictor for subsequent sea ice melt onset and retreat in Arctic seas. One pathway involves earlier snow retreat enhancing atmospheric moisture content, which increases downwelling longwave radiation over sea ice cover downstream. Another pathway involves manipulation of jet stream behavior, which may affect the sea ice pack via both dynamic and thermodynamic processes. Although several possible connections between snow and sea ice regions are identified using a mutual information criterion, the physical mechanisms linking snow retreat and sea ice phenology are most clearly exemplified by variability of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain impacting melt onset and sea ice retreat in the Laptev Sea. The detrended time series of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain explains 26% of the detrended variance in Laptev Sea melt onset (29% for sea ice retreat). With modest predictive skill and an average time lag of 53 (88) days between snow retreat and sea ice melt onset (retreat), West Siberian Plains snow retreat is useful for refining seasonal sea ice predictions in the Laptev Sea.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Constraining the Antarctic contribution to global sea-level change: ANDRILL and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Observations, models and paleoclimate reconstructions suggest that Antarctica's marine-based ice sheets behave in an unstable manner with episodes of rapid retreat in response to warming climate. Understanding the processes involved in this "marine ice sheet instability" is key for improving estimates of Antarctic ice sheet contribution to future sea-level rise. Another motivating factor is that far-field sea-level reconstructions and ice sheet models imply global mean sea level (GMSL) was up to 20m and 10m higher, respectively, compared with present day, during the interglacials of the warm Pliocene (~4-3Ma) and Late Pleistocene (at ~400ka and 125ka). This was when atmospheric CO2 was between 280 and 400ppm and global average surface temperatures were 1 to 3°C warmer, suggesting polar ice sheets are highly sensitive to relatively modest increases in climate forcing. Such magnitudes of GMSL rise not only require near complete melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but a substantial retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Recent geological drilling initiatives on the continental margin of Antarctica from both ship- (e.g. IODP; International Ocean Discovery Program) and ice-based (e.g. ANDRILL/Antarctic Geological Drilling) platforms have provided evidence supporting retreat of marine-based ice. However, without direct access through the ice sheet to archives preserved within sub-glacial sedimentary basins, the volume and extent of ice sheet retreat during past interglacials cannot be directly constrained. Sediment cores have been successfully recovered from beneath ice shelves by the ANDRILL Program and ice streams by the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Sub-glacial Access Research Drilling) Project. Together with the potential of the new RAID (Rapid Access Ice Drill) initiative, these demonstrate the technological feasibility of accessing the subglacial bed and deeper sedimentary archives. In this talk I will outline the

  1. Observed runoff, jokulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENHAGEN

    2009-01-01

    This study fills the gap in hydrologic measurements of runoff exiting a part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), the Kangerlussuaq drainage area, West Greenland. The observations are of value for obtaining knowledge about the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the GrIS and the strip of land between the GrIS and the ocean, in the context of varying ice sheet surface melt and influx entering the ocean. High-resolution stage, discharge and suspended sediment load show a decrease in runoff of {approx} 25% and in sediment load of {approx} 40% from 2007 to 2008 in response to a decrease in the summer accumulated number of positive degree days. During the 2007 and 2008 runoff season, joekulhlaups are observed at Kangerlussuaq, drained from an ice-dammed lake at the margin of the GrIS.

  2. 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.

  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

    Full Text Available Climate trends in the Antarctic region remain poorly characterized, owing to the brevity and scarcity of direct climate observations and the large magnitude of interannual to decadal-scale climate variability. Here, within the framework of the PAGES Antarctica2k working group, we build an enlarged database of ice core water stable isotope records from Antarctica, consisting of 112 records. We produce both unweighted and weighted isotopic (δ18O composites and temperature reconstructions since 0 CE, binned at 5- and 10-year resolution, for seven climatically distinct regions covering the Antarctic continent. Following earlier work of the Antarctica2k working group, we also produce composites and reconstructions for the broader regions of East Antarctica, West Antarctica and the whole continent. We use three methods for our temperature reconstructions: (i a temperature scaling based on the δ18O–temperature relationship output from an ECHAM5-wiso model simulation nudged to ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalyses from 1979 to 2013, and adjusted for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet region to borehole temperature data, (ii a temperature scaling of the isotopic normalized anomalies to the variance of the regional reanalysis temperature and (iii a composite-plus-scaling approach used in a previous continent-scale reconstruction of Antarctic temperature since 1 CE but applied to the new Antarctic ice core database. Our new reconstructions confirm a significant cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE across all Antarctic regions where records extend back into the 1st millennium, with the exception of the Wilkes Land coast and Weddell Sea coast regions. Within this long-term cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE, we find that the warmest period occurs between 300 and 1000 CE, and the coldest interval occurs from 1200 to 1900 CE. Since 1900 CE, significant warming trends are identified for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Dronning Maud Land coast and the

  4. Changes in bird communities of Admiralty Bay, King George Island (West Antarctic: insights from monitoring data (1977–1996

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sierakowski Kazimierz

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper summarizes results of twenty years of seabird observations carried out between 1977 and 1996 on the western shore of Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctic. Changes in population size, distribution and phenology of the breeding species as well as the appearance of non-breeding species are reported. A total of 34 species of birds were observed, including 13 breeding species. Among the non-breeding species, four were observed to visit the site regularly, six rarely, and the remaining 11 were observed only occasionally. Among breeding populations, three Pygoscelis penguin species, the main krill consumers, were most numerous. The Adélie Penguin (P. adeliae dominated among the penguins nesting in the investigated areas, reaching 23,661 breeding pairs in 1978. Two other penguin species were less abundant with population sizes of approximately 7,200 breeding pairs for the Chinstrap Penguin (P. antarcticus and 3,100 breeding pairs for the Gentoo Penguin (P. papua in the same year. During the following two decades, breeding populations of pygoscelid species experienced a declining trend and their numbers were reduced by 68.0% for Chinstrap, 67.1% for Gentoo, and 33.9% for Adélie Penguins. The data reported here represent a unique reference basis and provide valuable information about indicator species, suitable for comparison with contemporary observations of bird populations in the Antarctic Peninsula region, a place of rapidly occurring climate changes and intensive harvesting of marine living resources.

  5. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, J.A.; Andersen, T.J.; Shortt, M.; Gaffney, A.M.; Truffer, M.; Stanton, T.P.; Bindschadler, R.; Dutrieux, P.; Jenkins, A.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Ehrmann, W.; Corr, H.F.J.; Farley, N.; Crowhurst, S.; Vaughan, D.G.

    2016-01-01

    The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature20136 The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line—which marks the boundary between grounded ice and floating ice shelf—is underway. Under...

  6. Explicit representation and parametrised impacts of under ice shelf seas in the z∗ coordinate ocean model NEMO 3.6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiot

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Ice-shelf–ocean interactions are a major source of freshwater on the Antarctic continental shelf and have a strong impact on ocean properties, ocean circulation and sea ice. However, climate models based on the ocean–sea ice model NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean currently do not include these interactions in any detail. The capability of explicitly simulating the circulation beneath ice shelves is introduced in the non-linear free surface model NEMO. Its implementation into the NEMO framework and its assessment in an idealised and realistic circum-Antarctic configuration is described in this study. Compared with the current prescription of ice shelf melting (i.e. at the surface, inclusion of open sub-ice-shelf cavities leads to a decrease in sea ice thickness along the coast, a weakening of the ocean stratification on the shelf, a decrease in salinity of high-salinity shelf water on the Ross and Weddell sea shelves and an increase in the strength of the gyres that circulate within the over-deepened basins on the West Antarctic continental shelf. Mimicking the overturning circulation under the ice shelves by introducing a prescribed meltwater flux over the depth range of the ice shelf base, rather than at the surface, is also assessed. It yields similar improvements in the simulated ocean properties and circulation over the Antarctic continental shelf to those from the explicit ice shelf cavity representation. With the ice shelf cavities opened, the widely used three equation ice shelf melting formulation, which enables an interactive computation of melting, is tested. Comparison with observational estimates of ice shelf melting indicates realistic results for most ice shelves. However, melting rates for the Amery, Getz and George VI ice shelves are considerably overestimated.

  7. 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...

  8. 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)

  9. 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

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level may severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet could cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known for certain whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking. In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (in press) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b, 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic part of the Antarctic ice sheet is unknown, but thought to be in near equilibrium. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation's (1990) Division of Polar Pro-grams. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geo-logical Survey (USGS) decided that the archive of early 1970s Landsat 1, 2, and 3 Multispectral Scanner

  10. Antarctic aerosols - A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Glenn E.

    1988-02-01

    Tropospheric aerosols with the diameter range of half a micron reside in the atmosphere for tens of days and teleconnect Antarctica with other regions by transport that reaches planetary scales of distances; thus, the aerosol on the Antarctic ice represents 'memory modules' of events that took place at regions separated from Antarctica by tens of thousands of kilometers. In terms of aerosol mass, the aerosol species include insoluble crustal products (less than 5 percent), transported sea-salt residues (highly variable but averaging about 10 percent), Ni-rich meteoric material, and anomalously enriched material with an unknown origin. Most (70-90 percent by mass) of the aerosol over the Antarctic ice shield, however, is the 'natural acid sulfate aerosol', apparently deriving from biological processes taking place in the surrounding oceans.

  11. Historical reconstruction of storms in the West of France in the early Little Ice Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athimon, Emmanuelle; Maanan, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    This research offers to : 1) identify, as accurately as possible, the storms and the coastal flooding in the early Little Ice Age, 2) expose their impacts on the environment and populations, 3) query the « resilience » and adaptation of medieval and modern coastal societies in the West of France by presenting their perceptions and reactions. The space-time frame of the study is located in France, from Brittany to Gascony, between the xivth and the xvith century. Sensitive and brittle, this area is regularly battered by violent winds. It also undergoes episodic sea flooding that can cause ruptures of balance. Hence, the historical reconstruction and analysis of storms and coastal flooding in a long period appear fundamental. A thorough knowledge of past meteo-marine hazards allows to recreate a link with the territory, particularly through the (re)construction of an effective memory of these phenomena. This process is essential however difficult because of many documentary gaps. They are due to historical contingencies such as wars, French Revolution, or archival disasters like the fire of the Chamber of Accounts in Paris in 1737. Many limits must also be taken into account and discussed as inaccurate dates, exaggerated or undervalued descriptions, strict spatial demarcation almost impossible to achieve for the xivth-xvith centuries. Furthermore, during this period, no death toll, material and economic balance was done after a climate disaster. Yet, many historical records - especially narrative sources, books of accounts or cities repairs - expose the impacts of storms and marine submersion on agriculture, environment, infrastructures, etc. For instance, a violent storm hit the coast on June 24th 1452. It washed away part of the roof of a castle on Noirmoutier island and knocked down the bell towers of two churches in Angers. Storms and sea flooding have affected activities, constructions and populations' lives. They have therefore forced societies to adapt

  12. Timescales of Growth Response of Microbial Mats to Environmental Change in an Ice-Covered Antarctic Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne D. Jungblut

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered, closed-basin lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Laminated photosynthetic microbial mats cover the floor of the lake from below the ice cover to >40 m depth. In recent decades, the water level of Lake Vanda has been rising, creating a “natural experiment” on development of mat communities on newly flooded substrates and the response of deeper mats to declining irradiance. Mats in recently flooded depths accumulate one lamina (~0.3 mm per year and accrue ~0.18 µg chlorophyll-a cm−2 y−1. As they increase in thickness, vertical zonation becomes evident, with the upper 2-4 laminae forming an orange-brown zone, rich in myxoxanthophyll and dominated by intertwined Leptolyngbya trichomes. Below this, up to six phycobilin-rich green/pink-pigmented laminae form a subsurface zone, inhabited by Leptolyngbya, Oscillatoria and Phormidium morphotypes. Laminae continued to increase in thickness for several years after burial, and PAM fluorometry indicated photosynthetic potential in all pigmented laminae. At depths that have been submerged for >40 years, mats showed similar internal zonation and formed complex pinnacle structures that were only beginning to appear in shallower mats. Chlorophyll-a did not change over time and these mats appear to represent resource-limited “climax” communities. Acclimation of microbial mats to changing environmental conditions is a slow process, and our data show how legacy effects of past change persist into the modern community structure.

  13. Drainage of the ice-dammed Lake Tinninilik, West Greenland; implication on bedrock uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Bjørk, Anders Anker

    Drainage of ice-dammed lakes is regularly observed along the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. However, the speed of the drainage events and implications can vary depending on the size of the lakes and the local settings. Here, we assess the drainage pattern of Lake Tinninilik, dammed...

  14. Geology of the Wilkes land sub-basin and stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: Insights from rock magnetism at IODP Site U1361

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauxe, L.; Sugisaki, S.; Jiménez-Espejo, F.; Escutia, C.; Cook, C. P.; van de Flierdt, T.; Iwai, M.

    2015-02-01

    IODP Expedition 318 drilled Site U1361 on the continental rise offshore of Adélie Land and the Wilkes subglacial basin. The objective was to reconstruct the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during Neogene warm periods, such as the late Miocene and the early Pliocene. The sedimentary record tells a complex story of compaction, and erosion (thus hiatuses). Teasing out the paleoenvironmental implications is essential for understanding the evolution of the EAIS. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) is sensitive to differential compaction and other rock magnetic parameters like isothermal remanence and anhysteretic remanence are very sensitive to changes in the terrestrial source region. In general, highly anisotropic layers correspond with laminated clay-rich units, while more isotropic layers are bioturbated and have less clay. Layers enriched in diatoms are associated with the latter, which also have higher Ba/Al ratios consistent with higher productivity. Higher anisotropy layers have lower porosity and moisture contents and have fine grained magnetic mineralogy dominated by maghemite, the more oxidized form of iron oxide, while the lower anisotropy layers have magnetic mineralogies dominated by magnetite. The different magnetic mineralogies support the suggestion based on isotopic signatures by Cook et al. (2013) of different source regions during low productivity (cooler) and high productivity (warmer) times. These two facies were tied to the coastal outcrops of the Lower Paleozoic granitic terranes and the Ferrar Large Igneous Province in the more inland Wilkes Subglacial Basin respectively. Here we present evidence for a third geological unit, one eroded at the boundaries between the high and low clay zone with a "hard" (mostly hematite) dominated magnetic mineralogy. This unit likely outcrops in the Wilkes subglacial basin and could be hydrothermally altered Beacon sandstone similar to that detected by Craw and Findlay (1984) in Taylor

  15. Using aerogravity and seismic data to model the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, A.; Peters, L. E.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.; Riverman, K. L.

    2013-12-01

    Recent estimates indicate that ice shelves along the Amundsen Sea coast in West Antarctica are losing substantial mass through sub-ice-shelf melting and contributing to the accelerating mass loss of the grounded ice buttressed by them. For Pine Island Glacier (PIG), relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water has been identified as the key driver of the sub-ice-shelf melting although poor constraints on PIG sub-ice shelf have restricted thorough understanding of these ice-ocean interactions. Aerogravity data from NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) have been useful in identifying large-scale (on the order of ten kilometers) features but the results have relatively large uncertainties due to the inherent non-uniqueness of the gravity inversion. Seismic methods offer the most direct means of providing water thickness and upper crustal geological constraints, but availability of such data sets over the PIG ice shelf has been limited due to logistical constraints. Here we present a comparative analysis of the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the ice shelf of PIG through joint inversion of OIB aerogravity data and in situ active-source seismic measurements collected in the 2012-13 austral summer. Preliminary results indicate improved resolution of the ocean cavity, particularly in the interior and sides of the PIG ice shelf, and sedimentary drape across the region. Seismically derived variations in ice and ocean water densities are also applied to the gravity inversion to produce a more robust model of PIG sub-ice shelf structure, as opposed to commonly used single ice and water densities across the entire study region. Misfits between the seismically-constrained gravity inversion and that estimated previously from aerogravity alone provide insights on the sensitivity of gravity measurements to model perturbations and highlight the limitations of employing gravity data to model ice shelf environments when no other sub-ice constraints are available.

  16. Instrument developments for chemical and physical characterization, mapping and sampling of extreme environments (Antarctic sub ice environment)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, S. W.; Powell, R. D.; Griffith, I.; Lawson, T.; Schiraga, S.; Ludlam, G.; Oen, J.

    2009-12-01

    A number of instrumentation is currently under development designed to enable the study of subglacial environments in Antarctica through narrow kilometer long boreholes. Instrumentation includes: - slim line Sub-Ice ROV (SIR), - Geochemical Instrumentation Package for Sub Ice Environments (GIPSIE) to study geochemical fluxes in water and across the sediment water interface (CO2, CH4, dO, NH4, NO3, Si, PO4, pH, redox, T, H2, HS, O2, N2O, CTD, particle size, turbidity, color camera, current meter and automated water sampler) with real-time telemetry for targeted sampling, - long term energy-balance mooring system, - active source slide hammer sediment corer, and - integration of a current sensor into the ITP profiler. The instrumentation design is modular and suitable for remote operated as well as autonomous long-term deployment. Of interest to the broader science community is the development of the GIPSIE and efforts to document the effect of sample recovery from depth on the sample chemistry. The GIPSIE is a geochemical instrumentation package with life stream telemetry, allowing for user controlled targeted sampling of water column and the water sediment interphase for chemical and biological work based on actual measurements and not a preprogrammed automated system. The porewater profiler (pH, redox, T, H2, HS, O2, N2O) can penetrate the upper 50 cm of sediment and penetration is documented with real time video. Associated with GIPSIE is an on-site lab set-up, utilizing a set of identical sensors. Comparison between the insitu measurements and measurements taken onsite directly after samples are recovered from depth permits assessing the effect of sample recovery on water and sediment core chemistry. Sample recovery related changes are mainly caused by changes in the pressure temperature field and exposure of samples to atmospheric conditions. Exposure of anaerobic samples to oxygen is here a specific concern. Recovery from depth effects in generally p

  17. Relative sea level in the Western Mediterranean basin: A regional test of the ICE-7G_NA (VM7) model and a constraint on late Holocene Antarctic deglaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Keven; Peltier, W. R.

    2018-03-01

    The Mediterranean Basin is a region of special interest in the study of past and present relative sea level evolution, given its location south of the ice sheets that covered large fractions of Northern Europe during the last glaciation, the large number of biological, geological and archaeological sea level indicators that have been retrieved from its coastal regions, as well as its high density of modern coastal infrastructure. Models of the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) process provide reconstructions of past relative sea level evolution, and can be tested for validity against past sea level indicators from the region. It is demonstrated herein that the latest ICE-7G_NA (VM7) model of the GIA process, the North American component of which was refined using a full suite of geophysical observables, is able to reconcile the vast majority of uniformly analyzed relative sea level constraints available for the Western part of the Mediterranean basin, a region to which it was not tuned. We also revisit herein the previously published interpretations of relative sea level information obtained from Roman-era coastal Mediterranean "fish tanks", analyze the far-field influence of the rate of late Holocene Antarctic ice sheet melting history on the exceptionally detailed relative sea level history available from southern Tunisia, and extend the analysis to complementary constraints on the history of Antarctic ice-sheet melting available from islands in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The analyses reported herein provide strong support for the global "exportability" of the ICE-7G_NA (VM7) model, a result that speaks directly to the ability of spherically symmetric models of the internal viscoelastic structure to explain globally distributed observations, while also identifying isolated regions of remaining misfit which will benefit from further study.

  18. Empirical and theoretical evidence concerning the response of the earth's ice and snow cover to a global temperature increase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollin, J T; Barry, R G

    1979-01-01

    As a guide to the possible effects of a CO/sub 2/-induced warming on the cryosphere, we review the effects of three warm periods in the past, and our theoretical understanding of fluctuations in mountain glaciers, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, ground ice, sea ice and seasonal snow cover. Between 1890 and 1940 A.D. the glaciated area in Switzerland was reduced by over 25%. In the Hypsithermal, at about 6000 BP, ground ice in Eurasia retreated northward by several hundred kilometers. In the interglacial Stage 5e, at about 120 000 BP, glocal sea-level rose by over 6 m. Fluctuations of mountain glaciers depend on mesoscale weather and on their mechanical response to it. Any melting of the Greenland ice sheet is likely to be slow in human terms. The West Antarctic ice sheet (its base below sea-level) is susceptible to an ungrounding, and such an event may have been the cause of the sea-level rise above. The East Antarctic ice sheet is susceptible to mechanical surges, which might be triggered by a warming at its margin. Both an ungrounding and a surge might occupy less than 100 yr, and are potentially the most important ice changes in human terms. Modeling studies suggest that a 5/sup 0/C warming would remove the Arctic pack ice in summer. and this may be the most significant effect for further climatic change.

  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. Forced Climate Changes in West Antarctica and the Indo-Pacific by Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheet Topography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T. R.; Roberts, W. H. G.; Steig, E. J.; Cuffey, K. M.; Markle, B. R.; White, J. W. C.

    2017-12-01

    The behavior of the Indo-Pacific climate system across the last deglaciation is widely debated. Resolving these debates requires long term and continuous climate proxy records. Here, we use an ultra-high resolution and continuous water isotope record from an ice core in the Pacific sector of West Antarctica. In conjunction with the HadCM3 coupled ocean-atmosphere GCM, we demonstrate that the climate of both West Antarctica and the Indo-Pacific were substantially altered during the last deglaciation by the same forcing mechanism. Critically, these changes are not dependent on ENSO strength, but rather the location of deep tropical convection, which shifts at 16 ka in response to climate perturbations induced by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The changed rainfall patterns in the tropics explain the deglacial shift from expanded-grasslands to rainforest-dominated ecosystems in Indonesia. High-frequency climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere is also changed, through a tropical Pacific teleconnection link dependent on the propogration of Rossby Waves.

  2. Oxygen isotope analyses of ground ice from North of West Siberia, from Yakutia and from Chukotka

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaikmaee, R.; Vassilchuk, Y.

    1991-01-01

    The aim of the present work is to make the large amount of original factual material obtained by studying the oxygen isotope composition in different types of permafrost and ground ice available to specialists. The samples analysed were systematically collected over a period of many years from different permafrost areas of the Soviet Union with the aim of elucidating and studying the regularities of isotope composition formation in different types of ground ice and selecting the most promising objects for paleoclimatic reconstructions. Much attention was paid on methodical problems of isotopic analysis starting with the collection, transportation and storage of samples up to the interpretation of the results obtained. Besides permafrost isotope data covering a large geographical area, a good deal of data concerns the isotopic composition of precipitation and surface water in permafrost areas. This is of great consequence as regards the understanding of the regularities of isotope compositions formation in permafrost. The largest chapter gives a brief account of the isotopic composition in different types of ground ice. The conclusion has been reached that in terms of paleoclimatic research syngenetic ice wedges are most promising. Grounding on the representative data bank it may be maintained with certainty that the isotopic composition provides a reliable basis for the differentiation of ice wedges originating in different epochs , however, it also reveals regional regularities. Much more complicated is the interpretation of textural ice isotopic composition. In some cases it is possible to use the distribution of 18 O in vertical sections of textural ice for their stratigraphic division. One has to consider here different mechanisms of textural ice formation as a result of which the initial isotopic composition of the ice-forming water can be in some cases highly modified. A problem of its own is the investigation of 18 O variations in the section of massive

  3. A new regional high-resolution map of basal and surface topography for the Greenland ice-sheet margin at Paakitsoq, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mottram, R.; Nielsen, C.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2009-01-01

    In 2005 an airborne survey was carried out from a Twin Otter aircraft at Pâkitsup Akuliarusersua (Paakitsoq) near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The survey aimed to measure ice thickness with a 60 MHz cohrent radar and surface elevation with a scanning laser altimeter.......In 2005 an airborne survey was carried out from a Twin Otter aircraft at Pâkitsup Akuliarusersua (Paakitsoq) near Ilulissat in West Greenland. The survey aimed to measure ice thickness with a 60 MHz cohrent radar and surface elevation with a scanning laser altimeter....

  4. Antarctic crabs: invasion or endurance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huw J Griffiths

    Full Text Available Recent scientific interest following the "discovery" of lithodid crabs around Antarctica has centred on a hypothesis that these crabs might be poised to invade the Antarctic shelf if the recent warming trend continues, potentially decimating its native fauna. This "invasion hypothesis" suggests that decapod crabs were driven out of Antarctica 40-15 million years ago and are only now returning as "warm" enough habitats become available. The hypothesis is based on a geographically and spatially poor fossil record of a different group of crabs (Brachyura, and examination of relatively few Recent lithodid samples from the Antarctic slope. In this paper, we examine the existing lithodid fossil record and present the distribution and biogeographic patterns derived from over 16,000 records of Recent Southern Hemisphere crabs and lobsters. Globally, the lithodid fossil record consists of only two known specimens, neither of which comes from the Antarctic. Recent records show that 22 species of crabs and lobsters have been reported from the Southern Ocean, with 12 species found south of 60 °S. All are restricted to waters warmer than 0 °C, with their Antarctic distribution limited to the areas of seafloor dominated by Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW. Currently, CDW extends further and shallower onto the West Antarctic shelf than the known distribution ranges of most lithodid species examined. Geological evidence suggests that West Antarctic shelf could have been available for colonisation during the last 9,000 years. Distribution patterns, species richness, and levels of endemism all suggest that, rather than becoming extinct and recently re-invading from outside Antarctica, the lithodid crabs have likely persisted, and even radiated, on or near to Antarctic slope. We conclude there is no evidence for a modern-day "crab invasion". We recommend a repeated targeted lithodid sampling program along the West Antarctic shelf to fully test the validity of the

  5. Inferring Ice Thickness from a Glacier Dynamics Model and Multiple Surface Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Y.; Haran, M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    The future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have a major impact on future climate. For instance, ice sheet melt may contribute significantly to global sea level rise. Understanding the current state of WAIS is therefore of great interest. WAIS is drained by fast-flowing glaciers which are major contributors to ice loss. Hence, understanding the stability and dynamics of glaciers is critical for predicting the future of the ice sheet. Glacier dynamics are driven by the interplay between the topography, temperature and basal conditions beneath the ice. A glacier dynamics model describes the interactions between these processes. We develop a hierarchical Bayesian model that integrates multiple ice sheet surface data sets with a glacier dynamics model. Our approach allows us to (1) infer important parameters describing the glacier dynamics, (2) learn about ice sheet thickness, and (3) account for errors in the observations and the model. Because we have relatively dense and accurate ice thickness data from the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, we use these data to validate the proposed approach. The long-term goal of this work is to have a general model that may be used to study multiple glaciers in the Antarctic.

  6. Spatial patterning and persistence of meltwater on ice shelves and the implications for ice shelf collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robel, A.; MacAyeal, D. R.; Tsai, V. C.; Shean, D. E.

    2017-12-01

    Observations indicate that for at least the last few decades, there has been extensive surface melting over ice shelves in Antarctica. Meltwater either collects in ponds or flows over the surface in streams that discharge to the ocean. The spatial organization and persistence of this meltwater can have a significant influence on the thermomechanical ice shelf state through albedo, turbulent heat exchange, refreezing and hydrofracture. However, as more meltwater forms on Antarctic ice shelves, there is no general theory that predicts the spatial pattern of meltwater ponded on the ice shelf surface and the volume of meltwater runoff to the ocean. Here, we show how dynamical systems tools, such as cellular automata, can be used to calculate the expected distribution of meltwater on ice shelf surfaces. These tools can also be used to explore how ice shelf surface morphology is modified by meltwater albedo and turbulent heating feedbacks. We apply these numerical approaches to new high-resolution digital elevation models for ice shelves in West Antarctica. Additionally, we survey the prospects of developing general rules of meltwater patterning by applying scaling approaches from percolation theory. We conclude by discussing the types of ice shelves that are more likely to cause ice shelf collapse through surface melt-induced hydrofracture or thermomechanical weakening.

  7. Zhongshania antarctica gen. nov., sp. nov. and Zhongshania guokunii sp. nov., gammaproteobacteria respectively isolated from coastal attached (fast) ice and surface seawater of the Antarctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Juan; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Chen, Chun-Xiao; Zhang, Yan-Jiao; Gao, Zhao-Ming; Yu, Yong; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Chen, Bo; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2011-09-01

    Two Gram-negative, motile, aerobic, catalase- and oxidase-positive, rod-shaped strains, designated ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T), were respectively isolated from Antarctic coastal attached (fast) ice and surface seawater samples. Both strains could grow at 4-35 °C (optimum 30 °C) and in the absence of NaCl. Analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strains ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T) were closely related to each other (99.0 % sequence similarity) and belonged to the class Gammaproteobacteria, with their closest relatives being Spongiibacter and Melitea species (93.1-94.3 % sequence similarity). The predominant cellular fatty acids in both strains were C₁₇:₁ω8c, C₁₇:₀ and summed feature 3 (C₁₆:₁ω7c and/or iso-C₁₅:₀ 2-OH). Genomic DNA G+C contents of strains ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T) were 51.5 and 51.8 mol%, respectively. The DNA-DNA relatedness between strains ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T) was 50.9 %. Strains ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T) could be differentiated from each other and from Spongiibacter and Melitea species by differences in a number of phenotypic properties. Based on the data presented, strains ZS5-23(T) and ZS6-22(T) represent two novel species in a new genus in the class Gammaproteobacteria, for which the names Zhongshania antarctica gen. nov., sp. nov. (the type species) and Zhongshania guokunii sp. nov. are proposed. The type strain of Zhongshania antarctica is ZS5-23(T) ( = KACC 14066(T)  = CCTCC AB 209246(T)) and that of Zhongshania guokunii is ZS6-22(T) ( = KACC 14532(T)  = CCTCC AB 209247(T)).

  8. A method for separating Antarctic postglacial rebound and ice mass balance using future ICESat Geoscience Laser Altimeter System, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, and GPS satellite data

    OpenAIRE

    Velicogna, Isabella; Wahr, John

    2002-01-01

    Measurements of ice elevation from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) aboard the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite can be combined with time-variable geoid measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission to learn about ongoing changes in polar ice mass and viscoelastic rebound of the lithosphere under the ice sheet. We estimate the accuracy in recovering the spatially varying ice mass trend and postglacial rebound signals for Antarctica...

  9. 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.

  10. Mountain glaciers vs Ice sheet in Greenland - learning from a new monitoring site in West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abermann, Jakob; van As, Dirk; Wacker, Stefan; Langley, Kirsty

    2017-04-01

    Only 5 out of the 20.000 peripheral glaciers and ice caps surrounding Greenland are currently monitored due to logistical challenges and despite their significance for sea level rise. Large spatial coast-to-icesheet mass and energy balance gradients limit simple upscaling methods from ice-sheet observations, which builds the motivation for this study. We present results from a new mass and energy balance time series at Qasigiannguit glacier (64°09'N; 51°21'W) in Southwest Greenland. Inter-annual variability is discussed and the surface energy balance over two summers is quantified and a ranking of the main drivers performed. We find that short-wave net radiation is by far the most dominant energy source during summer, followed by similar amounts of net longwave radiation and sensible heat, respectively. We then relate these observations to synchronous measurements at similar latitude on an outlet glacier of the ice sheet a mere 100 km away. We find very pronounced horizontal surface mass balance gradients, with generally more positive values closer to the coast. We conclude that despite minor differences of atmospheric parameters (i.e. humidity, radiation, and temperature) the main reason for the strongly different signal is a pronounced winter precipitation gradient that translates in a different duration of ice exposure and through that an albedo gradient. Modelled energy balance gradients converted into mass changes show good agreement to measured surface mass balance gradients and we explore a latitudinal signal of these findings.

  11. 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.

  12. The seasonal cycle and interannual variability of surface energy balance and melt in the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broeke, M.R.; Smeets, C.J.P.P.; van de Wal, R.S.W.

    2011-01-01

    We present the seasonal cycle and interannual variability of the surface energy balance (SEB) in the ablation zone of the west Greenland ice sheet, using seven years (September 2003–August 2010) of hourly observations from three automatic weather stations (AWS). The AWS are situated along the 67◦ N

  13. The effect of sea-ice loss on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Laidre, K.L.; Simon, Malene Juul

    2009-01-01

    An aerial survey was conducted to estimate the abundance of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) on their wintering ground in West Greenland in March-April 2006 and 2008. The survey was conducted as a double platform aerial line transect survey, and sampled approximately 17% of the total survey area o...

  14. Ice sheet-ocean interactions and sea level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimbach, Patrick

    2014-03-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has increased rapidly since the mid-1990s. Their combined loss now accounts for about one-third of global sea level rise. In Greenland, a growing body of evidence points to the marine margins of these glaciers as the region from which this dynamic response originated. Similarly, ice streams in West Antarctica that feed vast floating ice shelves have exhibited large decadal changes. We review observational evidence and present physical mechanisms that might explain the observed changes, in particular in the context of ice sheet-ocean interactions. Processes involve cover 7 orders of magnitudes of scales, ranging from mm boundary-layer processes to basin-scale coupled atmosphere-ocean variability. We discuss observational needs to fill the gap in our mechanistic understanding.

  15. 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.

  16. Ice-ocean interaction and calving front morphology at two west Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauché, N.; Hubbard, A.; Gascard, J.-C.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Koppes, M.; Sole, A.; Christoffersen, P.; Patton, H.

    2014-08-01

    Warm, subtropical-originating Atlantic water (AW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss across the marine sectors of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), yet the specific processes by which this water mass interacts with and erodes the calving front of tidewater glaciers is frequently modelled and much speculated upon but remains largely unobserved. We present a suite of fjord salinity, temperature, turbidity versus depth casts along with glacial runoff estimation from Rink and Store glaciers, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS during 2009 and 2010. We characterise the main water bodies present and interpret their interaction with their respective calving fronts. We identify two distinct processes of ice-ocean interaction which have distinct spatial and temporal footprints: (1) homogenous free convective melting which occurs across the calving front where AW is in direct contact with the ice mass, and (2) localised upwelling-driven melt by turbulent subglacial runoff mixing with fjord water which occurs at distinct injection points across the calving front. Throughout the study, AW at 2.8 ± 0.2 °C was consistently observed in contact with both glaciers below 450 m depth, yielding homogenous, free convective submarine melting up to ~200 m depth. Above this bottom layer, multiple interactions are identified, primarily controlled by the rate of subglacial fresh-water discharge which results in localised and discrete upwelling plumes. In the record melt year of 2010, the Store Glacier calving face was dominated by these runoff-driven plumes which led to a highly crenulated frontal geometry characterised by large embayments at the subglacial portals separated by headlands which are dominated by calving. Rink Glacier, which is significantly deeper than Store has a larger proportion of its submerged calving face exposed to AW, which results in a uniform, relatively flat overall frontal geometry.

  17. IceBridge Mission Flight Reports

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The IceBridge Mission Flight Reports data set contains flight reports from NASA Operation IceBridge Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alaska missions. Flight reports...

  18. Arctic Landfast Sea Ice 1953-1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The files in this data set contain landfast sea ice data (monthly means) gathered from both Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Canadian Ice...

  19. Aircraft and ground measurements of dust aerosols over the west African coast in summer 2015 during ICE-D and AER-D

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available During the summertime, dust from the Sahara can be efficiently transported westwards within the Saharan air layer (SAL. This can lead to high aerosol loadings being observed above a relatively clean marine boundary layer (MBL in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. These dust layers can impart significant radiative effects through strong visible and IR light absorption and scattering, and can also have indirect impacts by altering cloud properties. The processing of the dust aerosol can result in changes in both direct and indirect radiative effects, leading to significant uncertainty in climate prediction in this region. During August 2015, measurements of aerosol and cloud properties were conducted off the coast of west Africa as part of the Ice in Cloud Experiment – Dust (ICE-D and AERosol properties – Dust (AER-D campaigns. Observations were obtained over a 4-week period using the UK Facility for Atmospheric Airborne Measurements (FAAM BAe 146 aircraft based on Santiago Island, Cabo Verde. Ground-based observations were collected from Praia (14°57′ N, 23°29′ W; 100 m a.s.l., also located on Santiago Island. The dust in the SAL was mostly sampled in situ at altitudes of 2–4 km, and the potential dust age was estimated by backward trajectory analysis. The particle mass concentration (at diameter d  =  0.1–20 µm decreased with transport time. Mean effective diameter (Deff for supermicron SAL dust (d  =  1–20 µm was found to be 5–6 µm regardless of dust age, whereas submicron Deff (d  =  0.1–1 µm showed a decreasing trend with longer transport. For the first time, an airborne laser-induced incandescence instrument (the single particle soot photometer – SP2 was deployed to measure the hematite content of dust. For the Sahel-influenced dust in the SAL, the observed hematite mass fraction of dust (FHm was found to be anti-correlated with the single scattering albedo (SSA,

  20. Aircraft and ground measurements of dust aerosols over the west African coast in summer 2015 during ICE-D and AER-D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dantong; Taylor, Jonathan W.; Crosier, Jonathan; Marsden, Nicholas; Bower, Keith N.; Lloyd, Gary; Ryder, Claire L.; Brooke, Jennifer K.; Cotton, Richard; Marenco, Franco; Blyth, Alan; Cui, Zhiqiang; Estelles, Victor; Gallagher, Martin; Coe, Hugh; Choularton, Tom W.

    2018-03-01

    During the summertime, dust from the Sahara can be efficiently transported westwards within the Saharan air layer (SAL). This can lead to high aerosol loadings being observed above a relatively clean marine boundary layer (MBL) in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. These dust layers can impart significant radiative effects through strong visible and IR light absorption and scattering, and can also have indirect impacts by altering cloud properties. The processing of the dust aerosol can result in changes in both direct and indirect radiative effects, leading to significant uncertainty in climate prediction in this region. During August 2015, measurements of aerosol and cloud properties were conducted off the coast of west Africa as part of the Ice in Cloud Experiment - Dust (ICE-D) and AERosol properties - Dust (AER-D) campaigns. Observations were obtained over a 4-week period using the UK Facility for Atmospheric Airborne Measurements (FAAM) BAe 146 aircraft based on Santiago Island, Cabo Verde. Ground-based observations were collected from Praia (14°57' N, 23°29' W; 100 m a.s.l.), also located on Santiago Island. The dust in the SAL was mostly sampled in situ at altitudes of 2-4 km, and the potential dust age was estimated by backward trajectory analysis. The particle mass concentration (at diameter d = 0.1-20 µm) decreased with transport time. Mean effective diameter (Deff) for supermicron SAL dust (d = 1-20 µm) was found to be 5-6 µm regardless of dust age, whereas submicron Deff (d = 0.1-1 µm) showed a decreasing trend with longer transport. For the first time, an airborne laser-induced incandescence instrument (the single particle soot photometer - SP2) was deployed to measure the hematite content of dust. For the Sahel-influenced dust in the SAL, the observed hematite mass fraction of dust (FHm) was found to be anti-correlated with the single scattering albedo (SSA, λ = 550 nm, for particles d influenced plumes (not influenced by the Sahel) were independent

  1. Automated Ground-based Time-lapse Camera Monitoring of West Greenland ice sheet outlet Glaciers: Challenges and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Y.; Box, J. E.; Balog, J.; Lewinter, A.

    2008-12-01

    Monitoring Greenland outlet glaciers using remotely sensed data has drawn a great attention in earth science communities for decades and time series analysis of sensory data has provided important variability information of glacier flow by detecting speed and thickness changes, tracking features and acquiring model input. Thanks to advancements of commercial digital camera technology and increased solid state storage, we activated automatic ground-based time-lapse camera stations with high spatial/temporal resolution in west Greenland outlet and collected one-hour interval data continuous for more than one year at some but not all sites. We believe that important information of ice dynamics are contained in these data and that terrestrial mono-/stereo-photogrammetry can provide theoretical/practical fundamentals in data processing along with digital image processing techniques. Time-lapse images over periods in west Greenland indicate various phenomenon. Problematic is rain, snow, fog, shadows, freezing of water on camera enclosure window, image over-exposure, camera motion, sensor platform drift, and fox chewing of instrument cables, and the pecking of plastic window by ravens. Other problems include: feature identification, camera orientation, image registration, feature matching in image pairs, and feature tracking. Another obstacle is that non-metric digital camera contains large distortion to be compensated for precise photogrammetric use. Further, a massive number of images need to be processed in a way that is sufficiently computationally efficient. We meet these challenges by 1) identifying problems in possible photogrammetric processes, 2) categorizing them based on feasibility, and 3) clarifying limitation and alternatives, while emphasizing displacement computation and analyzing regional/temporal variability. We experiment with mono and stereo photogrammetric techniques in the aide of automatic correlation matching for efficiently handling the enormous

  2. Coastal-Change and Glaciological Map of the Northern Ross Ice Shelf Area, Antarctica: 1962-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrigno, Jane G.; Foley, Kevin M.; Swithinbank, Charles; Williams, Richard S.

    2007-01-01

    Changes in the area and volume of polar ice sheets are intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting changes in sea level could severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m). The potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993). The mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is highly complex, responding differently to different conditions in each region (Vaughan, 2005). In a review paper, Rignot and Thomas (2002) concluded that the West Antarctic ice sheet is probably becoming thinner overall; although it is thickening in the west, it is thinning in the north. Thomas and others (2004), on the basis of aircraft and satellite laser altimetry surveys, believe the thinning may be accelerating. Joughin and Tulaczyk (2002), on the basis of analysis of ice-flow velocities derived from synthetic aperture radar, concluded that most of the Ross ice streams (ice streams on the east side of the Ross Ice Shelf) have a positive mass balance, whereas Rignot and others (2004) infer even larger negative mass balance for glaciers flowing northward into the Amundsen Sea, a trend suggested by Swithinbank and others (2003a,b; 2004). The mass balance of the East Antarctic ice sheet is thought by Davis and others (2005) to be strongly positive on the basis of the change in satellite altimetry measurements made between 1992 and 2003. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council (1986), in subsequent recommendations by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (1989, 1993), and by the National Science Foundation?s (1990) Division of Polar

  3. 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

  4. Late-Holocene climate evolution at the WAIS Divide site, West Antarctica: Bubble number-density estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fegyveresi, John M.; Alley, R.B.; Spencer, M.K.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Steig, E.J.; White, J.W.C.; McConnell, J.R.; Taylor, K.C.

    2011-01-01

    A surface cooling of ???1.7??C occurred over the ???two millennia prior to ???1700 CE at the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) Divide site, based on trends in observed bubble number-density of samples from the WDC06A ice core, and on an independently constructed accumulation-rate history using annual-layer dating corrected for density variations and thinning from ice flow. Density increase and grain growth in polar firn are both controlled by temperature and accumulation rate, and the integrated effects are recorded in the number-density of bubbles as the firn changes to ice. Numberdensity is conserved in bubbly ice following pore close-off, allowing reconstruction of either paleotemperature or paleo-accumulation rate if the other is known. A quantitative late-Holocene paleoclimate reconstruction is presented for West Antarctica using data obtained from the WAIS Divide WDC06A ice core and a steady-state bubble number-density model. The resultant temperature history agrees closely with independent reconstructions based on stable-isotopic ratios of ice. The ???1.7??C cooling trend observed is consistent with a decrease in Antarctic summer duration from changing orbital obliquity, although it remains possible that elevation change at the site contributed part of the signal. Accumulation rate and temperature dropped together, broadly consistent with control by saturation vapor pressure.

  5. MECHANISMS FOR THE SEASONAL CYCLE IN THE ANTARCTIC COASTAL OCEANS

    OpenAIRE

    オオシマ; Kay I., OHSHIMA

    1996-01-01

    Seasonal variations of the Antarctic coastal oceans has not been well understood owing to logistical difficulties in observations, especially during the ice-covered season. Recently, 'Weddell Gyre Study' and 'Japanese Antarctic Climate Research program' have revealed the following seasonal variations in the Antarctic coastal ocean. First, the thickness of the Winter Water (WW) layer, characterized by cold, fresh, oxygen-rich water, exhibits its maximum in the austral fall and its minimum in t...

  6. Chilean Antarctic Stations on King George Island

    OpenAIRE

    Katsutada Kaminuma

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of my visit to Chilean Antarctic Stations was to assess the present status of geophysical observations and research, as the South Shetland Island, West Antarctica, where the stations are located, are one of the most active tectonic regions on the Antarctic plate. The Instituto Antartico Chileno (INACH) kindly gave me a chance to stay in Frei/Escudero Bases as an exchange scientist under the Antarctic Treaty for two weeks in January 2000. I stayed in Frei Base as a member of a geol...

  7. Antarctic Active Subglacial Lake Inventory from ICESat Altimetry, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains lake boundaries, volume changes, and gridded elevations for 124 active subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Lakes were identified...

  8. First High-Resolution Record of Late Quaternary Environmental Changes in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica, Revealed by Multi-proxy Analysis of Drift Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horrocks, J.; Ó Cofaigh, C.; Lloyd, J. M.; Hillenbrand, C. D.; Kuhn, G.; Smith, J.; Ehrmann, W. U.; Esper, O.

    2015-12-01

    The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is experiencing rapid mass loss and there is a pressing need to place the contemporary ice-sheet changes into a longer term context. The continental rise in this region is characterised by large sediment mounds that are shaped by westward flowing bottom currents and that resemble contouritic drifts existing offshore from the Antarctic Peninsula. Similar to the Antarctic Peninsula drifts, marine sediment cores from the poorly studied sediment mounds in the Amundsen Sea have the potential to provide reliable records of dynamical ice-sheet behaviour in West Antarctica and palaeoceanographic changes in the Southern Ocean during the Late Quaternary that can be reconstructed from their terrestrial, biogenic and authigenic components. Here we use multi-proxy data from three sediment cores recovered from two of the Amundsen Sea mounds to present the first high-resolution study of environmental changes on this part of the West Antarctic continental margin over the glacial-interglacial cycles of the Late Quaternary. Age constraints for the records are derived from biostratigraphy, AMS 14C dates and lithostratigraphy. We focus on the investigation of processes for drift formation, thereby using grain size and sortable silt data to reconstruct changes in bottom current speed and to identify episodes of current winnowing. Data on geochemical and mineralogical sediment composition and physical properties are used to infer both changes in terrigenous sediment supply in response to the advance and retreat of the WAIS across the Amundsen Sea shelf and changes in biological productivity that are mainly controlled by the duration of annual sea-ice coverage. We compare our data sets from the Amundsen Sea mounds to those from the well-studied Antarctic Peninsula drifts, thereby highlighting similarities and discrepancies in depositional processes and climatically-driven environmental changes.

  9. Development and Antarctic Testing of a Maneuverable Probe for Clean In-Situ Analysis and Sampling of Subsurface Ice and Subglacial Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francke, G.; Dachwald, B.; Kowalski, J.; Digel, I.; Tulaczyk, S. M.; Mikucki, J.; Feldmann, M.; Espe, C.; Schöngarth, S.; Hiecker, S.; Blandfort, D.; Schüller, K.; Plescher, E.

    2016-12-01

    There is significant interest in sampling subglacial environments for geochemical and microbiological studies, but those environments are difficult to access. Such environments exist not only on Earth but are also expected beneath the icy crusts of some outer solar system bodies, like the Jovian moon Europa and the Saturnian moon Enceladus. Existing ice drilling technologies make it cumbersome to maintain microbiologically clean access for sample acquisition and environmental stewardship of potentially fragile subglacial aquatic ecosystems. The "IceMole" is a maneuverable subsurface ice probe for clean in-situ analysis and sampling of glacial ice and subglacial materials. The design is based on combining melting and mechanical propulsion, using an ice screw at the tip of the melting head to maintain firm contact between the melting head and the ice. It can change melting direction by differential heating of the melting head and optional side wall heaters. The first two prototypes were successfully tested between 2010 and 2012 on glaciers in Switzerland and Iceland, where they demonstrated downward, horizontal and upward melting, as well as curve driving and dirt layer penetration. Hence, the IceMole allows maneuvers which may be necessary for obstacle avoidance or target selection. Maneuverability, however, necessitates a sophisticated on-board navigation system capable of autonomous operations. Therefore, between 2012 and 2014, a more advanced probe was developed as part of the "Enceladus Explorer" (EnEx) project. The EnEx-IceMole offers systems for relative positioning based on in-ice attitude determination, acoustic positioning, ultrasonic obstacle and target detection, which is all integrated through a high-level sensor fusion. In December 2014, it was used for clean access into a unique subglacial aquatic environment at Blood Falls, Antarctica, where a subglacial brine sample was successfully obtained after about 17 meters of oblique melting. Particular

  10. Accelerated ice-sheet mass loss in Antarctica from 18-year satellite laser ranging measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuanggen Jin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Accurate estimate of the ice-sheet mass balance in Antarctic is very difficult due to complex ice sheet condition and sparse in situ measurements. In this paper, the low-degree gravity field coefficients of up to degree and order 5 derived from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR measurements are used to determine the ice mass variations in Antarctica for the period 1993–2011. Results show that the ice mass is losing with -36±13 Gt/y in Antarctica, -42±11 Gt/y in the West Antarctica and 6±10 Gt/y in the East Antarctica from 1993 to 2011. The ice mass variations from the SLR 5×5 have a good agreement with the GRACE 5×5, GRACE 5×5 (1&2 and GRACE (60×60 for the entire continent since 2003, but degree 5 from SLR is not sufficient to quantify ice losses in West and East Antarctica, respectively. The rate of ice loss in Antarctica is -28±17 Gt/y for 1993-2002 and -55±17 Gt/y for 2003-2011, indicating significant accelerated ice mass losses since 2003. Furthermore, the results from SLR are comparable with GRACE measurements.

  11. A STUDY ON SNOW PROFILES AND SURFACE CHARACTERISTICS ALONG 6000km TRANSANTARCTIC ROUTE (Ⅰ)——THE "1990 INTERNATIONAL TRANS-ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION" GLACIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    秦大河; 任贾文

    1992-01-01

    Along a 5986 km route on Antarctic ice sheet from west to east, 106 snow pits with a depth ranging from 1.0—2.0 m have been dug by the first author of this paper, the Chinese member of the "1990 International Trans-Antarctic Expedition". The basic physical characteristics of the surface layer of the ice sheet on a large scale are obtained through the observations of snow profiles at these snow pits. The sastrugi shapes and major axis azimuths have also been observed or measured on the way. Analysis for these observation data shows that in West Antarctica the meltwater infiltration-congelation is obvious and the annual precipitation is larger than that in East Antarctica, which implies that climate in West Antarctica is warmer, more humid and influenced more greatly by the South Ocean than that in East Antarctica. Radiation ice-glazes frequently found in snow profiles indicate that even in East Antarctica under very low temperatures, surface "melting" occurs in summer due to the long-time solar radiatio

  12. Revisiting Antarctic Ozone Depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grooß, Jens-Uwe; Tritscher, Ines; Müller, Rolf

    2015-04-01

    Antarctic ozone depletion is known for almost three decades and it has been well settled that it is caused by chlorine catalysed ozone depletion inside the polar vortex. However, there are still some details, which need to be clarified. In particular, there is a current debate on the relative importance of liquid aerosol and crystalline NAT and ice particles for chlorine activation. Particles have a threefold impact on polar chlorine chemistry, temporary removal of HNO3 from the gas-phase (uptake), permanent removal of HNO3 from the atmosphere (denitrification), and chlorine activation through heterogeneous reactions. We have performed simulations with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS) employing a recently developed algorithm for saturation-dependent NAT nucleation for the Antarctic winters 2011 and 2012. The simulation results are compared with different satellite observations. With the help of these simulations, we investigate the role of the different processes responsible for chlorine activation and ozone depletion. Especially the sensitivity with respect to the particle type has been investigated. If temperatures are artificially forced to only allow cold binary liquid aerosol, the simulation still shows significant chlorine activation and ozone depletion. The results of the 3-D Chemical Transport Model CLaMS simulations differ from purely Lagrangian longtime trajectory box model simulations which indicates the importance of mixing processes.

  13. ERS-1 SAR monitoring of ice growth on shallow lakes to determine water depth and availability in north west Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, Martin; Morris, Kim; Liston, Glen

    1996-01-01

    Images taken by the ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) were used to identify and to differentiate between the lakes that freeze completely to the bottom and those that do not, on the North Slope, in northwestern Alaska. The ice thickness at the time each lake froze completely is determined with numerical ice growth model that gives a maximum simulated thickness of 2.2 m. A method combining the ERS-1 SAR images and numerical ice growth model was used to determine the ice growth and the water availability in these regions.

  14. Antarctic snow and global climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Granberg, H.B.

    2001-01-01

    Global circulation models (GCM) indicate that global warming will be most pronounced at polar regions and high latitudes, causing concern about the stability of the Antarctic ice cap. A project entitled the Seasonal Snow in Antarctica examined the properties of the near surface snow to determine the current conditions that influence snow cover development. The goal was to assess the response of the snow cover in Queen Maud Land (QML) to an increased atmospheric carbon dioxide content. The Antarctic snow cover in QML was examined as part of the FINNARP expeditions in 1999 and 2000 which examined the processes that influence the snow cover. Its energy and mass balance were also assessed by examining the near surface snow strata in shallow (1-2 m) pits and by taking measurements of environmental variables. This made it possible to determine if the glacier is in danger of melting at this northerly location in the Antarctic. The study also made it possible to determine which variables need to change and by how much, for significant melting to occur. It was shown that the Antarctic anticyclone creates particular conditions that protect the snow cover from melting. The anticyclone brings dry air from the stratosphere during most of the year and is exempt from the water vapour feedback. It was concluded that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will not produce major snow melt runoff. 8 refs

  15. Insights into Spatial Sensitivities of Ice Mass Response to Environmental Change from the SeaRISE Ice Sheet Modeling Project I: Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Aschwanden, Andy; Bueler, Ed; Choi, Hyengu; Fastook, Jim; Granzow, Glen; Greve, Ralf; Gutowski, Gail; hide

    2013-01-01

    Atmospheric, oceanic, and subglacial forcing scenarios from the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) project are applied to six three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet models to assess Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity over a 500 year timescale and to inform future modeling and field studies. Results indicate (i) growth with warming, except within low-latitude basins (where inland thickening is outpaced by marginal thinning); (ii) mass loss with enhanced sliding (with basins dominated by high driving stresses affected more than basins with low-surface-slope streaming ice); and (iii) mass loss with enhanced ice shelf melting (with changes in West Antarctica dominating the signal due to its marine setting and extensive ice shelves; cf. minimal impact in the Terre Adelie, George V, Oates, and Victoria Land region of East Antarctica). Ice loss due to dynamic changes associated with enhanced sliding and/or sub-shelf melting exceeds the gain due to increased precipitation. Furthermore, differences in results between and within basins as well as the controlling impact of sub-shelf melting on ice dynamics highlight the need for improved understanding of basal conditions, grounding-zone processes, ocean-ice interactions, and the numerical representation of all three.

  16. Satellite gravity gradient views help reveal the Antarctic lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Ebbing, J.; Pappa, F.; Kern, M.; Forsberg, R.

    2017-12-01

    Here we present and analyse satellite gravity gradient signatures derived from GOCE and superimpose these on tectonic and bedrock topography elements, as well as seismically-derived estimates of crustal thickness for the Antarctic continent. The GIU satellite gravity component images the contrast between the thinner crust and lithosphere underlying the West Antarctic Rift System and the Weddell Sea Rift System and the thicker lithosphere of East Antarctica. The new images also suggest that more distributed wide-mode lithospheric and crustal extension affects both the Ross Sea Embayment and the less well known Ross Ice Shelf segment of the rift system. However, this pattern is less clear towards the Bellingshousen Embayment, indicating that the rift system narrows towards the southern edge of the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, the satellite gravity data provides new views into the Archean to Mesoproterozoic Terre Adelie Craton, and clearly shows the contrast wrt to the crust and lithosphere underlying both the Wilkes Subglacial Basin to the east and the Sabrina Subglacial Basin to the west. This finding augments recent interpretations of aeromagnetic and airborne gravity data over the region, suggesting that the Mawson Continent is a composite lithospheric-scale entity, which was affected by several Paleoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic orogenic events. Thick crust is imaged beneath the Transantarctic Mountains, the Terre Adelie Craton, the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains and also Eastern Dronning Maud Land, in particular beneath the recently proposed region of the Tonian Oceanic Arc Superterrane. The GIA and GIU components help delineate the edges of several of these lithospheric provinces. One of the most prominent lithospheric-scale features discovered in East Antarctica from satellite gravity gradient imaging is the Trans East Antarctic Shear Zone that separates the Gamburtsev Province from the Eastern Dronning Maud Land Province and appears to form the

  17. 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.

  18. Sea-level and solid-Earth deformation feedbacks in ice sheet modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Hannes; Sasgen, Ingo; Klemann, Volker; Thoma, Malte; Grosfeld, Klaus; Martinec, Zdeněk

    2014-05-01

    The interactions of ice sheets with the sea level and the solid Earth are important factors for the stability of the ice shelves and the tributary inland ice (e.g. Thomas and Bentley, 1978; Gomez et al, 2012). First, changes in ice extent and ice thickness induce viscoelastic deformation of the Earth surface and Earth's gravity field. In turn, global and local changes in sea level and bathymetry affect the grounding line and, subsequently, alter the ice dynamic behaviour. Here, we investigate these feedbacks for a synthetic ice sheet configuration as well as for the Antarctic ice sheet using a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice sheet and shelf model, coupled to a viscoelastic solid-Earth and gravitationally self-consistent sea-level model. The respective ice sheet undergoes a forcing from rising sea level, warming ocean, and/or changing surface mass balance. The coupling is realized by exchanging ice thickness, Earth surface deformation and sea level periodically. We apply several sets of viscoelastic Earth parameters to our coupled model, e.g. simulating a low-viscous upper mantle present at the Antarctic Peninsula (Ivins et al., 2011). Special focus of our study lies on the evolution of Earth surface deformation and local sea level changes, as well as on the accompanying grounding line evolution. N. Gomez, D. Pollard, J. X. Mitrovica, P. Huybers, and P. U. Clark 2012. Evolution of a coupled marine ice sheet-sea level model, J. Geophys. Res., 117, F01013, doi:10.1029/2011JF002128. E. R. Ivins, M. M. Watkins, D.-N. Yuan, R. Dietrich, G. Casassa, and A. Rülke 2011. On-land ice loss and glacial isostatic adjustment at the Drake Passage: 2003-2009, J. Geophys. Res. 116, B02403, doi: 10.1029/2010JB007607 R. H. Thomas and C. R. Bentley 1978. A model for Holocene retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Quaternary Research, 10 (2), pages 150-170, doi: 10.1016/0033-5894(78)90098-4.

  19. Spectral dependence of backscattering coefficient of mixed phase clouds over West Africa measured with two-wavelength Raman polarization lidar: Features attributed to ice-crystals corner reflection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veselovskii, I.; Goloub, P.; Podvin, T.; Tanre, D.; Ansmann, A.; Korenskiy, M.; Borovoi, A.; Hu, Q.; Whiteman, D. N.

    2017-11-01

    The existing models predict that corner reflection (CR) of laser radiation by simple ice crystals of perfect shape, such as hexagonal columns or plates, can provide a significant contribution to the ice cloud backscattering. However in real clouds the CR effect may be suppressed due to crystal deformation and surface roughness. In contrast to the extinction coefficient, which is spectrally independent, consideration of diffraction associated with CR results in a spectral dependence of the backscattering coefficient. Thus measuring the spectral dependence of the cloud backscattering coefficient, the contribution of CR can be identified. The paper presents the results of profiling of backscattering coefficient (β) and particle depolarization ratio (δ) of ice and mixed-phase clouds over West Africa by means of a two-wavelength polarization Mie-Raman lidar operated at 355 nm and 532 nm during the SHADOW field campaign. The lidar observations were performed at a slant angle of 43 degree off zenith, thus CR from both randomly oriented crystals and oriented plates could be analyzed. For the most of the observations the cloud backscatter color ratio β355/β532 was close to 1.0, and no spectral features that might indicate the presence of CR of randomly oriented crystals were revealed. Still, in two measurement sessions we observed an increase of backscatter color ratio to a value of nearly 1.3 simultaneously with a decrease of the spectral depolarization ratio δ355/δ532 ratio from 1.0 to 0.8 inside the layers containing precipitating ice crystals. We attribute these changes in optical properties to corner reflections by horizontally oriented ice plates.

  20. Arctic Landfast Sea Ice 1953-1998, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The files in this data set contain landfast sea ice data (monthly means) gathered from both Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Canadian Ice...

  1. Heat sources for glacial ice melt in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord: The role of subglacial freshwater discharge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2015-01-01

    The melting of tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes significantly to global sea level rise. Accelerated mass loss is related to melt-processes in front of calving glaciers, yet the role of ocean heat transports is poorly understood. Here we present the first direct...... of the area near the glacier showed that ice melt was mainly due to ocean heat transport and that direct plume-associated melt was only important in periods with high meltwater discharge rates of ~100 m3 s−1. Ocean mixing outside of the plume area was thus the primary heat source for melting glacier ice....

  2. Antarctic and Southern Ocean influences on Late Pliocene global cooling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McKay, R.; Naish, T.; Carter, L.; Riesselman, C.; Dunbar, R.; Sjunneskog, C.; Winter, D.; Sangiorgi, F.; Warren, C.; Pagani, M.; Schouten, S.; Willmott, V.; Levy, R.; DeConto , R.M.; Powell, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    The influence of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean on Late Pliocene global climate reconstructions has remained ambiguous due to a lack of well-dated Antarctic-proximal, paleoenvironmental records. Here we present ice sheet, sea-surface temperature, and sea ice reconstructions from the ANDRILL

  3. Cosmogenic nuclides constrain surface fluctuations of an East Antarctic outlet glacier since the Pliocene.

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, R.S.; Norton, K.P.; Mackintosh, A.N.; Anderson, J.T.H.; Kubik, P.; Vockenhuber, C.; Wittman, H.; Fink, D.; Wilson, G.S.; Golledge, N.R.; McKay, R.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding past changes in the Antarctic ice sheets provides insight into how they might respond to future climate warming. During the Pliocene and Pleistocene, geological data show that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet responded to glacial and interglacial cycles by remaining relatively stable in its interior, but oscillating at its marine-based margin. It is currently not clear how outlet glaciers, which connect the ice sheet interior to its margin, responded to these orbitally-paced climate...

  4. Antarctic-wide array of high-resolution ice core records reveals pervasive lead pollution began in 1889 and persists today

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McConnell, J.R.; Maselli, OJ; Sigl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Interior Antarctica is among the most remote places on Earth and was thought to be beyond the reach of human impacts when Amundsen and Scott raced to the South Pole in 1911. Here we show detailed measurements from an extensive array of 16 ice cores quantifying substantial toxic heavy metal lead...... of changes in lead deposition across Antarctica, as well as the characteristic isotopic signature of Broken Hill lead found throughout the continent, suggest that this single emission source in southern Australia was responsible for the introduction of lead pollution into Antarctica at the end of the 19th...

  5. Recent Aeromagnetic Anomaly views of the Antarctic continent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraccioli, F.

    2012-04-01

    hypothesis further and contribute towards understanding the role that the inherited Precambrian architecture exerted on the location and development of the East Antarctic Rift System, which was active both before and during Gondwana break-up. Over Wilkes Land, aeromagnetic data offer tantalizing new glimpses into the extent of Precambrian basement provinces that have been extensively studied in formerly adjacent Australia. An over 1,900 km long magnetic low is traced from a new magnetic anomaly compilation along the margin of the Archean-Proterozoic Mawson continent, and is interpreted as delineating part of a Neoproterozoic rift system that heralded Rodinia break-up. Aeromagnetic data are also helping in deciphering Phanerozoic crustal growth along the paleo-Pacific active margin of Gondwana. In northern Victoria Land aeromagnetic anomaly interpretation, coupled with geochemical and structural observations is clarifying the architecture and evolution of Cambro-Ordovician terranes that were affected by the Ross Orogen. In the Antarctic Peninsula aeromagnetic and aerogravity data suggest the existence of several distinct arc provinces that may have docked against the Gondwana margin during the Cretaceous age Palmer Land event. Aeromagnetic interpretation over the West Antarctic ice sheet provides new insights into the extent of Cenozoic magmatism and rift basins within the West Antarctic Rift System and into the inland extent of the Jurassic Weddell Sea Rift

  6. In situ measurements of tropical cloud properties in the West African Monsoon: upper tropospheric ice clouds, Mesoscale Convective System outflow, and subvisual cirrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Frey

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In situ measurements of ice crystal size distributions in tropical upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS clouds were performed during the SCOUT-AMMA campaign over West Africa in August 2006. The cloud properties were measured with a Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe (FSSP-100 and a Cloud Imaging Probe (CIP operated aboard the Russian high altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica with the mission base in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. A total of 117 ice particle size distributions were obtained from the measurements in the vicinity of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS. Two to four modal lognormal size distributions were fitted to the average size distributions for different potential temperature bins. The measurements showed proportionately more large ice particles compared to former measurements above maritime regions. With the help of trace gas measurements of NO, NOy, CO2, CO, and O3 and satellite images, clouds in young and aged MCS outflow were identified. These events were observed at altitudes of 11.0 km to 14.2 km corresponding to potential temperature levels of 346 K to 356 K. In a young outflow from a developing MCS ice crystal number concentrations of up to (8.3 ± 1.6 cm−3 and rimed ice particles with maximum dimensions exceeding 1.5 mm were found. A maximum ice water content of 0.05 g m−3 was observed and an effective radius of about 90 μm. In contrast the aged outflow events were more diluted and showed a maximum number concentration of 0.03 cm−3, an ice water content of 2.3 × 10−4 g m−3, an effective radius of about 18 μm, while the largest particles had a maximum dimension of 61 μm.

    Close to the tropopause subvisual cirrus were encountered four times at altitudes of 15 km to 16.4 km. The mean ice particle number concentration of these encounters was 0.01 cm−3 with maximum particle sizes of 130

  7. Uplift rates from a new high-density GPS network in Palmer Land indicate significant late Holocene ice loss in the southwestern Weddell Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wolstencroft, Martin; King, Matt A.; Whitehouse, Pippa L

    2015-01-01

    The measurement of ongoing ice-mass loss and associated melt water contribution to sea-level change from regions such as West Antarctica is dependent on a combination of remote sensing methods. A key method, the measurement of changes in Earth's gravity via the GRACE satellite mission, requires...... a potentially large correction to account for the isostatic response of the solid Earth to ice-load changes since the Last Glacial Maximum. In this study, we combine glacial isostatic adjustment modelling with a new GPS dataset of solid Earth deformation for the southern Antarctic Peninsula to test the current...... understanding of ice history in this region. A sufficiently complete history of past ice-load change is required for glacial isostatic adjustment models to accurately predict the spatial variation of ongoing solid Earth deformation, once the independently-constrained effects of present-day ice mass loss have...

  8. 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.

  9. Exploring the sensitivity of global ocean circulation to future ice loss from Antarctica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Condron, Alan [Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    2017-09-30

    The sensitivity of the global ocean circulation and climate to large increases in iceberg calving and meltwater discharges from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) are rarely studied and poorly understood. The requirement to investigate this topic is heightened by growing evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is vulnerable to rapid retreat and collapse on multidecadal-to-centennial timescales. Observations collected over the last 30 years indicate that the WAIS is now losing mass at an accelerated and that a collapse may have already begun in the Amundsen Sea sector. In addition, some recent future model simulations of the AIS show the potential for rapid ice sheet retreat in the next 50 – 300 years. Such a collapse would be associated with the discharge of enormous volumes of ice and meltwater to the Southern Ocean. This project funds PI Condron to begin assessing the sensitivity of the global ocean circulation to projected increases in meltwater discharge and iceberg calving from the AIS for the next 50 – 100 years. A series of climate model simulations will determine changes in ocean circulation and temperature at the ice sheet grounding line, the role of mesoscale ocean eddies in mixing and transporting freshwater away from the continent to deep water formation regions, and the likely impact on the northward transport of heat to Europe and North America.

  10. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J A; An