Historical behaviour of Dome C and Talos Dome (East Antarctica) as investigated by snow accumulation and ice velocity measurements

Stefano Urbini, Massimo Frezzotti, Stefano Gandolfi, Christian Vincent, Claudio Scarchilli, Luca Vittuari, Michel Fily

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Abstract

Ice divide-dome behaviour is used for ice sheet mass balance studies and interpretation of ice core records. In order to characterize the historical behaviour (last 400 yr) of Dome C and Talos Dome (East Antarctica), ice velocities have been measured since 1996 using a GPS system, and the palaeo-spatial variability of snow accumulation has been surveyed using snow radar and firn cores. The snow accumulation distribution of both domes indicates distributions of accumulation that are non-symmetrical in relation to dome morphology. Changes in spatial distributions have been observed over the last few centuries, with a decrease in snow accumulation gradient along the wind direction at Talos Dome and a counter-clockwise rotation of accumulation distribution in the northern part of Dome C. Observations at Dome C reveal a significant increase in accumulation since the 1950s, which could correlate to altered snow accumulation patterns due to changes in snowfall trajectory. Snow accumulation mechanisms are different at the two domes: a wind-driven snow accumulation process operates at Talos Dome, whereas snowfall trajectory direction is the main factor at Dome C. Repeated GPS measurements made at Talos Dome have highlighted changes in ice velocity, with a deceleration in the NE portion, acceleration in the SW portion and migration of dome summit, which are apparently correlated with changes in accumulation distribution. The observed behaviour in accumulation and velocity indicates that even the most remote areas of East Antarctica have changed from a decadal to secular scale. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576 - 588
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume60
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Oceanography

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