Physical properties of shallow ice cores from Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The sub-Antarctic is one of the most data-sparse regions on earth. A number; of glaciated Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands have the potential to; provide unique ice core records of past climate, atmospheric circulation, and; sea ice. However, very little is known about the glaciology of these remote; islands or their vulnerability to warming atmospheric temperature. Here we; present melt histories and density profiles from shallow ice (firn) cores; (14 to 24 m) drilled on three sub-Antarctic islands and two Antarctic; coastal domes. Additionally, complementary ground-penetrating radar (GPR); data were collected to further characterize each site and assess the spatial; distribution of the observed melt layers. This study includes the first ever; firn cores from Bouvet Island (54∘25′19′′ S, 03∘23′27′′ E) in the South; Atlantic, from Peter I Island (68∘51′05′′ S, 90∘30′35′′ W) in the; Bellingshausen Sea, and from Young Island (66∘31′44′′ S, 162∘33′21′′ E) in the Ross Sea sector's Balleny island chain.; Despite their sub-Antarctic location, surface melt is low at most sites; (melt layers account for ∼ 10 % of total core), with; undisturbed ice layers in the upper ∼ 40 m, suggesting minimal; impact of meltwater percolation. The exception is Young Island, where melt; layers account for 47 % of the firn core. Surface snow densities range; from 0.47 to 0.52 kg m−3, with close-off depths ranging from 21 to 51 m. Based on the measured density, we estimate that the bottom ages of a 100 m ice core drilled on Peter 1 Island would reach ∼ 1856; CE and ∼ 1874 CE at Young Island.;

publication date

  • March 3, 2021

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • February 1, 2022 6:10 AM

Full Author List

  • Thomas ER; Gacitúa G; Pedro JB; Faith King AC; Markle B; Potocki M; Moser DE

author count

  • 7

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1994-0424

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1173

end page

  • 1186


  • 15


  • 2