Glaciological characteristics in the Dome Fuji region and new assessment for “Oldest Ice”

Karlsson, Nanna B.; Binder, Tobias; Eagles, Graeme; Helm, Veit; Pattyn, Frank; Van Liefferinge, Brice; Eisen, Olaf

A key objective in palaeo-climatology is the retrieval of a continuous Antarctic ice-core record dating back 1.5 Ma. The identification of a suitable Antarctic site requires sufficient knowledge of the subglacial landscape beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Here, we present new ice thickness information from the Dome Fuji region, East Antarctica, based on airborne radar surveys conducted during the 2014/15 and 2016/17 southern summers. Compared to previous maps of the region, the new dataset shows a more complex landscape with networks of valleys and mountain plateaus. We use the new dataset as input in a thermokinematic model that incorporates uncertainties in geothermal heat flux values in order to improve the predictions of potential ice-core sites. Our results show that especially the region immediately south of Dome Fuji station persists as a good candidate site for obtaining an old ice core. An initial assessment of basal conditions revealed the existence of what appears to be subglacial lakes. Further radar data analysis shows overall high continuity of layer stratigraphy in the region. This indicates that extending the age–depth information from the Dome Fuji ice core to a new ice-core drill site is a viable option.

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Karlsson, Nanna B. / Binder, Tobias / Eagles, Graeme / et al: Glaciological characteristics in the Dome Fuji region and new assessment for “Oldest Ice”. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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