Age ranges of the Tibetan ice cores with emphasis on the Chongce ice cores, western Kunlun Mountains

Hou, Shugui; Jenk, Theo M.; Zhang, Wangbin; Wang, Chaomin; Wu, Shuangye; Wang, Yetang; Pang, Hongxi; Schwikowski, Margit

An accurate chronology is the essential first step for a sound understanding of ice core records. However, dating ice cores drilled from the high-elevation glaciers is challenging and often problematic, leading to great uncertainties. The Guliya ice core, drilled to the bedrock (308.6 inline-formulam in length) along the western Kunlun Mountains on the north-western Tibetan Plateau (TP) and widely used as a benchmark for palaeoclimate research, is believed to reach inline-formula>500 ka (thousand years) at its bottom. Meanwhile other Tibetan ice cores (i.e. Dasuopu and East Rongbuk in the Himalayas, Puruogangri in the central TP and Dunde in the north-eastern TP) are mostly of Holocene origin. In this study, we drilled four ice cores into bedrock (216.6, 208.6, 135.8 and 133.8 inline-formulam in length, respectively) from the Chongce ice cap inline-formula∼30inline-formulakm to the Guliya ice core drilling site. We took measurements of inline-formula14C, inline-formula210Pb, tritium and inline-formulaβ activity for the ice cores, and used these values in a two-parameter flow model to establish the ice core depth–age relationship. We suggested that the Chongce ice cores might be of Holocene origin, consistent with the other Tibetan ice cores except Guliya. The remarkable discrepancy between the Guliya and all the other Tibetan ice core chronology implies that more effort is necessary to explore multiple dating techniques to confirm the age ranges of the TP glaciers, including those from Chongce and Guliya.

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Hou, Shugui / Jenk, Theo M. / Zhang, Wangbin / et al: Age ranges of the Tibetan ice cores with emphasis on the Chongce ice cores, western Kunlun Mountains. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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