Comprehensive 1000 year climatic history from an intermediate-depth ice core from the south dome of Berkner Island, Antarctica: methods, dating and first results

A 181 m deep ice core drilled in 1994/95 on the south dome of Berkner Island, Antarctica, was analyzed for stable isotopes, major ions and microparticle concentrations. Samples for ion chromatography were prepared by using a novel technique of filling decontaminated sample from a device for continuous ice-core melting directly into the sample vials. The core was dated through identification of volcanic horizons and interpolative layer counting. The core, together with a similar core from the north dome, reveals a 1000 year history of relatively stable climate. Temporal variations in the two cores deviate from each other owing to changing patterns of regional-scale circulation; the best correspondence between them is found for MSA(-). delta(18)O, accumulation rate and a sea-salt proxy show only negligible correlation, which suggests a complex meteorological setting. Increasing annual accumulation is observed for the last 100 years. A period of increased sea-salt concentrations started around AD 1405, as has also been observed in other cores. Microparticle concentrations are on average 1220 particles (>= 1.0 mu m diameter) mL(-1); they are enhanced from (AD) 1200 to 1350, possibly because of a higher atmospheric mineral dust load or because local volcanic activity was stronger than previously thought. Microparticles and NH4+ show marked but multiple and very irregular sub-annual peaks; long-term stacking of 1 year data intervals yields seasonal maxima in austral spring or mid-summer, respectively. Post-depositional redistribution was observed for MSA, NO3- and F- at volcanic horizons.


Publication status:
Authors: Ruth, Urs, Wagenbach, Dietmar, Mulvaney, Robert, Oerter, Hans, Graf, Wolfgang, Pulz, Henning, Littot, Genevieve

On this site: Robert Mulvaney
1 January, 2004
Annals of Glaciology / 39
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