Visual Stratigraphy-Based Age Scale Developed for the Shallow Mount Siple Firn Core, Antarctica

Here we present a case study for using visual stratigraphy to date a shallow firn core from coastal West Antarctica. The Mount Siple ice core has the potential to reconstruct climate in this data-sparse region over recent decades. Line scanned images of the 24 m firn core were used to generate a grey-scale, which displays variability consistent with annual cycles. The resulting Mount Siple age scale spans from 1998 ± 1 to 2017 CE. This study demonstrates that the seasonal changes in the grey-scale record provide an independent method of dating firn cores. However, the presence of melt layers at this site has introduced an error of ±1 year. Visual line stratigraphy has the unique advantage over traditional annual layer counting, based on chemical or isotopic species, of being non-destructive and relatively inexpensive. Visual line stratigraphy has proved to be an effective dating method for this site.


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Authors: Brown, Joseph W., Moser, Dorothea E. ORCIDORCID record for Dorothea E. Moser, Emanuelsson, Daniel B. ORCIDORCID record for Daniel B. Emanuelsson, Thomas, Elizabeth R. ORCIDORCID record for Elizabeth R. Thomas

On this site: Dorothea Moser, Liz Thomas
15 March, 2023
Geosciences / 13
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