Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-69
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal The Cryosphere (TC) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Is there 1.5 million-year old ice near Dome C, Antarctica?
Frédéric Parrenin1, Marie G. P. Cavitte2, Donald D. Blankenship2, Jérome Chappellaz1, Hubertus Fischer3, Olivier Gagliardini1, Valérie Masson-Delmotte4, Olivier Passalacqua1, Catherine Ritz1, Jason Roberts5,6, Martin J. Siegert7, and Duncan A. Young2 1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, IGE, F-38000 Grenoble, France
2University of Texas John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), Austin, USA
3Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern
4Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, UMR8212 (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ/IPSL), Gif-Sur- Yvette, France
5Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
6Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
7Grantham Institute, and Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, London, UK
Abstract. Ice sheets provide exceptional archives of past changes in polar climate, regional environment and global atmospheric composition. The oldest dated deep ice core drilled in Antarctica has been retrieved at EPICA Dome C (EDC), reaching ~ 800,000 years. Obtaining an older paleoclimatic record from Antarctica is one of the greatest challenges of the ice core community. Here, we use internal isochrones, identified from airborne radar coupled to ice-flow modelling to estimate the age of basal ice along transects in the Dome C area. Three glaciological properties are inverted from isochrones: surface accumulation rate; geothermal flux; and the exponent of the Lliboutry velocity profile. We find that old ice (> 1 Myr, 1 million years) likely exists in two regions: one ~ 40 km south-west of Dome C along the ice divide to Vostok, close to a secondary dome that we name "Little Dome C" (LDC); and a second region named "North Patch" (NP) located 10–30 km north-east of Dome C, in a region where the geothermal flux is apparently relatively low. Our work demonstrates the value of combining radar observations with ice flow modelling to accurately represent the true nature of ice flow, and the formation of ice-sheet architecture, in the centre of large ice sheets.

Citation: Parrenin, F., Cavitte, M. G. P., Blankenship, D. D., Chappellaz, J., Fischer, H., Gagliardini, O., Masson-Delmotte, V., Passalacqua, O., Ritz, C., Roberts, J., Siegert, M. J., and Young, D. A.: Is there 1.5 million-year old ice near Dome C, Antarctica?, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-69, in review, 2017.
Frédéric Parrenin et al.
Frédéric Parrenin et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 1,055 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
488 532 35 1,055 14 42

Views and downloads (calculated since 03 May 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 03 May 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 1,055 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 1,046 with geography defined and 9 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 17 Oct 2017
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
The oldest dated deep ice core drilled in Antarctica has been retrieved at EPICA Dome C (EDC), reaching ~ 800,000 years. Obtaining an older paleoclimatic record from Antarctica is one of the greatest challenges of the ice core community. Here, we estimate the age of basal ice in the Dome C area. We find that old ice (> 1 Myr, 1 million years) likely exists in two regions a few tens of kilometres away from EDC: "Little Dome C" and "North Patch".
The oldest dated deep ice core drilled in Antarctica has been retrieved at EPICA Dome C (EDC),...
Share