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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 10, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 10, 1991–2002, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1991-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 10, 1991–2002, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1991-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Sep 2016

Research article | 07 Sep 2016

A representative density profile of the North Greenland snowpack

Christoph Florian Schaller1, Johannes Freitag1, Sepp Kipfstuhl1, Thomas Laepple2, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen3, and Olaf Eisen1,4 Christoph Florian Schaller et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 4Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Abstract. Along a traverse through North Greenland in May 2015 we collected snow cores up to 2 m depth and analyzed their density and water isotopic composition. A new sampling technique and an adapted algorithm for comparing data sets from different sites and aligning stratigraphic features are presented. We find good agreement of the density layering in the snowpack over hundreds of kilometers, which allows the construction of a representative density profile. The results are supported by an empirical statistical density model, which is used to generate sets of random profiles and validate the applied methods. Furthermore we are able to calculate annual accumulation rates, align melt layers and observe isotopic temperatures in the area back to 2010. Distinct relations of δ18O with both accumulation rate and density are deduced. Inter alia the depths of the 2012 melt layers and high-resolution densities are provided for applications in remote sensing.

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Short summary
Along a traverse through North Greenland in May 2015 we collected snow cores up to 2 m in depth and analyzed their properties (e.g., density). A new technique for this sampling and an adapted algorithm for comparing data sets from different positions and aligning stratigraphic features are presented. We find good agreement of the density layering in the snowpack over hundreds of kilometers. This allows the construction of a representative density profile that is statistically validated.
Along a traverse through North Greenland in May 2015 we collected snow cores up to 2 m in depth...
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