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The Cryosphere, 12, 1681-1697, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-1681-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
18 May 2018
Variability of sea salts in ice and firn cores from Fimbul Ice Shelf, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
Carmen Paulina Vega1,2,a,b, Elisabeth Isaksson1, Elisabeth Schlosser3,4, Dmitry Divine1, Tõnu Martma5, Robert Mulvaney6, Anja Eichler7, and Margit Schwikowski-Gigar7 1Norwegian Polar Institute, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway
2Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, SE-75236, Uppsala, Sweden
3Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
4Austrian Polar Research Institute, Vienna, Austria
5Department of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
6British Antarctic Survey, Madingley Road, High Cross, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0ET, UK
7Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
anow at: School of Physics, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, 11501-2060 San Jose, Costa Rica
bnow at: Centre for Geophysical Research, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, 11501-2060 San Jose, Costa Rica
Abstract. Major ions were analysed in firn and ice cores located at Fimbul Ice Shelf (FIS), Dronning Maud Land – DML, Antarctica. FIS is the largest ice shelf in the Haakon VII Sea, with an extent of approximately 36 500 km2. Three shallow firn cores (about 20 m deep) were retrieved in different ice rises, Kupol Ciolkovskogo (KC), Kupol Moskovskij (KM), and Blåskimen Island (BI), while a 100 m long core (S100) was drilled near the FIS edge. These sites are distributed over the entire FIS area so that they provide a variety of elevation (50–400 m a.s.l.) and distance (3–42 km) to the sea. Sea-salt species (mainly Na+ and Cl) generally dominate the precipitation chemistry in the study region. We associate a significant sixfold increase in median sea-salt concentrations, observed in the S100 core after the 1950s, to an enhanced exposure of the S100 site to primary sea-salt aerosol due to a shorter distance from the S100 site to the ice front, and to enhanced sea-salt aerosol production from blowing salty snow over sea ice, most likely related to the calving of Trolltunga occurred during the 1960s. This increase in sea-salt concentrations is synchronous with a shift in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42−) toward negative values, suggesting a possible contribution of fractionated aerosol to the sea-salt load in the S100 core most likely originating from salty snow found on sea ice. In contrast, there is no evidence of a significant contribution of fractionated sea salt to the ice-rises sites, where the signal would be most likely masked by the large inputs of biogenic sulfate estimated for these sites. In summary, these results suggest that the S100 core contains a sea-salt record dominated by the proximity of the site to the ocean, and processes of sea ice formation in the neighbouring waters. In contrast, the ice-rises firn cores register a larger-scale signal of atmospheric flow conditions and a less efficient transport of sea-salt aerosols to these sites. These findings are a contribution to the understanding of the mechanisms behind sea-salt aerosol production, transport and deposition at coastal Antarctic sites, and the improvement of the current Antarctic sea ice reconstructions based on sea-salt chemical proxies obtained from ice cores.
Citation: Vega, C. P., Isaksson, E., Schlosser, E., Divine, D., Martma, T., Mulvaney, R., Eichler, A., and Schwikowski-Gigar, M.: Variability of sea salts in ice and firn cores from Fimbul Ice Shelf, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 12, 1681-1697, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-1681-2018, 2018.
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Short summary
Ions were measured in firn and ice cores from Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to evaluate sea-salt loads. A significant sixfold increase in sea salts was found in the S100 core after 1950s which suggests that it contains a more local sea-salt signal, dominated by processes during sea-ice formation in the neighbouring waters. In contrast, firn cores from three ice rises register the larger-scale signal of atmospheric flow conditions and transport of sea-salt aerosols produced over open water.
Ions were measured in firn and ice cores from Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to evaluate sea-salt...
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