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TC | Volume 13, issue 7
The Cryosphere, 13, 1983–1999, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-1983-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 13, 1983–1999, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-1983-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Jul 2019

Research article | 17 Jul 2019

Observation of the process of snow accumulation on the Antarctic Plateau by time lapse laser scanning

Ghislain Picard et al.
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Cited articles  
Adodo, F. I., Remy, F., and Picard, G.: Seasonal variations of the backscattering coefficient measured by radar altimeters over the Antarctic Ice Sheet, The Cryosphere, 12, 1767–1778, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-1767-2018, 2018. a
Agosta, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Orsi, A., Favier, V., Gallée, H., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van Wessem, J. M., van de Berg, W. J., and Fettweis, X.: Estimation of the Antarctic surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR (1979–2015) and identification of dominant processes, The Cryosphere, 13, 281–296, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-281-2019, 2019. a, b, c
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Amory, C., Gallée, H., Naaim-Bouvet, F., Favier, V., Vignon, E., Picard, G., Trouvilliez, A., Piard, L., Genthon, C., and Bellot, H.: Seasonal Variations in Drag Coefficient over a Sastrugi-Covered Snowfield in Coastal East Antarctica, Bound.-Lay. Meteorol., 164, 107–133, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-017-0242-5, 2017. a
Arthern, R. J., Winebrenner, D. P., and Vaughan, D. G.: Antarctic snow accumulation mapped using polarization of 4.3-cm wavelength microwave emission, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D06107, https://doi.org/10.1029/2004JD005667, 2006. a
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To study how snow accumulates in Antarctica, we analyze daily surface elevation recorded by an automatic laser scanner. We show that new snow often accumulates in thick patches covering a small fraction of the surface. Most patches are removed by erosion within weeks, implying that only a few contribute to the snowpack. This explains the heterogeneity on the surface and in the snowpack. These findings are important for surface mass and energy balance, photochemistry, and ice core interpretation.
To study how snow accumulates in Antarctica, we analyze daily surface elevation recorded by an...
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