Summit of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet underlain by thick ice-crystal fabric layers linked to glacial-interglacial environmental change

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Title: Summit of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet underlain by thick ice-crystal fabric layers linked to glacial-interglacial environmental change
Authors: Siegert, MJ
Bangbing, W
Sun, B
Martin, C
Ferraccioli, F
Steinage, D
Xiangbin, C
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Ice cores in Antarctica and Greenland reveal ice-crystal fabrics that can be softer under simple shear compared with isotropic ice. Due to the sparseness of ice cores in regions away from the ice divide, we currently lack information about the spatial distribution of ice fabrics and its association with ice flow. Radio-wave reflections are influenced by ice-crystal alignments, allowing them to be tracked provided reflections are recorded simultaneously in orthogonal orientations (polarimetric measurements). Here, we image spatial variations in the thickness and extent of ice fabric across Dome A in East Antarctica, by interpreting polarimetric radar data. We identify four prominent fabric units, each several hundred meters thick, extending over hundreds of square km. By tracing internal ice-sheet layering to the Vostok ice core, we are able to determine the approximate depth-age profile at Dome A. The fabric units correlate with glacial-interglacial cycles, most noticeably revealing crystal alignment contrasts between the Eemian and the glacial episodes before and after. The anisotropy within these fabric layers has a spatial pattern determined by ice flow over subglacial topography.
Issue Date: 26-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 11-Nov-2016
ISSN: 0305-8719
Publisher: Geological Society
Journal / Book Title: Special Publication - Geological Society of London
Volume: Special Publications
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London Gold Open Access: This article is published under the terms of the CC-BY 3.0 license.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
British Council (UK)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K004956/2
Keywords: 04 Earth Sciences
Geochemistry & Geophysics
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 461
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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