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Geochemical properties of the water–snow–ice complexes in the area of Shokalsky glacier, Novaya Zemlya, in relation to tabular ground-ice formation

  • M.O. Leibman (a1), S.M. Arkhipov (a2), D.D. Perednya (a1), A.S. Savvichev (a3), B.G. Vanshtein (a4) and H.-W. Hubberten (a5)...

Abstract

Tabular (massive) ground ice in periglacial areas of the Russian Arctic (Barents and Kara Sea coasts) is considered to be a remnant of past glacial epochs and is thus used as proof of the glacial extent. In this paper, we argue that the origin of these tabular ice bodies, which can be used as archives of specific climatic conditions and periglacial environments, is intra-sedimentary (migration/intrusion). The objective of this study is to establish geochemical benchmarks describing the ice formation from atmospheric moisture and compare them with geochemical data of tabular ground ice. Shokalsky glacier on Novaya Zemlya (NZ), on the east coast of the Barents Sea, was chosen as a possible moisture source for the formation of tabular ground ice at the key section ‘Shpindler’ on Yugorsky peninsula, on the south coast of the Kara Sea. Tabular ice in the Shpindler section was compared to the Shokalsky glacier ice in both isotope/geochemical and structural aspects. In general, the hydrochemical properties of glacier ice at NZ and ground ice from Shpindler are closely correlated, while stable-isotope, microelemental and microbiological properties are substantially different. It was concluded that glacier ice most likely participated in the formation of tabular ground ice, but only as a source of refrozen meltwater.

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References

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