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Snow algae in a Himalayan ice core: new environmental markers for ice-core analyses and their correlation with summer mass balance

  • Yoshitaka Yoshimura (a1), Shiro Kohshima (a1), Nozomu Takeuchi (a1), Katsumoto Seko (a2) and Koji Fujita (a2)...
Abstract

Snow algae in a shallow ice core (6.98 m long) from Yala glacier in the Langtang region of Nepal were examined for potential use as environmental markers in ice-core analysis. The ice core, taken at 5350m a.s.l. in 1994, was estimated to contain 11 annual layers from 1984 to 1994 from the profile of algal biomass. Algal biomass in each annual layer was noted to be correlated with air temperature, and the following two environmental indices which were calculated from air temperature and precipitation at Kyangjing (3920m a.s.l.), the village nearest to Yala glacier: estimated mean snow-cover thickness (MST) and estimated summer mass balance (SMB). Both parameters reflect snow-cover thickness on algal layers, which would be a major determinant of the light available for algal growth on the glacier. Snow algal biomass in the ice core appears to be a good environmental marker for indicating air temperature and accumulation during summer, which is important for understanding the mass balance of summer-accumulation-type glaciers in this region.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
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