Skip to main content Accessibility help

Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 ka

  • F. PARRENIN (a1) (a2), S. FUJITA (a3) (a4), A. ABE-OUCHI (a5) (a6), K. KAWAMURA (a3) (a4), V. MASSON-DELMOTTE (a7), H. MOTOYAMA (a3) (a4), F. SAITO (a6), M. SEVERI (a8), B. STENNI (a9), R. UEMURA (a10) and E. W. WOLFF (a11)...


Documenting past changes in the East Antarctic surface mass balance is important to improve ice core chronologies and to constrain the ice-sheet contribution to global mean sea-level change. Here we reconstruct past changes in the ratio of surface mass balance (SMB ratio) between the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and Dome Fuji (DF) East Antarctica ice core sites, based on a precise volcanic synchronization of the two ice cores and on corrections for the vertical thinning of layers. During the past 216 000 a, this SMB ratio, denoted SMBEDC/SMBDF, varied between 0.7 and 1.1, being small during cold periods and large during warm periods. Our results therefore reveal larger amplitudes of changes in SMB at EDC compared with DF, consistent with previous results showing larger amplitudes of changes in water stable isotopes and estimated surface temperature at EDC compared with DF. Within the last glacial inception (Marine Isotope Stages, MIS-5c and MIS-5d), the SMB ratio deviates by up to 0.2 from what is expected based on differences in water stable isotope records. Moreover, the SMB ratio is constant throughout the late parts of the current and last interglacial periods, despite contrasting isotopic trends.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 ka
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 ka
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 ka
      Available formats


This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Frédéric Parrenin <> and Shuji Fujita <>


Hide All

These authors contributed equally to this work.



Hide All
Aristidi, E and 11 others (2005) An analysis of temperatures and wind speeds above Dome C, Antarctica. Astron. Astrophys. 430(2), 739746 (doi: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041876)
Bazin, L and 21 others (2013) An optimized multi-proxy, multi-site Antarctic ice and gas orbital chronology (AICC2012): 120–800 ka. Clim. Past 9(4), 17151731 (doi: 10.5194/cp-9-1715-2013)
Bengtsson, L, Koumoutsaris, S and Hodges, K (2011) Large-scale surface mass balance of ice sheets from a comprehensive atmospheric model. Surv. Geophys. 32(4), 459474 (doi: 10.1007/s10712-011-9120-8)
Bintanja, R, de Wal, RSW and Oerlemans, J (2005) Modelled atmospheric temperatures and global sea levels over the past million years. Nature 437, 125128 (doi: 10.1038/nature03975)
Cauquoin, A and 9 others (2015) Comparing past accumulation rate reconstructions in East Antarctic ice cores using 10Be, water isotopes and CMIP5-PMIP3 models. Clim. Past 11(3), 355367 (doi: 10.5194/cp-11-355-2015)
Cavitte, MG and 7 others (2016) Deep radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic plateau: connecting the Dome C and Vostok ice core sites. J. Glaciol. 62(232), 323334 (doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.11)
Church, JA and 13 others (2013) Sea level change. In Stocker, TF, Qin, D, Plattner, G-K, Tignor, M, Allen, SK, Boschung, J, Nauels, A, Xia, Y, Bex, V and Midgley, PM eds. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
Dansgaard, W (1964) Stable isotopes in precipitation. Tellus 16, 436468 (doi: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1964.tb00181.x)
Durand, G and 8 others (2007) Change in ice rheology during climate variations – implications for ice flow modelling and dating of the EPICA Dome C core. Clim. Past 3, 155167 (doi: 10.5194/cp-3-155-2007)
Durand, G and 7 others (2009) Evolution of the texture along the EPICA Dome C ice core. Low Temp. Sci. 68(Supplement), 91105
Ekaykin, A (2003) Régime météorologique de l'Antarctique central et son rôle dans la composition isotopique de la neige. Faculté de géographie de Saint Pétersbourg.
EPICA community members (2004) 8 glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core. Nature 429, 623628 (doi: 10.1038/nature02599)
Frezzotti, M and 13 others (2004) New estimations of precipitation and surface sublimation in East Antarctica from snow accumulation measurements. Clim. Dyn. 23(7–8), 803813 (doi: 10.1007/s00382-004-0462-5)
Frezzotti, M, Scarchilli, C, Becagli, S, Proposito, M and Urbini, S (2013) A synthesis of the Antarctic surface mass balance during the last 800 yr. Cryosphere 7(1), 303319 (doi: 10.5194/tc-7-303-2013)
Fujita, K and Abe, O (2006) Stable isotopes in daily precipitation at Dome Fuji, East Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33(18), L18503 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL026936)
Fujita, S and 6 others (1999) Nature of radio echo layering in the Antarctic Ice Sheet detected by a two-frequency experiment. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 104(B6), 1301313024 (doi: 10.1029/1999JB900034)
Fujita, S and 9 others and others (2011) Spatial and temporal variability of snow accumulation rate on the East Antarctic ice divide between Dome Fuji and EPICA DML. Cryosphere 5, 10571081 (doi: 10.5194/tc-5-1057-2011)
Fujita, S and 7 others (2012) Radar diagnosis of the subglacial conditions in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. Cryosphere 6(5), 12031219 (doi: 10.5194/tc-6-1203-2012)
Fujita, S, Parrenin, F, Severi, M, Motoyama, H and Wolff, EW (2015) Volcanic synchronization of Dome Fuji and Dome C Antarctic deep ice cores over the past 216 kyr. Clim. Past 11(10), 13951416 (doi: 10.5194/cp-11-1395-2015)
Gallée, H and 5 others (2012) Transport of snow by the wind: a comparison between observations in Adélie Land, Antarctica, and simulations made with the regional climate model MAR. Bound. Layer Meteorol. 146(1), 133147 (doi: 10.1007/s10546-012-9764-z)
Gersonde, R, Crosta, X, Abelmann, A and Armand, L (2005) Sea-surface temperature and sea ice distribution of the Southern Ocean at the EPILOG Last Glacial Maximum—a circum-Antarctic view based on siliceous microfossil records. Quat. Sci. Rev. 24(7–9), 869896 (doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.07.015)
Goujon, C, Barnola, J-M and Ritz, C (2003) Modeling the densification of polar firn including heat diffusion: application to close-off characteristics and gas isotopic fractionation for Antarctica and Greenland sites. J. Geophys. Res. 108 (D24), ACL10/1–10 (doi: 10.1029/2002JD003319)
Hirasawa, N, Nakamura, H and Yamanouchi, T (2000) Abrupt changes in meteorological conditions observed at an inland Antarctic Station in association with wintertime blocking. Geophys. Res. Lett. 27(13), 19111914 (doi: 10.1029/1999GL011039)
Hoshina, Y and 8 others (2014) Effect of accumulation rate on water stable isotopes of near-surface snow in inland Antarctica. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119(1), 2013JD020771 (doi: 10.1002/2013JD020771)
Iizuka, Y and 6 others (2012) Sulphate-climate coupling over the past 300 000 a in inland Antarctica. Nature 490(7418), 8184 (doi: 10.1038/nature11359)
Jouzel, J and Merlivat, L (1984) Deuterium and oxygen 18 in precipitation: modeling of the isotopic effects during snow formation. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 89(D7), 1174911757 (doi: 10.1029/JD089iD07p11749)
Jouzel, J and 6 others (1987) Vostok ice core: a continuous isotope temperature record over the last climatic cycle (160 000 a). Nature 329(6138), 403408 (doi: 10.1038/329403a0)
Jouzel, J and 6 others (2003) Magnitude of isotope/temperature scaling for interpretation of central Antarctic ice cores. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 108(D12), 4361 (doi: 10.1029/2002JD002677)
Jouzel, J and 31 others (2007) Orbital and millennial Antarctic climate variability over the past 800 000 a. Science 317(5839), 793796 (doi: 10.1126/science.1141038)
Kameda, T and 9 others (1997) Meteorological observations along a traverse route from coast to Dome Fuji Station, Antarctica, recorded by Automatic Weather Stations in 1995. Proc. of the NIPR Symp. on Polar Meteorology and Glaciology. 3550
Kameda, T, Motoyama, H, Fujita, S and Takahashi, S (2008) Temporal and spatial variability of surface mass balance at Dome Fuji, East Antarctica, by the stake method from 1995 to 2006. J. Glaciol. 54(184), 107116 (doi: 10.3189/002214308784409062)
Kawamura, K and 11 others (2007) Northern hemisphere forcing of climatic cycles over the past 360 000a implied by absolute dating of Antarctic ice cores. Nature 448, 912917 (doi: 10.1038/nature06015)
King, JC, Argentini, SA and Anderson, PS (2006) Contrasts between the summertime surface energy balance and boundary layer structure at Dome C and Halley stations, Antarctica. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 111(D2), D02105 (doi: 10.1029/2005JD006130)
Krinner, G and Genthon, C (1999) Altitude dependence of the ice sheet surface climate. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26(15), 22272230 (doi: 10.1029/1999GL900536)
Lisiecki, LE and Raymo, ME (2005) A plio-pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ 18O records. Paleoceanography 20(1), PA1003 (doi: 10.1029/2004PA001071)
Lliboutry, L (1979) A critical review of analytical approximate solutions for steady state velocities and temperature in cold ice sheets. Z. Gletscherkd. Glacialgeol. 15(2), 135148
Massom, RA and 6 others (2004) Precipitation over the Interior East Antarctic ice sheet related to midlatitude blocking-high activity. J. Clim. 17(10), 19141928 (doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017<1914:POTIEA>2.0.CO;2)
Masson-Delmotte, V and 35 others (2008) A review of Antarctic surface snow isotopic composition: observations, atmospheric circulation, and Isotopic modeling. J. Clim. 21(13), 33593387 (doi: 10.1175/2007JCLI2139.1)
Masson-Delmotte, V and 18 others (2011) A comparison of the present and last interglacial periods in six Antarctic ice cores. Clim. Past 7(2), 397423 (doi: 10.5194/cp-7-397-2011)
Mengel, M and Levermann, A (2014) Ice plug prevents irreversible discharge from East Antarctica. Nat. Clim. Change 4(6), 451455 (doi: 10.1038/nclimate2226)
Motoyama, H (2007) The Second Deep Ice Coring Project at Dome Fuji, Antarctica. Sci. Drill. 5, 4143 (doi: 10.2204/
Motoyama, H, Hirasawa, N, Satow, K and Watanabe, O (2005) Seasonal variations in oxygen isotope ratios of daily collected precipitation and wind drift samples and in the final snow cover at Dome Fuji Station, Antarctica. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 110(D11), D11106 (doi: 10.1029/2004JD004953)
Motoyama, H and others (2007) A New 3035.22 m deep ice core at dome Fuji, Antarctica and reconstruction of global climate and environmental change over past 720 kyr. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 76
Parish, TR and Bromwich, DH (1987) The surface windfield over the Antarctic ice sheets. Nature 328(6125), 5154 (doi: 10.1038/328051a0)
Parrenin, F, Rémy, F, Ritz, C, Siegert, M and Jouzel, J (2004) New modelling of the Vostok ice flow line and implication for the glaciological chronology of the Vostok ice core. J. Geophys. Res. 109, D20102 (doi: 10.1029/2004JD004561)
Parrenin, F and 15 others (2007) 1-D-ice flow modelling at EPICA Dome C and Dome Fuji, East Antarctica. Clim. Past 3(2), 243259 (doi: 10.5194/cp-3-243-2007)
Parrenin, F and 9 others (2013) Synchronous change of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature during the last deglacial warming. Science 339(6123), 10601063 (doi: 10.1126/science.1226368)
Pattyn, F and 18 others (2012) Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP. Cryosphere 6(3), 573588 (doi: 10.5194/tc-6-573-2012)
Pollard, D and DeConto, RM (2012) Description of a hybrid ice sheet-shelf model, and application to Antarctica. Geosci. Model Dev. 5(5), 12731295 (doi: 10.5194/gmd-5-1273-2012)
Raymond, CF (1983) Deformation in the vicinity of ice divides. J. Glaciol. 29(103), 357373
Reijmer, CH, van den Broeke, MR and Scheele, MP (2002) Air parcel trajectories and snowfall related to five deep drilling locations in Antarctica based on the ERA-15 Dataset. J. Clim. 15(14), 19571968 (doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015<1957:APTASR>2.0.CO;2)
Rignot, E, Mouginot, J, Morlighem, M, Seroussi, H and Scheuchl, B (2014) Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011. Geophys. Res. Lett. 41(10), 35023509 (doi: 10.1002/2014GL060140)
Ritter, F and 9 others (2016) Isotopic exchange on the diurnal scale between near-surface snow and lower atmospheric water vapor at Kohnen station, East Antarctica. Cryosph. Discuss., 135 (doi: 10.5194/tc-2016-4)
Ritz, C, Rommelaere, V and Dumas, C (2001) Modeling the evolution of Antarctic ice sheet over the last 420 000 a: implications for altitude changes in the Vostok region. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 106(D23), 3194331964 (doi: 10.1029/2001JD900232)
Saito, F (2002) Development of a three dimensional ice sheet model for numerical studies of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet. University of Tokyo, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Tokyo, Japan
Saito, F and Abe-Ouchi, A (2010) Modelled response of the volume and thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet to the advance of the grounded area. Ann. Glaciol. 51(55), 4148 (doi: 10.3189/172756410791392808)
Scarchilli, C, Frezzotti, M and Ruti, PM (2011) Snow precipitation at four ice core sites in East Antarctica: provenance, seasonality and blocking factors. Clim. Dyn. 37(9–10), 21072125 (doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0946-4)
Siegert, MJ, Hodgkins, R and Dowdeswell, JA (1998) A chronology for the Dome C deep ice-core site through radio-echo layer Correlation with the Vostok Ice Core, Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25(7), 10191022 (doi: 10.1029/98GL00718)
Sime, LC, Wolff, EW, Oliver, KIC and Tindall, JC (2009) Evidence for warmer interglacials in East Antarctic ice cores. Nature 462(7271), 342345 (doi: 10.1038/nature08564)
Sodemann, H and Stohl, A (2009) Asymmetries in the moisture origin of Antarctic precipitation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36(22), L22803 (doi: 10.1029/2009GL040242)
Steen-Larsen, HC and 18 others (2014) What controls the isotopic composition of Greenland surface snow? Clim. Past 10(1), 377392 (doi: 10.5194/cp-10-377-2014)
Stenni, B and 7 others (2001) An oceanic cold reversal during the last deglaciation. Science 293(5537), 20742077 (doi: 10.1126/science.1059702)
Stenni, B and 14 others (2010) The deuterium excess records of EPICA Dome C and Dronning Maud Land ice cores (East Antarctica). Quat. Sci. Rev. 29(1–2), 146159 (doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.10.009)
Suzuki, K, Yamanouchi, T and Motoyama, H (2008) Moisture transport to Syowa and Dome Fuji stations in Antarctica. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 113(D24), D24114 (doi: 10.1029/2008JD009794)
Suzuki, K, Yamanouchi, T, Kawamura, K and Motoyama, H (2013) The spatial and seasonal distributions of air-transport origins to the Antarctic based on 5-day backward trajectory analysis. Polar Sci. 7(3–4), 205213 (doi: 10.1016/j.polar.2013.08.001)
Tabacco, IE, Passerini, A, Corbelli, F and Gorman, M (1998) Determination of the surface and bed topography at Dome C, East Antarctica. J. Glaciol. 44, 185191
Takahashi, S, Ageta, Y, Fujii, Y and Vvataabe, O (1994) Surface mass balance in east Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, observed by Japanese Antarctic research expeditions. Ann. Glaciol. 20(1), 242248
Takahashi, S, Kameda, T, Enomoto, H, Motoyama, H and Watanabe, O (2004) Automatic Weather Station (AWS) data collected by the 33rd to 42nd Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions during 1993-2001. JARE Data Rep. Meteorol. 36, 1416
Uemura, R and 5 others (2012) Ranges of moisture-source temperature estimated from Antarctic ice cores stable isotope records over glacial–interglacial cycles. Clim. Past 8(3), 11091125 (doi: 10.5194/cp-8-1109-2012)
Urbini, S and 6 others (2008) Historical behaviour of Dome C and Talos Dome (East Antarctica) as investigated by snow accumulation and ice velocity measurements. Glob. Planet. Change 60(3–4), 576588 (doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.08.002)
Veres, D and 15 others (2013) The Antarctic ice core chronology (AICC2012): an optimized multi-parameter and multi-site dating approach for the last 120 thousand years. Clim. Past 9(4), 17331748 (doi: 10.5194/cp-9-1733-2013)
WAIS Divide Project Members (2013) Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing. Nature 500(7463), 440444 (doi: 10.1038/nature12376)
Watanabe, O and 5 others (2003a) Homogeneous climate variability across East Antarctica over the past three glacial cycles. Nature 422(6931), 509512 (doi: 10.1038/nature01525)
Watanabe, O and 11 others (2003b) General tendencies of stable isotopes and major chemical constituents of the Dome Fuji deep ice core. Mem. Natl. Inst. Polar Res. Spec. 57, 124
Wolff, EW and 27 others (2006) Southern Ocean sea-ice extent, productivity and iron flux over the past eight glacial cycles. Nature 440(7083), 491496 (doi: 10.1038/nature04614)


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 ka

  • F. PARRENIN (a1) (a2), S. FUJITA (a3) (a4), A. ABE-OUCHI (a5) (a6), K. KAWAMURA (a3) (a4), V. MASSON-DELMOTTE (a7), H. MOTOYAMA (a3) (a4), F. SAITO (a6), M. SEVERI (a8), B. STENNI (a9), R. UEMURA (a10) and E. W. WOLFF (a11)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.