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Physical properties, crystalline textures and c-axis fabrics of the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core

  • Anthony J. Gow (a1) and Debra Meese (a1) (a2)
Abstract

The quality of the ice core from Siple Dome, West Antarctica, varied widely, with significant fracturing below 400 m. Bubbly ice persisted to the ice–rock interface at 1004 m and constituted the brittle zone. The core has undergone minimal relaxation and has remained brittle and prone to fracturing more than 5 years after it was drilled. This behavior is attributed to unrelieved stresses from Kamb and Bindschadler Ice Streams (former Ice Streams C and D) flanking the dome. Melt layers were identified sporadically throughout the core, as were inclined layers tilted at angles that occasionally exceeded 10°. Structurally, the ice was characterized by extensive recrystallization including grain-size changes from 0.074 cm2 at 59 m to >50 cm2 at 992 m, and major transitions in c-axis fabrics. Unusual fabrics included vertical c-axis clusters superimposed on vertical girdles that may reflect vertical compression acting in conjunction with horizontal tension. The sudden appearance of a shear-type fabric at 700–800 m appears closely linked to the occurrence of abundant tephra particles embedded in the ice. The occurrence of dispersed sediment in the bottom 2 m is attributed to freeze-on of basal meltwater.

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