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The surface accumulation and ablation of a coastal blue-ice area near Cap Prudhomme, Terre Adélie, Antarctica

  • Christophe Genthon (a1), Pierre Lardeux (a1) and Gerhard Krinner (a1)
Abstract

A record of accumulation and ablation from a network of 47 stakes at a coastal blue-ice area in Terre Adélie, Antarctica, is presented and analyzed. The record covers early 2004 to early 2006, from 25 field surveys including some in austral winter. The two years are very different, with a virtually null surface mass balance during the 2004 winter but large accumulation during the 2005 winter. A snow/ice energy- and mass-balance model is used to reproduce the accumulation and ablation record. A parameterization for snow erosion by wind is included. Input meteorology is from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses and forecasts, corrected using 1 year of local meteorological observations from an automatic weather station. Model results agree reasonably well with the observations. Wind erosion is the largest contributor to ablation, removing much of the precipitation. Sublimation and, to a lesser extent, melt/runoff together account for >60 cm w.e. of ablation in 2 years, mainly in summer. Although the record is short, it confirms high interannual variability and thus high sensitivity to meteorology and climate. Monitoring and understanding the mass balance of such coastal blue-ice areas may help monitor and detect climate change in the Antarctic coastal regions.

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References
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Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
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