Climate Variability in West Antarctica Derived from Accumulation and Marine Aerosol Records from ITASE Firn/Ice Cores

Susan Kaspari

As of 2002, Degree of Master of Science (MS) Quaternary and Climate Studies published under the auspices of the Climate Change Institute.


Thirteen annually resolved accumulation rate records and sixteen high-resolution marine aerosol (Na+, SO42-) records from spatially distributed International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) ice cores spanning the last -200 years from the Pine Island-Thwaites and Ross drainage systems and the South Pole are used to examine climate variability over West Antarctica. Accumulation is controlled spatially by the topography of the ice sheet, and temporally by changes in moisture transport and cyclonic activity. A comparison of mean accumulation since 1970 at each site relative to the long-term mean indicates an increase in accumulation for sites located in the Western sector of the Pine Island- Thwaites drainage system. Accumulation is negatively correlated with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) for sites near the ice divide, and periods of sustained negative SOI (1940-1942, 1991-1995) correspond to above mean accumulation at most sites. Correlations of the accumulation rate records with sea level pressure (SLP) and the SOI