Climate Dynamics

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 803–813

New estimations of precipitation and surface sublimation in East Antarctica from snow accumulation measurements

Authors

    • Ente per le Nuove Tecnologiel’Energia e l’Ambiente, ‘Progetto Clima Globale’
  • Michel Pourchet
    • Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’EnvironnementCNRS
  • Onelio Flora
    • Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, Ambientali e MarineUniversity of Trieste
  • Stefano Gandolfi
    • Dipartimento di Ingegneria delle Strutture, dei Trasporti, delle Acque, del Rilevamento, del TerritorioUniversity of Bologna
  • Michel Gay
    • Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’EnvironnementCNRS
  • Stefano Urbini
    • Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia
  • Christian Vincent
    • Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’EnvironnementCNRS
  • Silvia Becagli
    • Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversity of Florence
  • Roberto Gragnani
    • Ente per le Nuove Tecnologiel’Energia e l’Ambiente, ‘Progetto Clima Globale’
  • Marco Proposito
    • Ente per le Nuove Tecnologiel’Energia e l’Ambiente, ‘Progetto Clima Globale’
  • Mirko Severi
    • Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversity of Florence
  • Rita Traversi
    • Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversity of Florence
  • Roberto Udisti
    • Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversity of Florence
  • Michel Fily
    • Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’EnvironnementCNRS
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-004-0462-5

Cite this article as:
Frezzotti, M., Pourchet, M., Flora, O. et al. Climate Dynamics (2004) 23: 803. doi:10.1007/s00382-004-0462-5

Abstract

Surface mass balance (SMB) distribution and its temporal and spatial variability is an essential input parameter in mass balance studies. Different methods were used, compared and integrated (stake farms, ice cores, snow radar, surface morphology, remote sensing) at eight sites along a transect from Terra Nova Bay (TNB) to Dome C (DC) (East Antarctica), to provide detailed information on the SMB. Spatial variability measurements show that the measured maximum snow accumulation (SA) in a 15 km area is well correlated to firn temperature. Wind-driven sublimation processes, controlled by the surface slope in the wind direction, have a huge impact (up to 85% of snow precipitation) on SMB and are significant in terms of past, present and future SMB evaluations. The snow redistribution process is local and has a strong impact on the annual variability of accumulation. The spatial variability of SMB at the kilometre scale is one order of magnitude higher than its temporal variability (20–30%) at the centennial time scale. This high spatial variability is due to wind-driven sublimation. Compared with our SMB calculations, previous compilations generally over-estimate SMB, up to 65% in some areas.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004