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Authors: Scambos, T. A.*
Frezzotti, M.*
Haran, T.*
Bohlander, J.*
Lenaerts, J. T. M.*
Van Den Broeke, M. R.*
Jezek, K.*
Long, D.*
Urbini, S.*
Farness, K.*
Neumann, T.*
Albert, M.*
Winther, J.-G.*
Title: Extent of low-accumulation ‘wind glaze’ areas on the East Antarctic plateau: implications for continental ice mass balance
Title of journal: Journal of Glaciology
Series/Report no.: 210 / 58 (2012)
Publisher: International Glaciological Society
Issue Date: Aug-2012
DOI: 10.3189/2012JoG11J232
Keywords: Antarctica
snow accumulation
Surface Mass Balance
Abstract: Persistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called ‘glaze’ surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2–200km2 in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 1.7%, or 950 143 103 km2, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46–82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.
Appears in Collections:02.02.99. General or miscellaneous
02.02.02. Cryosphere/atmosphere Interaction
02.02.06. Mass balance
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