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Authors: Frezzotti, M.* 
Gandolfi, S.* 
Urbini, S.* 
Title: Snow megadunes in Antarctica: Sedimentary structure and genesis
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research 
Series/Report no.: D18 / 107 (2002)
Publisher: AGU
Issue Date: 2002
DOI: 10.1029/2001JD000673
Keywords: snow dune
aeolian morphology
mass balance
ice core
katabatic wind
Subject Classification02. Cryosphere::02.02. Glaciers::02.02.02. Cryosphere/atmosphere Interaction 
02. Cryosphere::02.02. Glaciers::02.02.05. Ice dynamics 
02. Cryosphere::02.02. Glaciers::02.02.10. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Megadune fields occupy large areas in the interior of the East Antarctic ice sheet and are the result of unusual snow accumulation and redistribution processes. They therefore are important to surface mass balance and ice core interpretation. Field observations (GPS, GPR, and surface measurements) have provided a detailed description of megadune sedimentation and morphology over a 70 km2 area, located 200 km east of Dome C. A combination of remote sensing analysis (using Landsat and satellite radar altimetry) and field measurements indicate that slope in the prevailing wind direction (SPWD) and climatic conditions play a crucial role in megadune genesis. The megadune areas tend to be characterized by slightly steeper regional slope and the presence of highly persistent katabatic winds. The megadunes represent 2 to 4 m amplitude waves of 2 to 5 km wavelength formed by variable net accumulation, ranging between 25% (leeward faces) to 120% (windward faces) of the accumulation in adjacent nonmegadune areas. Leeward faces are characterized by glazed, sastrugi-free surfaces and extensive depth hoar formation. Windward faces are covered by large rough sastrugi up to 1.5 m in height.
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