The impact of glacier retreat from the Ross Sea on local climate: Characterization of mineral dust in the Taylor Dome ice core, EastAntarctica


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Anna.Wegner [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Recent declines in ice shelf and sea ice extent experienced in polar regions highlight the importance of evaluating variations in local weather patterns in response to climate change. Airborne mineral particles (dust) transported through the atmosphere and deposited on ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland can provide a robust set of tools for resolving the evolution of climatic systems through time. Here we present the first high time resolution radiogenic isotope (strontium and neodymium) data for Holocene dust in a coastal East Antarctic ice core, accompanied by rare earth element composition, dust concentration, and particle size distribution during the last deglaciation. We aim to use these combined ice core data to determine dust provenance, with variations indicative of shifts in either dust production, sources, and/or transport pathways. We analyzed a series of 17 samples from the Taylor Dome (77◦47'47''S, 158◦43'26''E) ice core, 113–391m in depth from 1.1–31.4ka. Radiogenic isotopic and rare earth element compositions of dust during the last glacial period are in good agreement with previously measured East Antarctic ice core dust records. In contrast, the Holocene dust dataset displays a broad range in isotopic and rare earth element compositions, suggesting a shift from long-range transported dust to a more variable, local input that may be linked to the retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf during the last deglaciation. Observed changes in the dust cycle inferred from a coastal East Antarctic ice core can thus be used to infer an evolving local climate.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
40743
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.035

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Aarons, S. , Aciego, S. , Gabrielli, P. , Delmonte, B. , Koornneef, J. , Wegner, A. and Blakowski, M. (2016): The impact of glacier retreat from the Ross Sea on local climate: Characterization of mineral dust in the Taylor Dome ice core, EastAntarctica , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 444 , pp. 34-44 . doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.03.035


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