Spatial and temporal variation of snow accumulation along Kottas traverse, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

Olaf.Eisen [ at ]


Surface mass balance (SMB) of Antarctica is poorly known and is largely driven by snowfall. Especially the snow accumulation, which is the most important parameter in assessing SMB, delivers large uncertainties. Different measurement techniques come along with different levels of accuracy, spatio-temporal resolution and coverage. In addition, the remoteness of the Antarctic continent makes systematic studies of accumulation processes difficult to implement. Investigations on spatial and temporal variations of snow accumulation have been carried out along a traverse route in western Dronning Maud Land (DML). One decade of stake line data on surface snow accumulation, revealed information on small-scale temporal and spatial characteristics. Spatial variabilities of up to 20% have been observed. Topographic complexity and the resulting interaction with the prevailing wind regime have been linked to high spatial variability. Temporal variability delivered even higher values of up to 50% and is also linked to topographic formations but is seen to be stronger influenced by local to global weather and climate conditions. A comparison with trans-regional long-term measurements showed a corresponding mass balance trend, but temporal resolution of stake line data was too low for more comprehensive statements. A consistent data-set could have contributed to the ongoing discussion on mass gain of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Although the data set delivers large uncertainties and error of accumulation rates obtained by stake line data is high, the revealed information builds the basis of ground observation.

Item Type
Thesis (Master)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Mengert, M. (2018): Spatial and temporal variation of snow accumulation along Kottas traverse, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica , Master thesis, Universität Bremen, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften.

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email

Geographical region

Research Platforms


Edit Item Edit Item