Microstructure, micro-inclusions, and mineralogy along the EGRIP ice core – Part 1: Localisation of inclusions and deformation patterns


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nicolas.stoll [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Impurities deposited in polar ice enable the re- construction of the atmospheric aerosol concentration of the past. At the same time they impact the physical properties of the ice itself such as its deformation behaviour. Impurities are thought to enhance ice deformation, but observations are ambiguous due to a shortage of comprehensive microstructural analyses. For the first time, we systematically analyse micro-inclusions in polar fast flowing ice, i.e. from the East Greenland Ice Core Project ice core drilled through the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. In direct relation to the inclusions we derive the crystal preferred orientation, fabric, grain size, and microstructural features at 10 depths, covering the Holocene and Late Glacial. We use optical microscopy to create microstructure maps to analyse the in situ locations of inclusions in the polycrystalline, solid ice samples. Micro- inclusions are more variable in spatial distribution than previously observed and show various distributional patterns ranging from centimetre-thick layers to clusters and solitary particles, independent of depth. In half of all samples, micro-inclusions are more often located at or close to the grain boundaries by a slight margin (in the areas occupied by grain boundaries). Throughout all samples we find strong in- dications of dynamic recrystallisation, such as grain islands, bulging grains, and different types of sub-grain boundaries. We discuss the spatial variability in micro-inclusions, the link between spatial variability and mineralogy, and possible ef- fects on the microstructure and deformation behaviour of the ice. Our results emphasise the need for holistic approaches in future studies, combining microstructure and impurity analysis.



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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed, Web of Science / Scopus
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Published
Eprint ID
55314
DOI 10.5194/tc-15-5717-2021

Cite as
Stoll, N. , Eichler, J. , Hörhold, M. , Erhardt, T. , Jensen, C. M. and Weikusat, I. (2021): Microstructure, micro-inclusions, and mineralogy along the EGRIP ice core – Part 1: Localisation of inclusions and deformation patterns , Cryosphere, 15 , pp. 5717-5737 . doi: 10.5194/tc-15-5717-2021


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