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Chemical characteristics and origin of clear basal ice facies in dry-based glaciers, South Victoria Land, Antarctica

B.L. Hooker, S.J. Fitzsimons and R. K. Morgan

Department of Geography, University of Otago, PO bOx 56, Dunedin, New Zealand

 
Abstract 

This paper describes a reconnaissance investigation of the solute chemistry of a clear basal ice facies that previous studies have suggested is the product of accretion of proglacial lake water. Clear basal ice, adjacent englacial ice, lake surface ice and lake water were sampled at six lcoations in the Taylor and Wright valleys. Ice from each sample lcoation was split into five aliquots and the concentrations of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and chlorides were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The clear basal ice samples can be divided into three groups on the basis of solute concentrations. Group 1 consists of six samples which have solute concentrations very similar to englacial ice, Group 2 consits of seven samples that have concentrations that are significantly greater than englacial ice and Group 3 consits of one sample which has a solute concentration that is 10 times greather than adjacent englacial ice. Four mechanisms to explain the solute enrichment are examined and it is concluded that although the chemical analysis suggests that some basal ice may have accreted from proglacial lakes, water chemistry alone is not a reliable indicator of the origin of the clear basal ice.

 
Reference

Hooker, B. L. Fitzsimons, S. J. and Morgan, R. K. 1999. Chemical characteristics and origin of clear basal ice facies in dry-based glaciers, South Victoria Land, Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change, 22, 29-38. [PDF 280kb]

 

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