Atmospheric gas records from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, reveal ancient ice with ages spanning the entire last glacial cycle

TitleAtmospheric gas records from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, reveal ancient ice with ages spanning the entire last glacial cycle
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBaggenstos D, Bauska T.K, Severinghaus JP, Lee J.E, Schaefer H, Buizert C, Brook E.J, Shackleton S., Petrenko VV
JournalClimate of the Past
Volume13
Pagination943-958
Date Published2017/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1814-9324
Accession NumberWOS:000405866000001
Keywordsabrupt climate-change; antarctica; blue-ice; core wd2014 chronology; east antarctica; Geology; greenland ice; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; mount-moulton; north-atlantic; polar ice; rapid changes; west
Abstract

Old ice for paleo-environmental studies, traditionally accessed through deep core drilling on domes and ridges on the large ice sheets, can also be retrieved at the surface from ice sheet margins and blue ice areas. The practically unlimited amount of ice available at these sites satisfies a need in the community for studies of trace components requiring large sample volumes. For margin sites to be useful as ancient ice archives, the ice stratigraphy needs to be understood and age models need to be established. We present measurements of trapped gases in ice from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, to date the ice and assess the completeness of the stratigraphic section. Using delta O-18 of O-2 and methane concentrations, we unambiguously identify ice from the last glacial cycle, covering every climate interval from the early Holocene to the penultimate interglacial. A high-resolution transect reveals the last deglaciation and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in detail. We observe large-scale deformation in the form of folding, but individual stratigraphic layers do not appear to have undergone irregular thinning. Rather, it appears that the entire LGM-deglaciation sequence has been transported from the interior of the ice sheet to the surface of Taylor Glacier relatively undisturbed. We present an age model that builds the foundation for gas studies on Taylor Glacier. A comparison with the Taylor Dome ice core confirms that the section we studied on Taylor Glacier is better suited for paleo-climate reconstructions of the LGM due to higher accumulation rates.

DOI10.5194/cp-13-943-2017
Short TitleClim. Past.
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