Elmer/Ice News

Elmer/Ice used in ice core based accumulation reconstruction for the Caucasus

cp 20 237 2024 f03 webIn this study, is presented a seasonally resolved accumulation record spanning from 1750 to 2009 CE, based on a 181.8 m ice core obtained from the Elbrus Western Plateau in the Caucasus. Various methods are implemented to account for uncertainties associated with glacier flow, layer thinning, and dating. Particularly, the upstream effect is accounted for with the help of Elmer/Ice. Since the ice core includes layers that were deposited upstream of the drilling site, where annual snow accumulation conditions may differ from those at the drilling site, it is crucial to identify the ice core catchment area in order to investigate the connection between the ice core data and surface accumulation. To account for this upstream effect, were calculated the backward trajectories of the ice and firn particles positioned along a vertical line segment connecting the drill site and the bedrock. The trajectories are reconstructed based on the modeled glacier velocity field. The velocity field is simulated on the base of a 3-D full Stokes ice-flow model with the firn rheological law. A steady-state simulation with fixed glacier geometry is performed. The mathematical formulation of the ice-flow problem includes the Stokes and the volume balance evolution equations, the stress-free surface boundary condition, and the no-slip bedrock boundary condition. The model utilizes a smoothed vertical profile of density inferred from the 2009 Elbrus ice core. Based on the simulation, it was determined that the sources of the backward trajectories are located on the glacier surface close enough to the drill site. This result ascertains the representativeness of the ice core material as a proxy for surface accumulation rates.

Read more: Mikhalenko V., S. Kutuzov, P. Toropov, M. Legrand, S. Sokratov, G. Chernyakov, I. Lavrentiev, S. Preunkert, A. Kozachek, M. Vorobiev, A. Khairedinova and V. Lipenkov, 2024. Accumulation rates over the past 260 years archived in Elbrus ice core, Caucasus,Clim. Past 20, 237-255. doi:10.5194/cp-20-237-2024

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