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The distribution of glacial meltwater in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, revealed by excess helium and neon

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Title
The distribution of glacial meltwater in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, revealed by excess helium and neon
Authors
Kim, Intae
Hahm, Doshik
Rhee, Tae Siek
Lee, SangHoon
Keywords
Amundsen Sea; Antarctica; Basal melting; Glacier melt water; Helium; Neon; Tracer
Issue Date
2014
Citation
Kim, Intae, et al. 2014. The distribution of glacial meltwater in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, revealed by excess helium and neon. American Geophysical Union. San Fransisco, US. 2014.12.15.-19.
Abstract
Noble Gases in seawater are useful tracers of glacial melting around Antarctica because the dissolution of the aire bulbules trapped in glacial ice produces significant saturation anmalies of noble gases. To evaluate the significance of glacial meltwater (GMW) fluxes, we measured the two noble gases, helium (He) and neon(Ne), in the water column of the Amindesen Sea, Antarctica in 2011 and 2012, The measured saturation anmalies of He and Ne (ΔHe = (He/Heeq - 1 ) × 100% and ΔNe = (Ne/Neeq - 1 ) × 100%, where Heeq and Neeq are at equilibrium with the atmosphere) were in the range of 4 - 25 % and 2 - 15% (n= 85), respectively, region were largely supersaturated up to 16% and 13%, respectively, with respect to the backgroud seawater (open ocean water). the maximum values of ΔHe and ΔNe were observed in 400 - 500 m depth where the warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) melts the base of the ice shelves.These large excess He and Ne were even appeared nearly 200 km away the ice shelves, suggessting that GMW can be transported up to several hundred kilometers offshore. The calculated meltwater fraction in GIS, DIS and continental shelf regions, based on the excess He, were 0.4 - 0.8 % and 0.5 - 1.2%, 0.2 - 1.0%, respectively. The from the westerm side of the DIS. In 2012, the GMW fraction decreased by approximately 30 - 40% compared to 2011, demonstarationg significant inter-annual variability in glacial melting. For and estimatied He residence time of 0.5 - 0.9 yr on the shelf region, the GMW flux from the GIS and DIS were estimated to be about 40 - 110 Gt yr-1, corresponding basal meting of 3 - 8 yr-1. Our reginal melting rate is comparable to recent satellite- or heat flux based estimnates.
Conference Name
American Geophysical Union
Conference Place
San Fransisco, US
Conference Date
2014.12.15.-19
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