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Chemical signal in winter snow on Storglaciären coupled to atmospheric circulation

Journal article
Authors Peter Jansson
Hans W. Linderholm
Richard Pettersson
T Karlin
C.M. Mörth
Published in Annals of Glaciology
Volume 46
Pages 335-341
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 335-341
Language en
Keywords Storglaciären, chemical signal, atmospheric circulation
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Winter accumulation on glaciers in temperate to sub-arctic climate regimes is determined by both precipitation and snowdrifting during repeated events during any particular winter. Since glacier mass balance is calculated from the sum of winter and summer balance, and summer balance can be modeled with high accuracy, identification of the coupling between atmospheric circulation and winter balance is essential in order to fully understand the climate information hidden in the glacier mass-balance records. We have sampled snow cores from Storglacia¨ren, Sweden, to examine identifiable chemical signatures to link these with up-wind sources in an attempt to quantify how much accumulation occurs under given atmospheric conditions. The snow samples reveal that several different chemical signatures occur but that identifying their source is not trivial, although only few but distinct sources exist. The relationship between the identified strata of a given signature is difficult to couple to recorded precipitation events because the crucial timing of deposition is lacking in our investigation. If time control on snow deposition is available, the combination of snow chemistry, meteorological and climatological data is a promising tool for evaluating the coupling between snow accumulation and atmospheric circulation.

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