Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1392
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1392
 
06 Jan 2023
06 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Stratigraphic noise and its potential drivers across the plateau of Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica

Nora Hirsch1, Alexandra Zuhr1, Thomas Münch1, Maria Hörhold2, Johannes Freitag2, Remi Dallmayr2, and Thomas Laepple1,3 Nora Hirsch et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3University of Bremen, MARUM – Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Geosciences, Bremen, Germany

Abstract. Stable water isotopologues of snow, firn, and ice cores provide valuable information on past climate variations. Yet, stratigraphic noise, introduced by the irregular deposition, wind driven erosion and redistribution of snow, impacts the utility of high resolution isotope records, especially in low accumulation areas. However, it is currently unknown how stratigraphic noise differs across the East Antarctic Plateau and how it is affected by local environmental conditions. Here, we assess the amount and structure of stratigraphic noise at seven sites along a 120 km transect on the plateau of Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. Replicated oxygen isotope records of 1 m length were used to estimate signal to noise ratios as a measure of stratigraphic noise, while accumulation rates (43–64 mm w.eq. a-1), snow surface roughness and slope inclinations gave insights on the local environmental settings. While we found a high amount of stratigraphic noise at all sites, there was also a considerable amount of spatial variability. At sastrugi dominated sites, higher stratigraphic noise coincided with higher surface roughness, steeper slopes, and lower accumulation rates, probably related to increased wind speeds. These results provide a first step to modelling stratigraphic noise and guide future exhibitions in adjusting their sampling strategies to maximise the usage of high resolution isotope records from low accumulation regions.

Nora Hirsch et al.

Status: open (until 09 Mar 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1392', Massimo Frezzotti, 03 Feb 2023 reply

Nora Hirsch et al.

Nora Hirsch et al.

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Short summary
Stable water isotopes from firn cores provide valuable information on past climates, yet their utility is hampered by stratigraphic noise, i.e. the irregular deposition and wind driven redistribution of snow. We found stratigraphic noise on the Antarctic Plateau to be related to the local accumulation rate, snow surface roughness and slope inclination, which can guide future decisions on sampling locations and expand the usage of high resolution isotope records from low accumulation regions.