06 Jan 2023
 | 06 Jan 2023

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

Nora Hirsch, Alexandra Zuhr, Thomas Münch, Maria Hörhold, Johannes Freitag, Remi Dallmayr, and Thomas Laepple

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: final response (author comments only)

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
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Nora Hirsch, 07 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1392', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Mar 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Nora Hirsch, 31 Mar 2023

Nora Hirsch et al.

Nora Hirsch et al.


Total article views: 341 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
243 84 14 341 3 3
  • HTML: 243
  • PDF: 84
  • XML: 14
  • Total: 341
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 06 Jan 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 06 Jan 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 361 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 361 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 06 Jun 2023
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.