Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Research article
26 Jun 2014
Research article |  | 26 Jun 2014

Siple Dome shallow ice cores: a study in coastal dome microclimatology

T. R. Jones, J. W. C. White, and T. Popp

Abstract. Ice cores at Siple Dome, West Antarctica, receive the majority of their precipitation from Pacific Ocean moisture sources. Pacific climate patterns, particularly the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), affect local temperature, atmospheric circulation, snow accumulation, and water isotope signals at Siple Dome. We examine borehole temperatures, accumulation, and water isotopes from a number of shallow ice cores recovered from a 60 km north–south transect of the dome. The data reveal spatial gradients partly explained by orographic uplift, as well as microclimate effects that are expressed differently on the Pacific and inland flanks. Our analyses suggest that while an ENSO and SAM signal are evident at Siple Dome, differences in microclimate and possible postdepositional movement of snow makes climate reconstruction problematic, a conclusion which should be considered at other West Antarctic coastal dome locations.