Articles | Volume 11, issue 9
Research article
15 Sep 2015
Research article |  | 15 Sep 2015

On the occurrence of annual layers in Dome Fuji ice core early Holocene ice

A. Svensson, S. Fujita, M. Bigler, M. Braun, R. Dallmayr, V. Gkinis, K. Goto-Azuma, M. Hirabayashi, K. Kawamura, S. Kipfstuhl, H. A. Kjær, T. Popp, M. Simonsen, J. P. Steffensen, P. Vallelonga, and B. M. Vinther

Abstract. Whereas ice cores from high-accumulation sites in coastal Antarctica clearly demonstrate annual layering, it is debated whether a seasonal signal is also preserved in ice cores from lower-accumulation sites further inland and particularly on the East Antarctic Plateau. In this study, we examine 5 m of early Holocene ice from the Dome Fuji (DF) ice core at a high temporal resolution by continuous flow analysis. The ice was continuously analysed for concentrations of dust, sodium, ammonium, liquid conductivity, and water isotopic composition. Furthermore, a dielectric profiling was performed on the solid ice. In most of the analysed ice, the multi-parameter impurity data set appears to resolve the seasonal variability although the identification of annual layers is not always unambiguous. The study thus provides information on the snow accumulation process in central East Antarctica. A layer counting based on the same principles as those previously applied to the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice core Project) and the Antarctic EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) Dronning Maud Land (EDML) ice cores leads to a mean annual layer thickness for the DF ice of 3.0 ± 0.3 cm that compares well to existing estimates. The measured DF section is linked to the EDML ice core through a characteristic pattern of three significant acidity peaks that are present in both cores. The corresponding section of the EDML ice core has recently been dated by annual layer counting and the number of years identified independently in the two cores agree within error estimates. We therefore conclude that, to first order, the annual signal is preserved in this section of the DF core. This case study demonstrates the feasibility of determining annually deposited strata on the central East Antarctic Plateau. It also opens the possibility of resolving annual layers in the Eemian section of Antarctic ice cores where the accumulation is estimated to have been greater than in the Holocene.