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Title: Electrolyte conductivity of snow and glacier ice from Antarctica and Greenland
Authors: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Office of Antarctic Programs.
Gow, A. J. (Anthony Jack)
Keywords: Snow
Electrical properties
Electrical conductivity
Electrical resistivity
Drill hole
Ice cores
Glacier ice
Ice cap
Ice shelf
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 248.
Description: Research Report
Abstract: Conductivity measurements have been made on snow and ice samples from pits and deep drillholes at a number of localities in Antarctica and Greenland. Conductivities of the order 1-2 μmho/cm only were recorded at the inland sites. Data from deep cores representing more than 1900 years of continuous snow accumulation at Byrd Station, Antarctica, and more than 400 years deposition at Inge Lehmann, Greenland, showed no significant variations of conductivity with time. Measurements of freshly precipitated snow from a single coastal location in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, also yielded relatively low conductivities of the order 3-4 μmho/cm. The substantial increase observed in the conductivity of core samples from near the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf at Little America V can be attributed most probably to windborne salts of marine origin that had accumulated on the surface after the snow was deposited. A peak conductivity of 49 μmho/cm was recorded in snow estimated to have been deposited within 20 km of the seaward edge of the Ross Ice Shelf and the maritime effect could still be detected in samples deposited more than 40 km from the ice front. For samples deposited at distances of greater than 200 km from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf conductivities never exceeded 2 μmho/cm. The very low conductivities observed in ice cores from near the bottom of the Ross Ice Shelf confirm earlier conclusions based on detailed petrographic studies oi the cores that the 258-m-thick ice shelf at Little America V is composed entirely of glacial ice.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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