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Journal Articles Quaternary Science Reviews Year : 2005

Tracer transport in the Greenland ice sheet: three-dimensional isotopic stratigraphy

Abstract

Polar ice cores can provide both a record of climate history and a sharp test of the performance of numerical ice dynamics models. The stratigraphic structure of an ice sheet is an expression of its full depositional and dynamic history and thus presents a greater challenge to computer models than merely matching the contemporary ice thickness and areal extent. We describe a coupled model of ice and tracer dynamics that is realized by adding a semi-Lagrangian tracer transport scheme to a conventional thermomechanical ice dynamics model. Model skill is demonstrated by using ice core data from the GRIP site near Summit Greenland to successfully predict the isotopic stratigraphy of ice cores at other deep drilling sites. The success of this effort indicates that, when compensated for the effects of ice flow and elevation, all the deep cores relate a coherent glacial history over the past 120,000 years. According to the simulation results, the oldest Greenland ice lies beneath the GRIP, GISP2 and NorthGRIP sites although comparably old ice may also be found in North Greenland and East Central Greenland.

Domains

Glaciology

Dates and versions

insu-00373797 , version 1 (07-04-2009)

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Cite

Garry K. C. Clarke, N. Lhomme, Shawn J. Marshall. Tracer transport in the Greenland ice sheet: three-dimensional isotopic stratigraphy. Quaternary Science Reviews, 2005, 24 (1-2), pp.155 à 171. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.08.021⟩. ⟨insu-00373797⟩
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