Revealing Late Holocence Climate Variability in Antarctica from Borehole Paleothermometry
This award supports a project to continue the collection and analyses of firn temperature data from three automated firn thermal profiling units deployed in Dronning Maud Land sector of East Antarctica as part of the Norway-US IPY Traverse project between 2007 and 2009. The intellectual merits of this project are as follows: 1) to constrain and improve the parameterization of firn thermal properties (thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity) that are required for the borehole paleothermometry, 2) to study the change in firn temperature since the deployment of thermal profiling units ~5 years ago and derive the surface temperature trend for that time period, and 3) to compare and contrast the surface temperatures and their trends derived from the measured firn temperatures and satellite thermal infrared data for the past three decades. The project also involves acquiring and deploying an automated system to record transient temperatures at multiple depths in the top 16 meters of the shallow borehole at Dome Fuji, to provide useful data and to prepare for the possibility of conducting temperature-logging in the existing deep (3035 m) and shallow (112 m) boreholes at Dome Fuji in the near future. The preparation of the shallow borehole and the installation of the automated system will be carried out by collaborators from the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) in 2012-13 Antarctic field season. The data collected by this automated system will be used to constrain the thermal properties of upper firn layer at Dome Fuji, as well as comparing with data from other sites, increasing the geographic extent of these studies. The broader impacts of the project include presentation of results at scientific conferences and publication of results in peer-reviewed journals. Public outreach will include targeted work with science teachers and middle school students.
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