Anschütz, H et al. (2009): Volcanic activity, layer depths and accumulation rates of firn cores from the IPY traverse area, Antarctica. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.806968, Supplement to:Anschütz, Helgard; Müller, Karsten; Isaksson, Elisabeth; McConnell, Joseph R; Fischer, Helmut; Miller, Heinz; Albert, Mary; Winther, Jan-Gunnar (2009): Revisiting sites of the South Pole Queen Maud Land Traverses in East Antarctica: Accumulation data from shallow firn cores. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 114(D24), D24106, doi:10.1029/2009JD012204
Ground-based accumulation measurements are scarce on the high East Antarctic plateau, but highly necessary for model validation and the interpretation of satellite data for the determination of Antarctic mass balance. Here, we present accumulation results obtained from four shallow firn cores drilled in the Antarctic summer season 2007/2008. The cores were drilled along the first leg of the Norwegian-US IPY traverse through East Antarctica, visiting sites like Plateau Station and Pole of Relative Inaccessibility that have been covered by the South Pole Queen Maud Land Traverses (SPQMLT) in the 1960s. Accumulation has been determined from volcanic chronology established from the conductivity records measured by dielectric profiling (DEP). The Tambora 1815/unknown 1809 double peak is clearly visible in the conductivity data and serves as a reliable time marker. Accumulation rates averaged over the period 1815-2007 are in the range of 16 to 32 kg/m**2/a, somewhat lower than expected from the SPQMLT data. The spatial pattern is mainly influenced by elevation and continentality. Three of the firn cores show a decrease of more than 20% in accumulation for the time period 1815-2007 in relation to accumulation rates during the period 1641-1815. The spatial representativity of the firn cores is assessed by ground-penetrating radar, showing a rather smoothly layered pattern around the drill sites. Validation of the DEP results is utilized by comparison with chemistry data, proving the validity of the DEP method for dating firn cores. The results help understanding the status of the East Antarctic ice sheet and will be important for e.g. future model-derived estimates of the mass balance of Antarctica.