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Sunlight-driven nitrate loss records Antarctic surface mass balance


Akers, PD and Savarino, J and Caillon, N and Servettaz, APM and Le Meur, E and Magand, O and Martins, J and Agosta, C and Crockford, P and Kobayashi, K and Hattori, S and Curran, M and van Ommen, T and Jong, L and Roberts, JL, Sunlight-driven nitrate loss records Antarctic surface mass balance, Nature Communications, 13, (1) Article 4274. ISSN 2041-1723 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-022-31855-7


Standard proxies for reconstructing surface mass balance (SMB) in Antarctic ice cores are often inaccurate or coarsely resolved when applied to more complicated environments away from dome summits. Here, we propose an alternative SMB proxy based on photolytic fractionation of nitrogen isotopes in nitrate observed at 114 sites throughout East Antarctica. Applying this proxy approach to nitrate in a shallow core drilled at a moderate SMB site (Aurora Basin North), we reconstruct 700 years of SMB changes that agree well with changes estimated from ice core density and upstream surface topography. For the under-sampled transition zones between dome summits and the coast, we show that this proxy can provide past and present SMB values that reflect the immediate local environment and are derived independently from existing techniques.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic surface, mass balance
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climatology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Curran, M (Dr Mark Curran)
UTAS Author:van Ommen, T (Dr Tas van Ommen)
UTAS Author:Jong, L (Dr Lenneke Jong)
UTAS Author:Roberts, JL (Dr Jason Roberts)
ID Code:153961
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2022-10-18
Last Modified:2022-11-28
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