Use of ice cores from glaciers with melting for reconstructing mean summer temperature variations

Fumio Nakazawa, Koji Fujita
2006 Annals of Glaciology  
This study examines a new method for reconstructing mean summer temperature variations by using an ice core from a wet-snow zone on a summer-accumulation-type glacier. In July 2001, a 25.1 m deep ice core was recovered from the accumulation area of Sofiyskiy glacier (49°47' N, 87°43' E; 3435m a.s.l.), located in the southern Chuyskiy range of the Russian Altai mountains, and a 4.5 m deep pit was excavated about 5 0m northwest of the drill site. The observation site has a positive balance even
more » ... tive balance even during summer when melting occurs. The summer balance for each year from 1990 to 2000 was estimated from Pinaceae and Artemisia pollen peaks in these samples. Pinaceae pollen marks spring, whereas Artemisia pollen marks autumn. Moreover, meltwater intrusion did not reach the previous year's accumulation. Thus, the ice between these pollen peaks in the same year was used to estimate a summer balance. The reconstructed summer balance variations were negatively correlated with mean summer temperature variations (r = –0.72, P< 0.05). This study shows that, for summer-accumulation-type glaciers such as Sofiyskiy glacier, the most important climate factor controlling the glacier's surface mass balance is mean summer temperature. Therefore, the summer layer thickness in an ice core can be used as a proxy for reconstructing mean summer temperature variations.
doi:10.3189/172756406781812302 fatcat:sy7gmzjpzzb6tl65jpfg3tcdce