Change in ice rheology during climate variations - implications for ice flow modelling and dating of the EPICA Dome C core

Climate of the Past, Vol. 3, p. 155-167, 2007

G. Durand, A. Svensson and D. Dahl-Jensen
Ice and Climate, The Niels Bohr Institute, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
F. Gillet-Chaulet, O. Gagliardini, J. Meyssonnier, F. Parrenin and P. Duval
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l'Environnement, Saint Martin d'Hères, France.
S. Kipfstuhl
Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany.

The study of the distribution of crystallographic orientations (i.e., the fabric) along ice cores provides information on past and current ice flow in ice-sheets. Besides the usually observed formation of a vertical single maximum fabric, the EPICA Dome C ice core (EDC) shows an abrupt and unexpected strengthening of its fabric during termination II around 1750 m depth. Such strengthening has already been observed for sites located on an ice-sheet flank. This suggests that horizontal shear could occur along the EDC core. Moreover, the change in the fabric leads to a modification of the effective viscosity between neighbouring ice layers. Through the use of an anisotropic ice flow model, we quantify the change in effective viscosity and investigate its implication for ice flow and dating.