Large spatial variation in accumulation rate in Jutulstraumen ice stream, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

Annals of Glaciology, Vol. 27, p. 231-238, 1998 

K. Melvold, J.O. Hagen
Department of Physical Geography, University of Oslo, Box 1042, Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway.
J.F. Pinglot
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement du CNRS, and Université Joseph Fourier, 38402 Saint-Martin-d'Hères Cedex, France.
N. Gundestrup
Departement of Geophysics, The Niels Bohr Institute of Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics, University of Copenhagen.

A mass-balance programme was initiated on Jutulstraumen ice stream, western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, during the austral summer 1992-93. As a part of the mass-balance programme, accumulation rate was measured along the centre line of Jutulstraumen from the shelf edge up to the plateau at about 2500 m a.s.l.
Accumulation distribution obtained from seven shallow firn cores and 48 stake readings is presented. The overall net accumulation trend displays a decreasing accumulation with increasing elevation and distance to coast, but on both the mesoscale and microscale there are significant variations. This is due to complex patterns of precipitation controlled by orography and redistribution by katabatic winds. The local accumulation distribution (few km scale) was found to be dependent on downslope surface gradient (aspect north, northwest), and variations up to 100% were found over distances of less than 3 km. The large variation in accumulation is important when selecting new core sites and for interpretation of temporal and spatial variations in accumulation derived from firn cores.