607 research outputs found

    Slip-band distributions and microstructural fading memory beneath the firn ice transition of polar ice sheets

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    The Antarctic Ice Sheet is a continental ice mass with circa 23 million gigatons of ice, which represent roughly 67 % of world's freshwater supply. This colossal mass of ice is by no means static, as the old ice slowly creeps under its own weight towards the ocean, while new ice is continually formed through the sintering of snow deposited on the ice sheet surface. A crucial role in this metamorphism is played by firn, which is the porous material in an intermediate state between the granular snow and the solid polycrystalline ice. Understanding the snow firn ice metamorphism is essential not only for a precise determination of the mechanical (creep) properties of polar ice, but also for comprehending the formation and decay of climate proxies widely used in ice-core studies. This work investigates the transition from firn to ice through the spatial and directional distributions of slip bands in bubbly ice. The analysis of high-resolution micrographs of ice sections extracted from the EPICA-DML Deep Ice Core allows us to identify a clear influence of strain-induced anisotropy (viz. c-axis preferred orientations) on the evolution of slip-band inclinations in deep bubbly ice. In contrast, we discover an unanticipated behaviour of slip bands in shallow bubbly ice, which prompts the introduction of the hypothesis of microstructural fading memory and the definition of a stabilization zone that may penetrate hundreds of metres into the bubbly ice. Within this stabilization zone, highly localized concentrations of strain energy and internal stresses once generated by force chains in the ancient firn are gradually redistributed by the newly formed bubbly-ice microstructure. We show that this hypothesis is compatible with the localized dynamic recrystallization episodes observed in polar firn (even at temperatures close to -45¬įC), and it may also explain the sluggish rotation of c-axes observed in the upper hundreds of metres of polar ice sheets. ¬© 2018 Elsevier LtdFinancial support from the Ram√≥n y Cajal grant RYC-2012-12167 of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness is kindly acknowledged. This work is a contribution to the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA), a joint European Science Foundation/European Commission scientific programme, funded by the EU and by national contributions from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The main logistic support was provided by IPEV and PNRA (at Dome C) and AWI (at Dronning Maud Land). This is EPICA publication no. 310

    A Review of the Microstructural Location of Impurities in Polar Ice and Their Impacts on Deformation

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    Insoluble and soluble impurities, enclosed in polar ice sheets, have a major impact on the deformation behaviour of the ice. Macro- and Micro-scale deformation observed in ice sheets and ice cores has been retraced to chemical loads in the ice, even though the absolute concentration is negligible. And therefore the exact location of the impurities matters: Allocating impurities to specific locations inside the ice microstructure inherently determines the physical explanation of the observed interaction between chemical load and the deformational behaviour. Both, soluble and non-soluble impurities were located in grain boundaries, triple junctions or in the grain interior, using different methods, samples and theoretical approaches. While each of the observations is adding to the growing understanding of the effect of impurities in polar ice, the growing number of ambiguous results calls for a dedicated and holistic approach in assessing the findings. Thus, we here aim to give a state of the art overview of the development in microstructural impurity research over the last 20 years. We evaluate the used methods, discuss proposed deformation mechanisms and identify two main reasons for the observed ambiguity: 1) limitations and biases of measurement techniques and 2) the physical state of the analysed impurity. To overcome these obstacles we suggest possible approaches, such as the continuous analysis of impurities in deep ice cores with complementary methods, the implementation of these analyses into established in-situ ice core processing routines, a more holistic analysis of the microstructural location of impurities, and an enhanced knowledge-transfer via an open access data base

    Strain localisation and dynamic recrystallisation in the ice-air aggregate: A numerical study

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    We performed numerical simulations on the micro-dynamics of ice with air inclusions as a second phase. This provides first results of a numerical approach to model dynamic recrystallisation in polyphase crystalline aggregates. Our aim was to investigate the rheological effects of air inclusions and explain the onset of dynamic recrystallisation in the permeable firn. The simulations employ a full field theory crystal plasticity code coupled to codes simulating dynamic recrystallisation processes and predict time-resolved microstructure evolution in terms of lattice orientations, strain distribution, grain sizes and grain boundary network. Results show heterogeneous deformation throughout the simulations and indicate the importance of strain localisation controlled by air inclusions. This strain localisation gives rise to locally increased energies that drive dynamic recrystallisation and induce heterogeneous microstructures that are coherent with natural firn microstructures from EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice coring site in Antarctica. We conclude that although overall strains and stresses in firn are low, strain localisation associated with locally increased strain energies can explain the occurrence of dynamic recrystallisation

    Seismic observations of a complex firn structure across the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

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    We use seismic refraction data to investigate the firn structure across a suture zone on the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, and the possible role of glacier dynamics in firn evolution. In the downstream direction, the data reveal decreasing compressional-wave velocities and increasing penetration depth of the propagating wave in the firn layer, consistent with 1 m firn thickening every 6 km. The boundary between the Lambert Glacier unit to the west and a major suture zone and the Mawson Escarpment Ice Stream unit to the east, is marked by differences in firn thicknesses, compressional-wave velocities and seismic anisotropy in the across-flow direction. The latter does not contradict the presence of a single-maximum crystal orientation fabric oriented 45‚Äď away from the flow direction. This is consistent with the presence of transverse simple shear governing the region's underlying ice flow regime, in association with elevated strain along the suture zone. The confirmation and quantification of the implied dynamic coupling between firn and the underlying ice requires integration of future seismic refraction, coring and modelling studies. Because firn is estimated to cover 98% of the Antarctic continent any such coupling may have widespread relevance to ice-sheet evolution and flow

    Antarctic Ice from EPICA Dronning Maud Land and artificial creep test Ice

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    Ice, microstructures, subgrain boundaries, recrystallization, flow, deformation. - The primary objective of this thesis is the investigation of microstructures obtained from samples from the EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core from Antarctica. The goal is to gain understanding of deformation processes an deformation-related recrystallization mechanisms using these structures. The structures are visualized with the new microstructure mapping method using the preferred sublimation along defect regions in the crystal. This method enables observation in high resolution as well as overview over a significant sample volume. In order to provide unambiguous proof of their deformational origin and to offer interpretation and characterization, experimental reproduction of the microstructural features are performed using creep tests. Subgrain boundaries and grain-boundary morphology are identified as the most direct effects of deformation and recrystallization processes, which are still easily observable. They can be used additionally to the conventional parameters (grain size, crystal-orientation distribution) to determine these mechanisms. Different sbugrain-boundary types observed in experimentally deformed samples as well as in natural ice indicate several formation processes. Results obtained from this new and novel data suggest a profound reconsideration of the classical tripartition of recrystallization regimes described in the literature in ice sheets. Instead, dynamic recrystallization in two of its forms (rotation recrystallization and strain-induced migration recrystallization) dominates the microstructure evolution in all depth regions of the EDML ice core. Results of systematic microstructure analysis of creep-test samples demonstrate ...thesi

    Chemical Impurities and Physical Properties of Polar Ice

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    The Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet are the largest reservoirs of freshwater on our planet. They consist of ice which formed over thousands of years out of the precipitation and due to natural densification of snow. As such, polar ice represents a unique archive of the past climate. The large ice masses flow under their own weight causing a transport of ice from the inlands towards the oceans. Numerical flow models are used to simulate the ice dynamics, i. a., in order to project future contributions of the ice sheets to the rising sea level. The viscoplastic deformation of ice on the micro-scale involves similar mechanisms as the deformation of other poly-crystalline materials. The shear of individual crystals is accompanied by recrystallization and the development of characteristic microstructures. Thus, structural-geological concepts and methods can be applied to natural ice samples in order to study their deformation state and active physical processes. Chemical impurities are deposited in snow and ice during the precipitation and reflect the aerosol composition of the atmosphere. As such they play an important role for the reconstructions of the climate of the past. Despite their extremely low concentrations, impurities influence many physical properties of ice, in particular also the deformation rate. The concentrations of the different impurities vary with depth and these variations are correlated with heterogeneities in the flow-velocity profile. This results in the development of localized shear zones in ice. A better understanding of the mechanisms is necessary in order to implement the effect of impurities into the flow models. The presented thesis addresses the relationship between the chemical impurities and the physical properties of polar ice. A central challenge of the project is to understand in which form impurities integrate in ice and where they are located in the bulk, respectively how they interact with it during deformation and recrystallization. A combination of methods for the microstructural analysis was applied to natural ice material from ice cores. The distribution and composition of impurities was analyzed using a confocal cryo-Raman microscope. Within the scope of this thesis, new routines for the acquisition and data processing were developed. The results reveal a complex interplay between impurities, crystal structure and localized deformation in ice. On the one hand, high impurity concentrations cause higher strain rates occurring together with small grain sizes. On the other hand, the deforming ice matrix affects the distribution of impurities and possibly also their chemical composition. The portion of dissociated components in ice could be estimated only qualitatively and through the comparison to the chemical analysis of the meltwater. However, the Raman-spectroscopy data clearly suggest that microscopic inclusions of second phase are present in solid ice in significantly higher concentrations, compared to liquid water. Mixing and chemical reactions of impurities is promoted through the deforming ice matrix. Our image of ‚Äúice as a frozen archive‚ÄĚ could be replaced by ‚Äúice as an effective reactor‚ÄĚ, depending on the spatial scales and time spans referred to. The resulting implication for the chrono-stratigraphic integrity of ice-core records may still be positive, because the reaction products often posses lower diffusion rates. A universal mechanism for the impurity effect on ice deformation could not be identified. The localized deformation seems to be in fact an intrinsic property of ice produced by the mechanical anisotropy and triggered by the varying impurity concentrations. However, many questions regarding the form and effect of impurities in ice remain open for future investigations.Der Gr√∂nl√§ndische und der Antarktische Eisschild sind die gr√∂√üten S√ľ√üwasserreservoirs unseres Planeten. Das darin enthaltene Eis bildete sich √ľber Jahrtausende aus dem Niederschlag und durch nat√ľrliche Verdichtung von Schnee, und stellt damit ein einzigartiges Klimaarchiv dar. Die gro√üen Eismassen flie√üen unter ihrem eigenen Gewicht und verfrachten so Eis vom Landesinneren in die Ozeane. Die Eisdynamik wird mithilfe von numerischen Flie√ümodellen simuliert, u. a. um den zuk√ľnftigen Beitrag von Eisschilden zum Meeresspiegelanstieg zu prognostizieren. Die viskoplastische Verformung von Eis auf der Mikroskala involviert √§hnliche Mechanismen wie die Deformation anderer polykristalliner Materialen. Die Scherung einzelner Kristalle wird durch Rekristallisation und Bildung bestimmter Mikrostrukturen begleitet. Daher k√∂nnen Konzepte und Vorgehensweisen der Strukturgeologie auf nat√ľrliche Eisproben angewandt werden, um ihren Deformationsstatus und die daran beteiligten Prozesse zu studieren. Chemische Spurenstoffe im Schnee und Eis setzen sich mit dem Niederschlag ab und spiegeln die Zusammensetzung der in der Atmosph√§re enthaltenen Aerosole wider. Als solche spielen sie eine wichtige Rolle f√ľr pal√§oklimatische Rekonstruktionen. Trotz ihrer extrem niedrigen Konzentrationen beeinflussen Spurenstoffe viele physikalischen Eigenschaften von Eis, insbesondere auch das Deformationsverm√∂gen. Konzentrationschwankungen diverser Spurenstoffkomponenten mit der Tiefe korrelieren mit Heterogenit√§ten im Flie√ügeschwindigkeitsprofil und scheinen die Bildung von lokalisierten Scherzonen zu beg√ľnstigen. Ein besseres Verst√§ndnis dieser Zusammenh√§nge und der dahinterstehenden Mechanismen ist notwendig um den Effekt von Spurenstoffen realistisch in Flie√ümodelle implementieren zu k√∂nnen. Die vorgelegte Arbeit befasst sich mit dem Zusammenhang zwischen chemischen Spurenstoffen und physikalischen Eigenschaften von polarem Eis. Eine zentrale Herausforderung ist es zu verstehen, in welcher Form und wo Spurenstoffe in der Eismatrix integriert sind, bzw. wie sie mit ihr w√§hrend der Deformation und Rekristallisation interagieren. Nat√ľrliches Eismaterial aus Eiskernbohrungen wurde mittels einer Kombination verschiedener Methoden zur Mikrostrukturanalyse untersucht. Die Verteilungen und Zusammensetzungen von Spurenstoffen wurden mittels eines konfokalen Kryo-Raman-Mikroskops analysiert. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurden neue Routinen zur Messung und Datenerfassung entwickelt. Die Ergebnisse zeigen ein komplexes Zusammenspiel zwischen Spurenstoffen, Kristallstruktur und lokalisierter Deformation von Eis. Einerseits verursachen hohe Spurenstoffkonzentrationen h√∂here Deformationsraten, die von feink√∂rniger Kristallstruktur begleitet werden. Andererseits wird die Verteilung und m√∂glicherweise Zusammensetzung der Spurenstoffe durch die Deformation des Eises beeinflusst. Der Anteil dissoziirter Stoffe im Eis konnte nur qualitativ und indirekt durch den Vergleich der Ramananalyise mit den Ergebnissen einer chemischer Analyse von Schmelzwasser gesch√§tzt werden. Die Ramanspektroskopischen Messungen deuten allerdings klar darauf hin, dass mikroskopische Einschl√ľsse sekund√§rer Phasen im Eis einen erheblich h√∂heren Anteil bilden, als im fl√ľssigen Wasser. Das Mischen von Spurenstoffen und chemische Reaktionen zwischen ihnen werden durch die Eisdeformation beg√ľnstigt. Unser Bild von ‚ÄúEis als gefrorenes Archiv‚ÄĚ k√∂nnte durch ‚ÄúEis als effektiver Reaktor‚ÄĚ ersetzt werden, je nachdem welche zeitlichen und r√§umlichen Spannen gemeint sind. Die darausfolgende Auswirkung auf die chrono-stratigraphische Integrit√§t von Eiskerndaten ist insgesamt jedoch positiv, da die Reaktionsprodukte oft niedrigere Diffusionsraten besitzen. Ein universeller Mechanismus f√ľr die Auswirkung von Spurenstoffen auf die Eisdeformation konnte nicht vollst√§ndig aufgedekt werden. Vielmehr scheint Deformationslokalisierung als Folge der mechanischen Anisotropie eine intrinsische Eigenschaft von Eis zu sein, die durch die Variation in Spurenstoffkonzentrationen getriggert wird. Viele Fragen hinsichtlich der Form und Wirkung von Spurenstoffen im Eis stehen allerdings noch offen f√ľr zuk√ľnftige Forschungsprojekte

    Linking climate history and ice crystalline fabric evolution in polar ice sheets

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    Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2015An ice sheet consists of an unfathomable number of ice crystallites (grains) that typically have a preferred orientation of the crystalline lattices, termed fabric. At the surface of ice sheets, the microstructural processes that control the grain structure and fabric evolution are influenced by climate variables. Layers of firn, in different climate regimes, may have an observable variation in fabric which can persist deep into the ice sheet; fabric may have 'memory' of these past climate regimes. To model the evolution of a subtle variation in fabric below the firn-ice transition, we have developed and released an open-source Fabric Evolution with Recrystallization (FEvoR) model. FEvoR is an anisotropic stress model that distributes stresses through explicit nearest-neighbor interaction. The model includes parameterizations of grain growth, rotation recrystallization and migration recrystallization which account for the major recrystallization processes that affect the macroscopic grain structure and fabric evolution. Using this model, we explore the evolution of a subtle variation in near-surface fabric using both constant applied stress and a stress-temperature history based on data from Taylor Dome, East Antarctica. Our results show that a subtle fabric variation will be preserved for ~200ka in compressive stress regimes with temperatures typical of polar ice-sheets. The addition of shear to compressive stress regimes preserves fabric variations longer than in compression-only regimes because shear drives a positive feedback between crystal rotation and deformation. We find that temperature affects how long the fabric variation is preserved, but does not affect the strain-integrated fabric evolution profile except when crossing the thermal-activation-energy threshold (~-10¬įC). Even at high temperatures, migration recrystallization does not rid the fabric of its memory under most conditions. High levels of nearest-neighbor interactions between grains will rid the fabric of its memory more quickly than low levels of nearest-neighbor interactions. Because FEvoR does not compute flow, an integrated fabric-flow model is needed to investigate the flow-fabric feedbacks that arise in ice sheets. Using the open-source Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) and FEvoR, we develop a combined flow-fabric model (PISM-FEvoR). We provide the first integrated flow-fabric model that explicitly computes the fabric evolution and includes all three major recrystallization processes. We show that PISM-FEvoR is able to capture the flow enhancement due to fabric by modeling a slab-on-slope glacier, initialized with a variety of fabric profiles. We also show that the entire integrated fabric-flow history affects the final simulated flow. This provides a further, independent validation of using an integrated fabric-flow model over a constant enhancement factor in ice-sheet models

    Modeling of Firn Compaction for Estimating Ice-Sheet Mass Change from Observed Ice-Sheet Elevation Change

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    Changes in ice-sheet surface elevation are caused by a combination of ice-dynamic imbalance, ablation, temporal variations in accumulation rate, firn compaction and underlying bedrock motion. Thus, deriving the rate of ice-sheet mass change from measured surface elevation change requires information on the rate of firn compaction and bedrock motion, which do not involve changes in mass, and requires an appropriate firn density to associate with elevation changes induced by recent accumulation rate variability. We use a 25 year record of surface temperature and a parameterization for accumulation change as a function of temperature to drive a firn compaction model. We apply this formulation to ICESat measurements of surface elevation change at three locations on the Greenland ice sheet in order to separate the accumulation-driven changes from the ice-dynamic/ablation-driven changes, and thus to derive the corresponding mass change. Our calculated densities for the accumulation-driven changes range from 410 to 610 kg/cu m, which along with 900 kg/cu m for the dynamic/ablation-driven changes gives average densities ranging from 680 to 790 kg/cu m. We show that using an average (or "effective") density to convert elevation change to mass change is not valid where the accumulation and the dynamic elevation changes are of opposite sign

    Southern Ocean warming: Increase in basal melting and grounded ice loss

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    We apply a global finite element sea ice/ice shelf/ocean model (FESOM) to the Antarctic marginal seas to analyze projections of ice shelf basal melting in a warmer climate. The model is forced with the atmospheric output from two climate models: (1) the Hadley Centre Climate Model (HadCM3) and (2) Max Planck Institute’s ECHAM5/MPI-OM. Results from their 20th-century simulations are used to evaluate the modeled present-day ocean state. Sea-ice coverage is largely realistic in both simulations. Modeled ice shelf basal melt rates compare well with observations in both cases, but are consistently smaller for ECHAM5/MPI-OM. Projections for future ice shelf basal melting are computed using atmospheric output for IPCC scenarios E1 and A1B. While trends in sea ice coverage, ocean heat content, and ice shelf basal melting are small in simulations forced with ECHAM5 data, a substantial shift towards a warmer regime is found in experiments forced with HadCM3 output. A strong sensitivity of basal melting to increased ocean temperatures is found for the ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea. For the cold-water ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas,decreasing convection on the continental shelf in the HadCM3 scenarios leads to an erosion of the continental slope front and to warm water of open ocean origin entering the continental shelf. As this water reaches deep into the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS) cavity, basal melting increases by a factor of three to six compared to the present value of about 100 Gt/yr. Highest melt rates at the deep FRIS grounding line causes a retreat of > 200km, equivalent to an land ice loss of 110 Gt/yr
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