Three-dimensional ice sheet structure at Dome C, central East Antarctica: implications for the interpretation of the EPICA ice core
Airborne radar data acquired in 1995 by the Italian Antarctic Programme over Dome C in central East Antarctica were processed to develop maps of internal isochronous ice sheet layering around the EPICA ice core site. Three internal layers were traced continuously across the radar-survey area at ice depths of 1–2 km. The maps reveal that the ice core site is located where internal layers are near horizontal to depths of at least 2 km. The Italian radar data do not resolve internal layers below 2 km. However, radar data collected over this part of East Antarctica in the 1970s show the internal layers to depths of up to 4 km. These internal layers reveal the regional structure of ice to the west of Dome C. Layers from both surveys are dated through an existing chronostratigraphic link between the Vostok ice core site and Dome C. The pattern of internal layering at Dome C reflects relatively steady conditions of ice flow and accumulation for the last 100 000 years. However, for ice older than this we show that there is significant local variation in the thickness between internal layers and the ice-sheet base. Our maps provide an indication of the structure of the ice sheet from which the EPICA deep ice core will be taken.(Received September 3 2000)
(Accepted March 7 2001)
Key Words: East Antarctica; ice cores; radar layering.