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TitleIce cores from the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon, Canada: their significance for climate, atmospheric composition and volcanism in the North Pacific region
AuthorZdanowicz, CORCID logo; Fisher, D; Bourgeois, J; Demuth, M; Zheng, JORCID logo; Mayewski, P; Kreutz, K; Osterberg, E; Yalcin, K; Wake, C; Steig, E J; Froese, D; Goto-Azuma, K
SourceArctic vol. 67, no. 5, 2014 p. 35-57, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130041
PublisherThe Arctic Institute of North America
Lang.English; English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS115B/05; 115B/06; 115B/11; 115B/12; 115B/13; 115B/14; 115C/07; 115C/08; 115C/09; 115C/10; 115C/15; 115C/16
AreaSt. Elias Mountains; Eclipse Icefield
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -139.0000 61.0000 60.2500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; Nature and Environment; ice; pollen analyses; core analysis; drill core analyses; isotopes; oxygen isotopes; stable isotope studies; pollution; volcanism; climate effects; Air pollution
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; graphs
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Essential Climate Variable Monitoring
Released2014 01 18
AbstractA major achievement in research supported by the Kluane Lake Research Station was the recovery, in 2001 - 02, of a suite of cores from the icefields of the central St. Elias Mountains, Yukon, by teams of researchers from Canada, the United States, and Japan. This project led to the development of parallel, long (103 - 104 year) ice-core records of climate and atmospheric change over an altitudinal range of more than 2 km, from the Eclipse Icefield (3017 m) to the ice-covered plateau of Mt. Logan (5340 m). These efforts built on earlier work recovering single ice cores in this region. Comparison of these records has allowed for variations in climate and atmospheric composition to be linked with changes in the vertical structure and dynamics of the North Pacific atmosphere, providing a unique perspective on these changes over the Holocene. Owing to their privileged location, cores from the St. Elias Icefields also contain a remarkably detailed record of aerosols from various sources around or across the North Pacific. In this paper we review major scientific findings from the study of St. Elias Mountain ice cores, focusing on five main themes: (1) The record of stable water isotopes (d18O, dD), which has unique characteristics that differ from those of Greenland, other Arctic ice cores, and even among sites in the St. Elias; (2) the snow accumulation history; (3) the record of pollen, biomass burning aerosol, and desert dust deposition; (4) the record of long-range air pollutant deposition (sulphate and lead); and (5) the record of paleo-volcanism. Our discussion draws on studies published since 2000, but based on older ice cores from the St. Elias Mountains obtained in 1980 and 1996.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The measurement of key climate and atmospheric variables contained on the surface of and within glaciers and ice caps provides unique information on the state and evolution of the Earth's cold regions and their relationship with geophysical process far and near. Because glaciers are, on the one-hand, distant from direct anthropogenic influences but, on the other hand, affected by the global and regional circulation of moisture, energy fluxes and contaminants, they provide unique perspectives on climate changes, their manifestations and their impacts on human and natural systems. These perspectives include those for water in the atmosphere and surface waters, and tracking changes in the intensity and trajectory of atmospheric circulation that impacts everything from local and regional weather patterns to run-off frequency and intensity; and the service these provide to water resources, ecological flows, water for industry and municipalities.

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