1Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, Besançon, France
2UJF Grenoble 1, UMR5183, CNRS – Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), Grenoble F38041, France
3School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, UK
4Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
5Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
6Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
7Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Abstract. We compare a variety of methods for estimating the gas/ice depth offset (Δdepth) at EPICA Dome C (EDC, East Antarctica). (1) Purely based on modelling efforts, Δdepth can be estimated combining a firn densification with an ice flow model. Observations allow direct and indirect estimate of Δdepth. (2) The diffusive column height can be estimated from δ15N and converted to Δdepth using an ice flow model and assumptions about past average firn density and thickness of the convective zone. (3) Ice and gas synchronisation of the EDC ice core to the GRIP, EDML and TALDICE ice cores shifts the ice/gas offset problem into higher accumulation ice cores where it can be more accurately evaluated. (4) Finally, the bipolar seesaw hypothesis allows us to synchronise the ice isotopic record with the gas CH4 record, the later being taken as a proxy of Greenland temperature. The bipolar seesaw antiphase relationship is generally supported by the ice-gas cross synchronisation between EDC and the GRIP, EDML and TALDICE ice cores, which provide support for method 4. Applying the bipolar seesaw hypothesis to the deeper section of the EDC core confirms that the ice flow is complex and can help improving our reconstruction of the thinning function and thus of the EDC age scale. We confirm that method 1 overestimates the glacial Δdepth at EDC and we suggested that it is due to an overestimation of the glacial Close Off Depth by the firn densification model. In contrast we find that the glaciological models probably underestimate the Δdepth during termination II. Finally, we show that method 2 based on 15N data produces for the last deglaciation a Δdepth estimate which is in good agreement with methods 3 and 4.