Constraints on glacier flow from temperature-depth profiles in the ice. Application to EPICA Dome C.
Ignacio Hermoso de Mendoza1, Jean-Claude Mareschal1, and Hugo Beltrami2,31Centre de Recherche en Géochimie et en Géodynamique (GEOTOP), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada 2Climate & Atmospheric Sciences Institute and Department of Earth Sciences, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada 3Centre pour l’étude et la simulation du climat à l’échelle régionale (ESCER), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Received: 11 Nov 2016 – Accepted for review: 22 Nov 2016 – Discussion started: 30 Nov 2016
Abstract. A one-dimensional (1-D) ice flow and heat conduction model is used to calculate the temperature and heat flux profiles in the ice and to constrain the parameters characterizing the ice flow and the thermal boundary conditions at the Dome C drilling site in East Antarctica. We use the reconstructions of ice accumulation, glacier height and air surface temperature histories as boundary conditions to calculate the ice temperature profile. The temperature profile also depends on a set of poorly known parameters, the ice velocity profile and magnitude, basal heat flux, and air-ice surfaces temperature coupling. We use Monte Carlo methods to search the parameters' space of the model, compare the model output with the temperature data, and find probability distributions for the unknown parameters. We could not determine the sliding ratio because it has no effect on the thermal profile, but we could constrain the flux function parameter p that determines the velocity profile. We determined the basal heat flux qb = 49.0 ± 2.7 (2σ)m W m−2, almost equal to the apparent value. We found an ice surface velocity of vsur = 2.6 ± 1.9 (2σ)m y−1 and an air-ice temperature coupling of 0.8 ± 1.0(2σ)K. Our study confirms that the heat flux is low and does not destabilize the ice sheet in east Antarctica.
The discussion paper was formally withdrawn.
Hermoso de Mendoza, I., Mareschal, J.-C., and Beltrami, H.: Constraints on glacier flow from temperature-depth profiles in the ice. Application to EPICA Dome C., Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2016-116, 2016.