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Title: Transition from a Subaerial to a Subnival Permafrost Temperature Regime Following Increased Snow Cover (Livingston Island, Maritime Antarctic)
Authors: Ramos, M.
Vieira, G.
De Pablo, M. A.
Molina, A.
Jiménez Martín, Juan José
Keywords: Permafrost;Active layer;Snow thickness;Enthalpy
Issue Date: 8-Dec-2020
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
DOI: 10.3390/atmos11121332
Published version:
Citation: Atmosphere 11(12): 1332(2020)
Abstract: The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) region has been one of the regions on Earth with strongest warming since 1950. However, the northwest of the AP showed a cooling from 2000 to 2015, which had local consequences with an increase in snow accumulation and a deceleration in the loss of mass from glaciers. In this paper, we studied the effects of increased snow accumulation in the permafrost thermal regime in two boreholes (PG1 and PG2) in Livingston Island, South Shetlands Archipelago, from 2009 to 2015. The two boreholes located c. 300 m apart but at similar elevation showed different snow accumulation, with PG2 becoming completely covered with snow all year long, while the other remained mostly snow free during the summer. The analysis of the thermal regimes and of the estimated soil surface energy exchange during the study period showed the effects of snow insulation in reducing the active layer thickness. These effects were especially relevant in PG2, which transitioned from a subaerial to a subnival regime. There, permafrost aggraded from below, with the active layer completely disappearing and the efficiency of thermal insulation by the snowpack prevailing in the thermal regime. This situation may be used as an analogue for the transition from a periglacial to a subglacial environment in longer periods of cooling in the paleoenvironmental record. View Full-Text
E-ISSN: 2073-4433
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