Antarctic Record (Nov 1987)

Glaciological and chemical characteristics of snow in the inland plateau, East Queen Maud Land, Antarctica

  • Kokichi Kamiyama,
  • Yutaka Ageta,
  • Fumio Okuhira,
  • Yoshiyuki Fujii,
  • Okitsugu Watanabe

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 31, no. 3
pp. 163 – 170


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Glaciological observations on the high plateau in the East Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, were carried out along a route of the oversnow traverse, by the 25th and 26th Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions in 1984 and 1985. The surface topography of the dome-like plateau (Valkyrjedomen, which is the second highest in Antarctica) and the positions of ice divides were determined clearly. The position and altitude of the highest place of the dome are 77°22′S, 39°37′E and 3807m a.s.l. Snow drift samples were collected along the route from Mizuho Station to Valkyrjedomen and were melted carefully in a snow vehicle. The value of electric conductivity of the melted snow samples at 0℃ was obtained before storing in the pre-cleaned bottles. In a home laboratory, pH measurements of the samples were carried out. It was revealed that the high electric conductivity and low pH values were found among the snow samples collected in the dome area, especially around the region higher than 3600m a.s.l. The region has the different glaciological characteristics from those in the katabatic wind region, that is, the lower degree of the surface inclinations, the lower net accumulation, the more smooth surface morphology, the lower ram hardness of surface snow layer and the higher lapse rate of snow temperature at 10m depth. Taking the comparatively higher concentration of artificial radio nuclides reported in the other Antarctic inland area into consideration too, the glacio-chemical environments in the Antarctic inland region are thought to be characterized by the transportation of the stratospheric aerosols or gases.