Summertime formation of Depth Hoar in central Greenland

R. B. Alley, E. S. Saltzman, K. M. Cuffey, J. J. Fitzpatrick

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56 Scopus citations


Summertime solar heating of near‐surface snow in central Greenland causes mass loss and grain growth. These depth hoar layers become seasonal markers which are observed in ice cores and snow pits. Mass redistribution associated with depth‐hoar formation can change concentrations of immobile chemicals by as much as a factor of two in the depth hoar, altering atmospheric signals prior to archival in ice. For methanesulfonic acid (MSA) this effect is not significant because the summer maximum does not coincide with the density minimum, and the amplitude of the annual (MSA) signal is more than a factor of ten.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2393-2396
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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