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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Wet Fingerprints - Constraining the Influence of (Near-)Surface Melting on Svalbard Snow Structure and Chemistry

Awarded: NOK 99,999

Ice cores are unique climate archives. However, our ability to extract environmental information from structural, chemical, and isotopic proxy records is severely limited by a lack of understanding about melt-induced post-depositional alterations. Svalbard ice cores have provided invaluable information about past climate variability and 20th century climate change. However, in the light of global warming, the Arctic is especially vulnerable to surface melt. Thus, it is crucial to constrain the impact of melting, percolation and refreezing on Svalbard snow signatures. Using a combination of structural and chemical snow pit measurements at Gruvebadet in spring 2023, we will provide novel in-situ observations of the melting conditions near Ny-Ålesund at the onset of the melting season. These include in-situ description of snow stratigraphy, temperature logging, and discrete chemical sampling of the near-surface snowpack before and after percolation. We further aim to utilize a near-infrared camera and water with a known isotopic ratio of O16/ O18 isotopes to monitor meltwater flow simultaneously.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum