Title Snow recurrence sets the depth of dry permafrost at high elevations in the McMurdo dry valleys of Antarctica
Author McKay, C.P.
Author Affil McKay, C.P., NASA, Ames Research Center, Space Science Division, Moffett Field, CA
Source Antarctic Science, 21(1), p.89-94, . Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0954- 1020
Publication Date Feb. 2009
Notes In English. 19 refs. Ant. Acc. No: 86011. CRREL Acc. No: 63004039
Index Terms frozen ground; ground ice; ice; Mars (planet); moisture; permafrost; snow; snow cover; Beacon Valley; Antarctica--McMurdo dry valleys; Antarctica; elevation; International Polar Year 2007-08; IPY 2007-08 Research Publications; Linnaeus Valley; Mars; McMurdo dry valleys; planets; terrestrial comparison; terrestrial planets; University Valley; Victoria Land
Abstract Dry permafrost on Earth is unique to the Antarctic and is found in the upper elevations of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Despite its widespread presence in the Dry Valleys, the factors that control the distribution of dry permafrost and the ice- cemented ground below it are poorly understood. Here I show, by a combination of theoretical analysis and field observations, that the recurrence of snow can explain the depth of dry permafrost and the location of ice-cemented ground in Antarctica. For data from Linnaeus Terrace at 1600-1650 m elevation in Upper Wright Valley a recurrence intervals of about two years explains the presence of ground ice at 25 cm depth, under 12.5 cm of dry permafrost. Snow recurrence periods longer than 10 years would create only dry permafrost at this site. (modif. j. abstr.)
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0954102008001508
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 291809