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Snow and Firn Permeability: Characteristics of Snow Megadunes and their Potential Effects on Ice Core Interpretation

Summary

This data set contains firn physical properties measured in two meter snow pits and from deeper, 12- to 30-meter firn cores. The physical properties measured in the snow pits include density, permeability and microstructure (grain size and pore size). The physical properties measured on firn cores include density, permeability, diffusivity and microstructure. Data are available in Microsoft Excel format and ADOBE PDF and are available via FTP.

Citing These Data

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation example. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Albert, Mary, Zoe Courville and Lawrence Cathles. 2007. Characteristics of Snow Megadunes and their Potential Effects on Ice Core Interpretation: Snow and Firn Permeability. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5639MPD.

Overview Table

Category Description
Data format Data are provided as space-delimited ASCII text files and Microsoft Excel (.xls) files.
Spatial coverage and resolution Southernmost Latitude: 80.7802° S
Northernmost Latitude: 80.5304° S
Westernmost Longitude: 124.0218° E
Easternmost Longitude: 126.0302° E
Elevation: 2900 m
Temporal coverage and resolution 4 January 2004 to 20 January 2004
File naming convention msdata.xls
permdata.xls
thcdata.xls
densdata.xls
2005jf000429_f03_rev.pdf
File size Approximately 340 KB.
Parameter(s) snow density, permeability, microstructure and thermal conductivity
Procedures for obtaining data available via FTP

Table of Contents

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments
2. Detailed Data Description
3. Data Access and Tools
4. Data Acquisition and Processing
5. References and Related Publications
6. Document Information

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments

Investigator(s)

Mary Albert
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
72 Lyme Road
Hanover, New Hampshire
USA 03755-1290 

Zoe Courville
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
72 Lyme Road
Hanover, New Hampshire
USA 03755-1290

Lawrence Cathles
University of Chicago
Department of the Geophysical Sciences
5734 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637 USA 

Technical Contact

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services
e-mail: nsidc@nsidc.org

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) grant 0125276 awarded to M. Albert.

2. Detailed Data Description

Format

Data files are in Microsoft Excel format viewable with spreadsheet software and an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention.

File name File Size Description
.xls
340 KB Microsoft Excel File

Spatial Coverage

Southernmost Latitude: 80.7802° S
Northernmost Latitude: 80.5304° S
Westernmost Longitude: 124.0218° E
Easternmost Longitude: 126.0302° E
Elevation: 2900 m

Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description

The measured parameters are snow density, permeability, microstructure and thermal conductivity.

Sample Data Record

The data below are the first 10 data samples showing density data.

depth
pit1
pit2
pit3
1.5
0.42
0.36
0.25
4.5
0.27
0.42
0.36
7.5
0.41
0.48
0.28
10.5
0.31
0.44
0.36
13.5
0.36
0.39
0.41
16.5
0.35
0.4
0.43
19.5
0.3
0.39
0.41
22.5
0.3
0.39
0.36
25.5
0.43
0.38
0.29
28.5
0.48
0.42
0.38

Data Access

Available via FTP

Volume

The data set is approximately 340 KB.

Related Data Collections

4. Data Acquisition and Processing

Sensor or Instrument Description

The custom designed permeameter draws air through the sample, and measures the pressure drop and flow rate through the sample.

Data Acquisition Methods

Locations:
Pit 1 80.77914 S, 124.28796 E
Pit 2 80.7901 S, 124.4345 E
Pit 3 80.7754 S, 124.526 E

Density in densdata.xls, taken using 100cc boxcutter and spring scale depth (cm) at center of sample, density (g/cc)
Dates: pit 1 Jan 07 04, pit 2 Jan 11 04, pit 3 Jan 16 04

Permeability in permdata.xls, measured using CRREL permeameter depth (cm) at center of sample, permeability (x 10-10 m2)
Dates: pit 1 Jan 09 04, pit 2 Jan 12 04, pit 3 Jan 17 04

Microstructure in msdata.xls, done following method of Perla (1989) depth (cm), center of sample, grain size, pore size (mm)
Dates: pit 1 Jan 08 04, pit 2 Jan 11 04, pit 3 Jan 17 04

Thermal conductivity in thcdata.xls, measured in lab using transient needle probe depth (cm) at center of sample, thermal conductivity, W m-1 K-1, samples collected Jan 07-16 04

5. References and Related Publications

Albert, M. R., C. A. Shuman, Z. R. Courville, R. Bauer, M. A. Fahnestock, and T. A. Scambos. 2004. Extreme firn metamorphism: impact of decades of vapor transport on near-surface firn at a low-accumulation glazed site on the East Antarctic Plateau. Annals of Glaciology 39: 73-78.

Campbell Scientific, Inc. 2002. CR10X Measurement and Control Module Operator's Manual.

Courville, Z. R., M. R. Albert, and J. Severinghaus. 2002. Firn physical characteristics and impact on interstitial convection and diffusion in the megadunes of East Antarctica. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-06.

Courville, Z. R., M. R. Albert, M. A. Fahnestock, and L. Cathles. 2005. Impact of accumulation rate on firn properties. Eos. Trans. AGU 86(52). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C21B-1108.

Courville, Z. R., M. Albert, M. Fahnestock, L. M. Cathles. 2006. Impact of accumulation hiatus on the physical properties of firn at a low accumulation site. Journal of Geophysical Research. In review.

Fahnestock, M. A., T. A. Scambos, C. A. Shuman, et. al. 2000. Snow megadune fields on the East Antarctic Plateau: extreme atmosphere-ice interaction. Geophysical Research Letters 27(22): 3719-3722.

Fahnestock, M. A., C. A. Shuman, M. R. Albert, and T. A. Scambos. 2002. Satellite, observational, meteorological and thermal records from two sites in the Antarctic megadunes stability of atmospheric forcing, thermal cracking, and the seasonal evolution of the thermal profile. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-03.

Fahnestock, M. A., C. A. Shuman, T. A. Scambos, M. R. Albert, T. Haran, Z. R. Courville, and R. Bauer. 2005. Mapping Antarctic megadunes and other accumulation-related features on the East Antarctic Plateau. Eos. Trans. AGU 86(52). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C13A-06.

Frezzotti, M., S. Gandolfi, F. La Marca, and S. Urbini. 2002. Snow dunes and glazed surfaces in Antarctica: new field and remote sensing data. Annals of Glaciology 34: 81-88.

Frezzotti, M., S. Gandolfi, and S. Urbini. 2002. Snow megadunes in Antarctica: sedimentary structure and genesis. Journal of Geophysical Research 107(D18), 4344: doi:10.1029/2001JD000673.

Kawamura, K., and J. P. Severinghaus. 2005. Krypton and Xenon as indicators of convective zone thickness in firn at Megadunes, Antarctica. Eos. Trans. AGU 86(52). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract PP33C-1590.

Scambos, T. A., M. A. Fahnestock, C. A. Shuman, and R. Bauer. 2002. Antarctic megadunes: characteristics and formation. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-04.

Suchdeo, V. P., C. A. Shuman, T. A. Scambos, M. A. Fahnestock, M. R. Albert, and R. Bauer. 2002. Precise elevation profiles across Antarctic megadunes. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C33C-0357.

Suwa, M., and J. Severinghaus. 2002. Firn density profile at Megadunes, East Antarctica, calls for an improved densification model for low accumulation sites. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C33C-0359.

6. Document Information

Acronyms and Abbreviations

The following acronyms and abbreviations are used in this document.

FTP File Transfer Protocol
NSIDC National Snow and Ice Data Center
URL Uniform Resource Locator

Document Creation Date

November 2007

Document URL

http://nsidc.org/data/docs/agdc/nsidc0299_albert/index.html