First geophysical and shallow ice core investigation of the Kazbek plateau glacier, Caucasus Mountainsстатья

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[1] First geophysical and shallow ice core investigation of the kazbek plateau glacier, caucasus mountains / S. S. Kutuzov, V. N. Mikhalenko, A. M. Grachev et al. // Environmental Earth Sciences. — 2016. — Vol. 75, no. 1488. — P. 1488. irst-ever ice core drilling at Mt. Kazbek (Cau-casus Mountains) took place in the summer of 2014. A shallow ice core (18 m) was extracted from a plateau at *4500 m a.s.l. in the vicinity of the Mt. Kazbek summit (5033 m a.s.l.). A detailed radar survey showed that the maximum ice thickness at this location is*250 m. Borehole temperature of-7oC was measured at 10 m depth. The ice core was analyzed for oxygen and deuterium isotopes and dust concentration. From the observed seasonal cycle, it was determined that the ice core covers the time interval of 2009–2014, with a mean annual snow accumulation rate of 1800 mm w. eq. Multiple melt layers have been detected.d 18 O values vary from-25 to-5%. The dust content was determined using a particle sizing and counting analyzer. The dust layers were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction anal-ysis. Dust can be separated into two categories by its ori-gin: local and distant. Samples reflecting predominantly local origin consisted mainly of magmatic rocks, while clay minerals were a characteristic of dust carried over large distances, from the deserts of the Middle East and Sahara. The calculated average dust flux over three years at Kazbek was of 1.3 mg/cm 2 a -1 . Neitherd 18 O nor dust records appear to have been affected by summer melting. Overall, the conditions on Kazbek plateau and the available data suggest that the area offers good prospects of future deep drilling in order to obtain a unique environmental record. [ DOI ]

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