Archive for the ‘Research Library’ Category

Glacial burial and decomposition of ancient organic carbon: a scientific expedition to King George Island, Antarctica

July 27, 2010  |   Research Library   |   admin  |   0 Comment

Glacial burial and decomposition of ancient organic carbon: a scientific expedition to King George Island, Antarctica

Prepared by Ning Zeng (Project Scientist), Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park Jay Gregg, Junior Scientist, University of Maryland, College Park Email contact: zeng@atmos.umd.edu Abstract An expedition to King George Island (KGI), Antarctica was conducted during January, 2010. The main goal was to search for ancient organic carbon buried under ice and to understand the role of such organic carbon in glacial-interglacial CO2 and climate changes. Three trips were taken to study the periglacial environment of the Collins Glacier (Bellingshausen Dome) on the southern edge of the KGI icecap. A glacial moraine was found to contain a large quantity of organic carbon. An outcrop was found to contain several clearly distinguishable layers: rubble, soil, moss, soil, shell, moss, muddy soil, and ice. The surrounding area and the glacial outwash downstream contain large amounts of organic material. CO2 fluxes were measured at two locations using a LICOR-8100 soil CO2 analyzer, with soil CO2 fluxes ranging 15-20ppmv/30min (0.15 mmol m-2 sec-1). Because there was no observable new vegetation growth on the site, and because the chamber where the flux was measured was dark (preventing photosynthesis), it appears that the CO2 was the result of the decomposition of the organic carbon that was once buried under ice. ...