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Subsurface heat conduction along the CHINARE traverse route, east Antarctica.pdf (3.03 MB)

Subsurface heat conduction along the CHINARE traverse route, East Antarctica

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 15:44 authored by Yang, D, Ding, M, Ian AllisonIan Allison, Zou, X, Chen, X, Petra HeilPetra Heil, Zhang, W, Bian, L, Xiao, C

Using data from three automatic weather stations (LGB69, Eagle and Dome A) from distinctly different climatological zones along the CHINARE (Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition) traverse route from Zhongshan Station to Dome A, we investigated the characteristics of meteorological conditions and subsurface heat conduction. Spatial analysis indicated decreasing trends in air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed from the coastal katabatic wind zone to the inland plateau region, and air temperatures clearly showed a strong daily variability in winter, suggesting the effect from the fluctuation in the Antarctic atmospheric system. We also analyzed the optimal response time of the 1 and 3 m depth snow temperatures to the 0.1 m depth snow temperature for each site under clear/overcast and day/night situations. This showed an important enhancement to the heat transfer from shortwave radiation penetration. Using an iterative optimization method, we estimated the subsurface heat conduction variations along the transect. This was ~3–5 W m–2. Multiple maxima in daily mean subsurface fluxes were found in winter, with a typical value above 2 W m–2, while a single minimum value under –2 W m–2 was found in summer. On an annual scale, a larger mean loss of subsurface heat conduction was observed in the inland plateau compared to in the coastal katabatic area. Finally, we discussed the possible influences of turbulent and radiant transport on the vertical heat response and confirmed the wind enhancement on the growth of thermal conductivity. This preliminary study provides a brief perspective and an important reference for studying subsurface heat conduction in inland areas of Antarctica.


Publication title

Journal of Glaciology






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Int Glaciol Soc

Place of publication

Lensfield Rd, Cambridge, England, Cb2 1Er

Rights statement

Copyright (2022) The Author(s). Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The International Glaciological Society. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)

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