Past Accumulation Rates of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Near an Ice Divide
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The study of accumulation rates of ice is a direct link to the evolution of ice sheet. It is believed by scientists that ice sheet evolution will aid in the mystery of climate change and may lead to predictions about climates in the future. This dissertation focuses on studying the accumulation rates of ice within the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet near an ice divide. The site of study is located just near Subglacial Lake Ellsworth. Radio Echo Sounding (RES) data was collected to measure the depths of certain isochronous layers within the ice sheet and a one-dimensional (1D) compression model was used to determine the accumulation rates. Due to the lack of ice core data, data and methods of acquiring accumulation had to be correlated with those from Byrd Station. The final results were converted into raster format by layer and accumulation rate. This was done so that spatial analysis could be performed on the data. A regression analysis was run on the rasters. The end results of the dissertation showed that the ice sheet has changed some over the past 6,000, but not enough to declare the WAIS unstable.