Surface accumulation in Northern Central Greenland during the last 300 years

Nanna B. Karlsson, Sebastian Razik, Maria Hörhold, Anna Winter, Daniel Steinhage, Tobias Binder, Olaf Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The internal stratigraphy of snow and ice as imaged by ground-penetrating radar may serve as a source of information on past accumulation. This study presents results from two ground-based radar surveys conducted in Greenland in 2007 and 2015, respectively. The first survey was conducted during the traverse from the ice-core station NGRIP (North Greenland Ice Core Project) to the ice-core station NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling). The second survey was carried out during the traverse from NEEM to the ice-core station EGRIP (East Greenland Ice Core Project) and then onwards to Summit Station. The total length of the radar profiles is 1427 km. From the radar data, we retrieve the large-scale spatial variation of the accumulation rates in the interior of the ice sheet. The accumulation rates range from 0.11 to 0.26 m a-1 ice equivalent with the lowest values found in the northeastern sector towards EGRIP. We find no evidence of temporal or spatial changes in accumulation rates when comparing the 150-year average accumulation rates with the 321-year average accumulation rates. Comparisons with regional climate models reveal that the models underestimate accumulation rates by up to 35% in northeastern Greenland. Our results serve as a robust baseline to detect present changes in either surface accumulation rates or patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Issue number81
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Accumulation
  • Ground-penetrating radar
  • Ice-sheet mass balance
  • Radio-echo sounding

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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