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Millennially averaged accumulation rates for the Lake Vostok region inferred from deep internal layers

The depths of radar-detected internal layers can be used to infer the spatial variability of accumulation rates. Here we infer accumulation rates from three radar layers (26, 35 and 41ka old) in the Vostok Subglacial Lake region using the local-layer approximation (LLA). The LLA assumes that the strain-rate history of a particle traveling through the ice sheet can be approximated by the vertical strain-rate profile at the current position of the particle, which we further assume is uniform. We use the LLA to map accumulation rates over a 150 km by 350 km area. The LLA accumulation-rate map shows higher values in the northwestern corner of our study area and lower values near the downstream shoreline of the lake. The LLA-inferred accumulation-rate patterns over the three time periods are all similar, suggesting that the regional pattern did not change significantly between the start of the Holocene and the last ~20 ka of the last Glacial Period.

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