Enrichment of surface ice stable water isotope ratios following sublimation
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Stable isotopes of water preserved in glaciers and icesheets have revolutionized our understanding of terrestrial paleoclimate. Post-deposition alteration of the stable water isotope ratios in snow and ice can obscure the original meteoric signal, therefore altering the interpretation of δ18O and δD as records of paleo-temperatures in ice. The effects of sublimation on δ18O and δD are not well-understood for massive (non-snow) ice and have been largely overlooked, particularly within the experimental literature. We present results from a series of environmental chamber experiments investigating alteration of the in-situ signal following sublimation. Our data suggest that sublimation enriches the ice remaining after sublimation in 18O and D. This is observed both in surface ice and in the signal of the ice at depth. These results could have important implications for studies utilizing surface ice δ18O and δD for reconstructions of paleoclimate.