Antarctic Science

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Antarctic Science (2010), 22:443-459 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2010

Physical Sciences

Near surface climate of the traverse route from Zhongshan Station to Dome A, East Antarctica

Yongfeng Maa1a2, Lingen Biana1 c1, Cunde Xiaoa1a3, Ian Allisona4 and Xiuji Zhoua1

a1 Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
a2 College of Earth Science, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
a3 Laboratory of Ice Core and Cold Regions Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
a4 Australian Antarctic Division and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, Private Bag 80, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
Article author query
ma y [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
bian l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
xiao c [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
allison i [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
zhou x [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Seasonal variation of temperature, pressure, snow accumulation, winds, and their harmonic analysis are presented by using the data from Zhongshan Station and three Automatic Weather Stations deployed between the East Antarctic coast and the summit of the ice sheet at Dome A for the period 2005–07. Results show that: 1) temperature, snow accumulation and specific humidity decrease with increasing elevation and distance from the coast, with snow accumulation decreasing from 199 mm water equivalent (w.e.) yr-1 at LGB69 (180 km from the coast) to 31 mm w.e. yr-1 at Dome A, 2) Dome A experiences an extremely low minimum temperature of -82.5°C with the monthly mean temperature below -50°C for eight months in contrast to Zhongshan Station which does not show any monthly mean temperatures below -20°C, 3) mean surface wind speed increases from the coast to the escarpment region, and then reduces rapidly towards the interior plateau with the strongest winds occurring at katabatic sites with the greatest surface slopes, 4) temperature and pressure all shows a distinct biannual oscillation with a main minimum in spring and a secondary minimum in autumn, differing slightly from station to station, and 5) winter temperature corelessness increases as a function of elevation and distance from the coast, from 0.260 at the coastal Zhongshan Station to 0.433 at Dome A.

(Received June 04 2009)

(Accepted January 16 2010)

(Online publication April 16 2010)

Key wordsAntarctic climate; AWS; corelessness; harmonic analysis; katabatic; snow accumulation


c1 corresponding author: