1042883/Mayewski<br/><br/>This award supports a project to analyze a deep ice core which will be drilled by a New Zealand research team at Roosevelt Island. The objectives are to process the ice core at very high resolution to (a) better understand phasing sequences in Arctic/Antarctic abrupt climate change, even at the level of individual storm events; (b) determine the impact of changes in the Westerlies and the Amundsen Sea Low on past/present/future climate change; (c) determine how sea ice extent has varied in the area; (d) compare the response of West Antarctica climate to other regions during glacial/interglacial cycles; and (e) determine how climate of the Ross Sea Embayment changed during the transition from Ross Ice Sheet to Ross Ice Shelf. The intellectual merit of the RICE deep ice core project is that it is expected to provide a 30kyr long (and possibly 150kyr long) extremely high-resolution view of climate change in the Ross Sea Embayment Region and data essential to test and understand critical questions that have emerged as a consequence of the recent synthesis of Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate change presented in the Scientific Commission for Antarctic Research document: Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE, 2009). Ice core processing and analysis will be performed jointly by University of Maine and the collaborators from New Zealand. Co-registered sampling for all chemical analyses will be accomplished by a joint laboratory effort at the IGNS NZ ice core facility using a continuous melter system developed by the University of Maine. The RICE deep ice core record will provide information necessary in unraveling the significance of multi-millennial underpinning for climate change and in the understanding of observed and projected climate change in light of current dramatic human impact on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The broader impacts of the project include the fact that two CCI graduate students will be funded through the project, and will be involved in all aspects of field research, core sampling, sample processing, analytical and numerical analyses, data interpretation, writing of manuscripts, and presentation of results at national and international conferences. Data and ideas developed in this project and associated work will be used in several courses taught at the University of Maine. Innovative cyberinfrastructure will be incorporated into this work and ground breaking analytical technologies, and data access/storage tools will be used.
This award supports a project to fully characterize the microstructure in ice cores, in particular the microstructural locations of impurities, grain orientations and strain gradients. This work will complement the optical observations, electrical conductivity measurement, and precise, detailed measurements of the soluble ion and gas contents that are performed by others. Linking the concentrations of soluble ions and gases, measured to a few parts per billion, to the optically determined annual layer structure and the stable isotope data in ice cores has enabled a great deal to be established about the concentrations and depth/age distributions of particles, trace gases and impurities for several polar ice cores. Ice core studies carried out by several groups contribute immensely to our understanding of paleoclimate and, to our ability to predict future climate change. The work will build on previous measurements and technique development in this area, as well as focusing on new techniques to characterize ice cores. The work will use both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and confocal scanning optical microscopy coupled with Raman spectroscopy (RS) to determine the microstructural locations of impurities and correlate this information with depth/age, and impurity type and concentration for several polar ice cores. The Broader Impacts of the proposed work are that knowledge of the location of impurities coupled with the grain orientation (both c- and a-axis) and grain misorientation information will allow paleoclimatologists to better interpret ice core data and other scientists to understand and model the physical and mechanical properties of natural ice sheets. Other Broader Impacts of the work are that the work will be performed and lead to the education of a Ph.D. student. At the end of the project, as well as the knowledge gained from coursework, the graduate student will have experience in ice core specimen preparation and characterization using scanning electron microscopy, x-ray microanalysis, confocal scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and ion chromatography. Results from the research will be published in refereed journals, presented at conferences, and placed on a web page.
0087521<br/>Waddington<br/><br/>This award supports a two year project to develop a new method for measuring vertical strain rates in polar firn. Vertical strain rate measurements in the firn are important because they can aid in the understanding of the dynamics of firn compaction, a key factor in determining ice age/gas age difference estimates for ice cores. Vertical strain rate measurements also determine ice advection for borehole paleothermometry models, and most importantly can be used to date the shallow sections of ice cores where ambiguities in chemical dating or counting of annual layers hinder dating by traditional methods. In this project a video logging tool will be used to create a unique "optical fingerprint" of variations in the optical properties of the firn with depth, and track the movement and deformation of the features of this fingerprint. Preliminary work at Siple Dome, Antarctica using an improvised logging system shows a series of optically bright and dark zones as the tool transits up or down the hole. Borehole fingerprinting has the potential to improve measurements of vertical strain in firn holes. This project represents a unique opportunity to interface with an existing field program where a borehole vertical strain rate project is already underway. A graduate student will be supported to conduct the work on this project as part of a PhD. dissertation on climate and physical processes in polar firn.
The award supports the development of high-resolution nitrogen and oxygen isotope records on trapped gases in the Byrd and Siple Dome ice cores, and the Holocene part of the GISP2 ice core. The primary scientific goals of this work are to understand the enigmatic d15N anomalies seen thus far in the Siple Dome record at 15.3 ka and 35 ka, and to find other events that may occur in both cores. At these events, d15N of trapped air approaches zero, implying little or no gravitational fractionation of gases in the firn layer at the time of formation of the ice. These events may represent times of low accumulation rate and arid meteorological conditions, and thus may contain valuable information about the climatic history of West Antarctica. Alternatively, they may stem from crevassing and thus may reveal ice-dynamical processes. Finding the events in the Byrd core, which is located 500 km from Siple Dome, would place powerful constraints on their origin and significance. A second major goal is to explore the puzzling absence of the abrupt warming event at 22 ka (seen at Siple Dome) in the nearby Byrd 18O/16O record in the ice (d18Oice), and search for a possible correlative signal in Byrd d15N. A third goal takes advantage of the fact that precise measurements of the oxygen isotopic composition of atmospheric O2 (d18Oatm) are obtained as a byproduct of the d15N measurement. The proposed gas-isotopic measurements will underpin an integrated suite of West Antarctic climate and atmospheric gas records, which will ultimately include the WAIS Divide core. These records will help separate regional from global climate signals, and may place constraints on the cause of abrupt climate change. Education of two graduate students, and training of two staff members in the laboratory, contribute to the nation's human resource base. Education and outreach will be an important component of the project.
This award supports work on trapped gases in Antarctic and other ice cores for paleoenvironmental and chronological purposes. The project will complete a ~ 100,000 year, high-resolution record of atmospheric methane from the Siple Dome ice core and use these data to construct a precise chronology for climate events recorded by the Siple Dome record. In addition, the resolution of the GISP2 (Greenland) ice core record will be increased in some critical intervals to help with the Siple Dome chronology and that of future ice cores. Finally, an upgrade to the analytical capabilities of the laboratory, including increasing precision and throughput and decreasing sample size needed for ice core methane measurements will be an important goal of this work. The proposed work will contribute to the understanding of the timing of rapid climate change in the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the last glacial period, the evolution of the global methane budget in the late Quaternary, and the late Quaternary climate history of Antarctica. It will also improve our ability to generate methane records for future ice coring projects, and inform and enrich the educational and outreach activities of our laboratory.
This award is for support for a program to reconstruct records of the isotopic composition of paleoatmospheric methane and nitrous oxide covering the last 200,000 years. High resolution measurements of the carbon-13 isotopic composition of methane from shallow ice cores will help to determine the relative contributions of biogenic (wetlands, rice fields and ruminants) and abiogenic (biomass burning and natural gas) methane emissions which have caused the concentrations of this gas to increase at an exponential rate during the anthropogenic period. Isotopic data on methane and nitrous oxide over glacial/interglacial timescales will help determine the underlying cause of the large concentration variations that are known to occur. This project will make use of a new generation mass spectrometer which is capable of generating precise isotopic information on nanomolar quantities of methane and nitrous oxide, which means that samples can be 1000 times smaller than those needed for a standard isotope ratio instrument. The primary objective of the work is to further our understanding of the biogeochemical cycles of these two greenhouse gases throughout the anthropogenic period as well as over glacial interglacial timescales.
9725882 Raymond This award is for support for a program of surface-based radio echo sounding to examine the geometry of the internal layering and the presence or absence of thawed zones outside the margins of active Ice Streams B and E and across the flow band feeding Ice Stream D. Melting in the marginal shear zone and/or on the bed outside an ice stream relates to the amount of support of the ice stream from the sides compared to the bed and the conditions that limit expansion of its width. Radar observations will be extended over the crest of adjacent inter-ice-stream ridges (B/C and D/E) and areas next to the flow band in the onset of D. The purpose is to examine internal layering indicative of the histories of these areas adjacent to ice streams and to determine whether ice streams have expanded into these presently stable areas in the past. These goals concerning the physical controls and history of ice stream width relate to how the discharge of ice streams has changed in the past and could change in the future to affect sea level.
This award is for support for a three year project to measure the vertical strain rate as a function of depth at two sites on Siple Dome Antarctica. Ice flow near a divide such as Siple Dome is unique in that it is predominantly vertical. As a consequence, the component of ice deformation in the vertical direction, the "vertical strain rate" is dominant. Its measurement is therefore important for the calibration of dynamic models of ice flow. Two different, relatively new, high resolution systems for its measurement in hot water drilled holes will be employed. The ice flow model resulting from the measurements and flow law determination will be used to interpret the shapes of radar internal layering in terms of the dynamic history and accumulation patterns of Siple Dome over the past 10,000 years. The resulting improved model will also be applied to the interpretation of annual layers thicknesses (to produce annual accumulation rates) and borehole temperatures from the ice core to be drilled at Siple Dome during the 1997/98 field season. The results should permit an improved analysis of the ice core, relative to what was possible at recent coring sites in central Greenland. This is a collaborative project between the University of Alaska, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington.
This award supports a three-year renewal project to complete measurement of cosmogenic nuclides in the Siple Dome ice core as part of the West Antarctic ice core program. The investigators will continue to measure profiles of Beryllium-10 (half-life = 1.5x10 6 years) and Chlorine-36 (half-life = 3.0x10 5 years) in the entire ice core which spans the time period from the present to about 100 kyr. It will be particularly instructive to compare the Antarctic record with the detailed Arctic record that was measured by these investigators as part of the GISP2 project. This comparison will help separate global from local effects at the different drill sites. Cosmogenic radionuclides in polar ice cores have been used to study the long-term variations in several important geophysical variables, including solar activity, geomagnetic field strength, atmospheric circulation, snow accumulation rates, and others. The time series of nuclide concentrations resulting from this work will be applied to several problem areas: perfecting the ice core chronology, deducing the history of solar activity, deducing the history of variations in the geomagnetic field, and studying the possible role of solar variations on climate. Comparison of Beryllium-10 and Chlorine-36 profiles in different cores will allow us to improve the ice core chronology and directly compare ice cores from different regions of the globe. Additional comparison with the Carbon-14 record will allow correlation of the ice core paleoenvironment record to other, Carbon-14 dated, paleoclimate records.
High latitude deep ice cores contain fundamental records of polar temperatures, atmospheric dust loads (and continental aridity), greenhouse gas concentrations, the status of the biosphere, and other essential properties of past environments. An accurate chronology for these records is needed if their significance is to be fully realized. The dating challenge has stimulated efforts at orbital tuning. In this approach, one varies a timescale, within allowable limits, to optimize the match between a paleoenvironmental property and a curve of insolation through time. The ideal property would vary with time due to direct insolation forcing. It would be unaffected by complex climate feedbacks and teleconnections, and it would give a clean record with high signal/noise ratio. It is argued strongly that the O2/N2 ratio of ice core trapped gases is such a property, and evidence is presented that this property, whose atmospheric ratio is nearly constant, is tied to local summertime insolation. This award will support a project to analyze the O2/N2 ratios at 1 kyr intervals from ~ 115-400 ka in the Vostok ice core. Ancillary measurements will be made of Ar/N2, and Ne/N2 and heavy noble gas ratios, in order to understand bubble close-off fractionation and its manifestation in the Vostok trapped gas record. O2/N2 variations will be matched with summertime insolation at Vostok to achieve a high-accuracy chronology for the Vostok core. The Vostok and other correlatable climate records will then be reexamined to improve our understanding of the dynamics of Pleistocene climate change.
This award supports the analysis, in Antarctic ice cores, of the ozone depleting substances methyl bromide (CH3Br) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl), and the sulfur-containing gas, carbonyl sulfide (OCS). The broad scientific goal is to assess the level and variability of these gases in the preindustrial atmosphere. This information will allow testing of current models for sources and sinks of these gases from the atmosphere, and to indirectly assess the impact of anthropogenic activities on their biogeochemical cycles. Longer-term records will shed light on the climatic sensitivity of the atmospheric burden of these gases, and ultimately on the biogeochemical processes controlling them. These gases are present in ice at parts per trillion levels, and the current database consists entirely of a small number of measurements made in from a shallow ice core from Siple Dome, Antarctica. This project will involve studies of ice core samples from three Antarctic sites: Siple Station, Siple Dome, and South Pole. The sampling strategy is designed to accomplish several objectives: 1) to verify the atmospheric mixing ratios previously observed in shallow Siple Dome ice for OCS, CH3Br, and CH3Cl at sites with very different accumulation rates and surface temperatures; 2) to obtain a well-dated, high resolution record from a high accumulation rate site (Siple Station), that can provide overlap in mean gas age with Antarctic firn air samples; 3) explore Holocene variability in trace gas mixing ratios; and 4) to make the first measurements of these trace gases in Antarctic glacial ice. In terms of broader impact on society, this research will help to provide a stronger scientific basis for policy decisions regulating the production and use of ozone-depleting and climate-active gases. Specifically, the methyl bromide results will contribute to the current debate on the impact of recent regulation (via the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments) on atmospheric levels. Determination of pre-industrial atmospheric variability of ozone-depleting substances will help place more realistic constraints on scenarios used for future projections of stratospheric ozone and its climatic impacts. This research will involve the participation of both graduate and undergraduate students.
0135989<br/>Wilen<br/><br/>This is a collaborative proposal by Principal Investigators at the University of Washington and Ohio University. Detailed knowledge about the interactions between micro-structure of ice and its deformation is needed to assess the integrity of stratigraphic layering and the depth-age relationship in ice cores, which is essential for interpreting the paleoclimate record. The Principal Investigators will use micro-structure to study fabric, the orientation distribution of crystal c-axes, and texture, the size and shape of crystals. Numerical modeling of ice deformation is a useful tool in understanding these interactions. Accurate modeling of ice deformation is complicated by factors, such as the fabric, grain size, dynamic recrystallization, stress level, and precise knowledge of initial conditions. For example, ice fabric evolves as the ice is strained and the deformation depends on the fabric. This complicated feedback mechanism must be understood to correctly model ice deformation. In another example, the usual assumption is that the initial fabric is isotropic or random, but there are excellent examples of near-surface ice in the ice cores that are apparently not isotropic. One must know the initial fabric to calculate the deformation rate in ice sheets. Dr. Wilen will combine results of his new automatic fabric analyzer (AFA) with predictions of detailed ice deformation models (Dr. Thorsteinsson) to refine and better constrain such models. The AFA gives new information in thin sections because the precision and number of measured c-axis orientations are greatly improved. The Principal Investigators will analyze existing data and collect new data on fabric and texture from ice cores to address questions regarding near-surface fabric, deformation mechanisms, dynamic recrystallization, and potential sources of layer disturbances. The data will be used to constrain models of fabric evolution and recrystallization processes. With the more refined models, scientists can address different questions and important problems related to ice deformation and ice cores. For example, the recent agreement between the climate records from the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) and Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice cores of the upper-90%, and the disagreement in the lower-10% emphasizes the need to understand and predict the mechanisms and probable depths of disruption in these and future deep ice cores. Evidence suggests that the stratigraphic disturbances arise from the anisotropic nature of ice crystals at a variety of scales. To properly model the deformation of anisotropic ice, the influence of fabric on deformation must be well known.
9316564 Mayewski This award is for support for a three year program to provide a high resolution record of the Antarctic climate through the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of records of atmospheric chemical deposition taken from three ice cores located at sites within or immediately adjacent to the Ross Ice Drainage System (RIDS). These cores include one from Taylor Dome, and two from West Antarctic locations identified as potential deep drilling sites for the WAISCORES program. Collection of the two West Antarctic cores is intended to be a lightweight dry-drilling operation to depths of ~ 200 m, which will provide records of > 2 kyr. Glaciochemical analyses will focus on the major cations and anions found in the antarctic atmosphere, plus methanesulfonic acid and selected measurements of the hydrogen ion, aluminum, iron, and silica. These analyses, and companion stable isotope and particle measurements to be carried out by other investigators require < 7% by volume of each core, leaving > 90% for other investigators and storage at the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory. These records are intended to solve a variety of scientific objectives while also providing spatial sampling and reconnaissance for future U.S. efforts in West Antarctica. ***
This award is for support for four years of funding for a program of biogenic sulfur measurements on the Siple Dome ice core. Biogenic sulfur is a major aerosol-forming constituent of the atmosphere and has potentially important links to the earth's radiation budget. Previous work on the Vostok ice core has demonstrated a remarkable climate-related variability in biogenic sulfur, suggesting that the sulfur cycle may act to stabilize climate (keep the glacial atmosphere cool and the interglacial atmosphere warm) in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, methane-sulfonate (MSA) will be measured on the Siple Dome ice core as part of the West Antarctic ice sheet program (WAIS). Siple Dome is located in a region which is strongly impacted by the incursion of marine air onto the Antarctic plateau. Because of its proximity to the coast and meteorological setting, it is expected that variability in high-latitude marine biogenic sulfur emissions should dominate the MSA record at this site. In addition to the deep ice core record, samples from shallow cores will also be analyzed to provide information about regional variability and decadal-to-centennial scale variability in the deposition of sulfur-containing aerosols from high latitude source regions over the past 200 years.
9980691<br/>Wahlen<br/><br/>This award is for support for three years of funding to reconstruct the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon-13 isotope (d13C) concentration in ice cores from Antarctica over several climatic periods. Samples from the Holocene, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)-Holocene transition and glacial stadial/interstadial episodes will be examined. Samples from the Siple Dome ice core drilled in 1998/99 will be made, in addition to measurements from the Taylor Dome and Vostok ice cores. The major objectives are to investigate the phase relationships between variations in the concentration of atmospheric CO2, its carbon isotope composition, and temperature changes (indicated by 18dO and dD of the ice) during deglaciations as well as across rapid climate change events (e.g. Dansgaard-Oeschger events). This will help to determine systematic changes in the global carbon cycle during and between different climatic periods, and to ascertain if the widely spread northern hemisphere temperature stadial/interstadial events produced a global atmospheric carbon dioxide signal. Proven experimental techniques will be used.
This award is for support for a three year program to investigate the response of ice domes, such as Siple Dome in West Antarctica, to changing boundary conditions, for example as arising from fluctuations in thickness or position of bounding ice streams. A range of models will be used, from simple one-dimensional analytical models to coupled dynamic-thermodynamic flow models, to investigate the response of the ice dome to boundary forcing, and the record that boundary forcing can leave in the ice core record. Using radar, temperature, and ice core data from the currently funded field programs on Siple Dome, and ice flux and thickness values from the map view model as boundary conditions, a flow line across Siple Dome will be studied and possible ranges of time scales, the likely origin of ice near the bed, and the basal temperature conditions that exist now and existed in the past will be determined.The response of internal stratigraphy patterns to climate and dynamic forcing effects will be investigated and observed internal layers from ice cores will be used to infer the forcing history.
This award is for support for a program to measure the stable isotope (deuterium to hydrogen and oxygen-18 to oxygen-16) concentrations of ice cores retrieved from Siple Dome as part of the West Antarctic ice sheet program. In addition, the deuterium excess of samples from the Taylor Dome ice core will be determined. This project will approach the question of rapid climate change using ice cores to determine the history of temperature changes, moisture source changes, and elevational changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet. Results from ice cores taken to date in the interior of Antarctica (East and West) are surprisingly lacking in indications of abrupt climate changes, such as those that have been observed in the GISP2 ice core from Summit, Greenland. This work will address the question of whether rapid climate changes, which are known to have occurred in other parts of the southern hemi-sphere, may have also occurred in the coastal regions of West Antarctica. There is some indication from existing records of isotopes in ice cores that the West Antarctic ice sheet may have flushed ice in the past (as evidenced by large changes in elevation of the ice sheet).
This award is for support for a program to investigate the visual stratigraphy, index physical properties, relaxation characteristics and crystalline structure of ice cores from Siple Dome, West Antarctica. This investigation will include measurements of a time-priority nature that must be initiated at the drill site on freshly-drilled cores. This will be especially true of cores from the brittle ice zone, which is expected to comprise a significant fraction of the ice core. The brittle zone includes ice in which relaxation , resulting from the release of confining pressure is maximized and leads to significant changes in the mechanical condition of the core that must be considered in relation to the processing and analysis of ice samples for entrapped gas and chemical studies. This relaxation will be monitored via precision density measurements made initially at the drill site and repeated at intervals back in the U.S. Other studies will include measurement of the annual layering in the core to as great a depth as visual stratigraphy can be deciphered, crystal size measurements as a function of depth and age, c-axis fabric studies, and analysis of the physical properties of any debris-bearing basal ice and its relationship to the underlying bedrock. Only through careful documentation and analysis of these key properties can we hope to accurately assess the dynamic state of the ice and the age-depth relationships essential to deciphering the paleoclimate record at this location.
This award is for support for two years to develop the technology and methodology for digitizing the photographs and analyzing the thin sections from ice cores. In addition, the application of digital technology for whole-core stratigraphy, using digital photography, image enhancement and image processing will be investigated. The thin section analysis will be piloted with samples already in hand from the Taylor Dome ice core. If successful, these techniques will be applied to samples from the Siple Dome ice core, in cooperation with Principal Investigators already funded to retrieve and examine these sections. The original digital images with all original data annotation files will be distributed to Siple Dome principal investigators for their use in the interpretation of their own data. All software and hardware acquired for this project will become part of the permanent equipment inventory at the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory and will be available for use by clients at the facility.
This award is for support for the measurement of electrical and optical properties of the Siple Dome ice core. The electrical methods can be used to determine the concentration of the hydrogen ions and the concentration of a weighted sum of all ions. The electrical measurements can resolve features as small as 1 cm. The albedo of the core is also measured with a laser system that can resolve features as small as 0.5 cm. The high spatial resolution of these methods makes them ideal for resolving narrow features in the core, which can be missed in larger composite samples. The measurements will be particularly useful for assisting to date the core and to identify short duration features in the record, such as volcanic eruptions. These measurements will also provide useful information for assessing the temporal variability of Holocene accumulation rate and atmospheric circulation.
This award supports a project to examine the physical processes that affect the manner in which heat, vapor and chemical species in air are incorporated into snow and polar firn. The processes include advection, diffusion, and the effects of solar radiation penetration into the snow. An understanding of these processes is important because they control the rate at which reactive and non-reactive chemical species in the atmosphere become incorporated into the snow, firn, and polar ice, and thus will affect interpretation of polar ice core data. Currently, the interpretation of polar ice core data assumes that diffusion controls the rate at which chemical species are incorporated into firn. This project will determine whether ventilation, or advection of the species by air movement in the firn, and radiation penetration processes have a significant effect. Field studies at the two West Antarctic ice sheet deep drilling sites will be conducted to determine the spatial and temporal extent for key parameters, and boundary conditions needed to model the advection, conduction, and radiation transmission/absorption processes. An existing multidimensional numerical model is being expanded to simulate the processes and to serve as the basis for ongoing and future work in transport and distribution of reactive chemical species.
9725305 Severinghaus This award supports a project to develop and apply a new technique for quantifying temperature changes in the past based on the thermodynamic principle of thermal diffusion, in which gas mixtures in a temperature gradient become fractionated. Air in polar firn is fractionated by temperature gradients induced by abrupt climate change, and a record of this air is preserved in bubbles in the ice. The magnitude of the abrupt temperature change, the precise relative timing, and an estimate of the absolute temperature change can be determined. By providing a gas-phase stratigraphic marker of temperature change, the phasing of methane (with decadal precision) and hence widespread climate change (relative to local polar temperature changes) can be determined (across five abrupt warming events during the last glacial period).
9316338 Jacobel This award is for support for a program of glaciological studies of Siple Dome and its surroundings between Ice Streams C and D. The purpose of the work is to characterize the dynamic environment and ice stratigraphy to aid in the assessment of Siple Dome as a potential deep ice core site, and to determine whether the configuration of ice stream flow in the region was different in the past than now. The work involves measurements of the configuration and continuity of internal layers in the ice, using radar echo sounding and determination of velocity field, based on standard GPS surveying. The goals of the work are relevant to understanding the dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), its past history and its potential future behavior, including possible effects on global sea level. This work is a collaborative project between the University of Washington, the University of Colorado and St. Olaf College. ***
This award is for support for a program of physical and visible studies on the shallow and deep ice cores to be retrieved from Siple Dome, West Antarctica. Visible examination of ice cores has proven to be a powerful technique for dating and paleoclimatic interpretation. Recent examination of a shallow core from Siple Dome indicates that annual-layer dating is possible and that visible examination will contribute significantly to the dating effort at Siple Dome. Once ages are obtained, distances between layers provide snow accumulation after correction for density variations and ice flow thinning. Thin- section examination of the core will contribute to understanding the visible stratigraphy, and will reveal c-axis fabrics which are related to past ice deformation. The results of this study should include a better understanding of rapid climate change in the Antarctic and should contribute to knowledge of the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet.