Continuous High Resolution Ice-Core Chemistry using ICP-MS at Siple Dome
Siple Dome Ice Core
This award provides one year of support to use newly developed technology in which an ice-core melter is coupled with both an Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and a traditional Continuous Flow Analysis (CFA) system, to measure a continuous time series of chemical and trace element deposition on the Siple Dome ice core from West Antarctica. A coupled ice-core melter, ICP-MS, and CFA system will be used to measure concentrations of a number of elements, isotopes and chemical species at very high depth resolution (~2-cm) in the top 54 m of the Siple Dome A-core. Pilot data from analyses of ~6 m from the nearby but much lower accumulation J-core site at Siple Dome, together with more extensive results from Summit, Greenland, indicate that it will be possible to obtain exactly co-registered, high-quality records of at least 12 seasonally varying elements (sodium, magnesium, aluminum, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, rubidium, strontium, zirconium, barium, lead) and three other chemical species and ions (ammonium, nitrate, calcium ion) with this system. Under this proposed research, we will also add continuous measurements of sulfate to our system. Because more than sufficient core from Siple Dome for these depths is archived at the National Ice Core Laboratory, the proposed research will require no fieldwork. The continuous, very high-resolution, ~350-y record of these elemental tracers will enhance the value of previous chemical and isotopic measurements that have been made on the Siple Dome core and will be particularly valuable for comparisons between ice-core proxies and modern instrumental data related to El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as well as for validation of model simulations of atmospheric circulation. These data, and the expertise gained through this research, will be invaluable when this novel chemical analysis technology is eventually applied to deep ice-core records for the study of rapid climate-change events.
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