Advanced Microstructural Characterization of Polar Ice Cores
Siple Dome Ice Core
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.
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database