Ice Core Laboratory

The Ice Core Melting Laboratory

The Ice Core Lab has state-of-the-art ice core processing, sampling, and analysis capabilities including a Kovacs Mark III drill with sidewinder system, freezer facilities for core and sample storage, an ice core melting system with discrete sampling (see next paragraph), ion chromatography for major ion analysis, and a Picarro L2130-i laser water isotope (δ18O and δD ratios) analyzer.

Much of our research is based on ultra-low level geochemical analyses from ice cores and snow samples. In order to obtain reliable data for these analyses, we have developed ice core sampling and melting techniques that provide continuous, high-resolution samples (~1 cm core per sample standard; 0.2 cm core per sample possible) from the pristine ice core meltwater stream. These samples are suitable for analysis of trace element concentrations and isotope ratios at polar (very low) levels. Our publication describing this system can be found here and we have provided this technology at cost to colleagues in Canada, Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. Please contact us if you would like more information about the ice core melter system or how to obtain a system.

We also have the capability to analyze ice samples for trace metal concentration through collaborations with the Dartmouth Trace Element Analysis Laboratory directed by Brian Jackson, and to analyze rare and complex elements including Platinum Group Elements (Pt, Os, Ir) using the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Laboratory directed by Mukul Sharma.