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Fractionation of gases in polar ice during bubble close-off: firn air Ne, Kr and Xe observations
Entry ID: severinghaus_nsidc0290

Abstract: Gas ratios in air withdrawn from polar firn (snowpack) show systematic
enrichments of Ne/N2, O2/N2 and Ar/N2, in the firn–ice transition region where
bubbles are closing off. Air from the bubbles in polar ice is correspondingly
depleted in these ratios, after accounting for gravitational effects. Gas in
the bubbles becomes fractionated during the process of bubble close-off and
fractionation may continue as ice cores are stored prior to analysis.

These findings have implications for ice core and firn air studies that use gas
ratios to infer paleotemperature, chronology and past atmospheric composition.
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Severinghaus, J.P., and Battle, M., Fractionation of gases in polar ice during
bubble close-off: new constraints from firn air Ne, Kr, and Xe observations,
Earth Planet Sci. Lett. 244, 474-500 (2006). doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.01.032.
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-05-22
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-01-27

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