Search Help
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD)
Holocene climate history from ice cores, snow profiles, weather and glacier investigations (topography, mass balance and bedrock mapping) of the Victoria Lower Glacier, Victoria Land Coast, Antarctica
Entry ID: K049_1999_2008_NZ_2

Abstract: To understand the drivers and consequences of climate change on timescales important to humans, the paleoclimate of ice cores, the glacial system and local climate patterns were analysed from two sites at the Victoria Lower Glacier. Four shallow cores of differing depths were recovered from the glacier. Two were measured for density profile in the field and the other two were sent to NZ and USA for further analysis. The topography of the glacier surface was surveyed applying differential GPS. Snow profiles for 0-3m depth were cut and investigated. The analysis included visual logging, density measurements and sampling for determining isotopic and chemistry characteristics. Bore-hole temperature of the drill holes was measured. A weather station was installed measuring temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, solar radiation and snow pack temperature. Mass balance measurements were installed at two sites using high precision, differential, static GPS to quantify mass balance are re-measured over several seasons. The so-called Coffee-Can devices are used to measure the horizontal and vertical displacement of anchors placed at shallow depths in the glacier. A GPR survey was carried out to map the bedrock topography and internal structure of the glacier. Three different antennae frequencies were used (35, 200 and 400MHz) for different resolution and penetration depths. Eight shallow firn and ice cores were recovered and analysed for crystal structure, melt and dust layer with samples being returned to the USA for further analysis. Two snow profiles (5m and 1m) were cut and sampled in 1cm resolution for major ion content, isotope ratios and in 5cm resolution for dust flux and beta radioactivity. Temperature, crystal geometry and density of the snow profiles were measured on site. Temporary ablation stakes for mass balance measurements and dust/diatom traps were employed for 8 weeks and analysed for dust mineralogy, grain size and relative quantity, diatom species found and weekly changes in snow cover. A 180m core was extracted, measured, logged and sent to NZ and USA for further analysis (water and dust analysis, density measurements). The borehole was cased and capped for future measurements such as temperature, magnetic susceptibility and transmissivity of light. Basic weather observations were recorded. A 1m deep snow sequence was sampled with 1cm resolution for analysis on snow chemistry, isotopic composition, dust content and mineralogy.

Related URL
Link: View Related Information
Description: The IGS global system of satellite tracking stations, Data Centers, and Analysis Centers puts high-quality GPS data and data products on line in near real time to meet the objectives of a wide range of scientific and engineering applications and studies.

Link: View Related Information
Description: The ice reader database hosts basic data from ice cores of the Antarctic Continent. The goal is to compile a complete list of cores by name, site, location and as much other information as possible

Link: View Related Information
Description: Publishing Network for Geoscientific & Environmental Data This database contains information regarding stable oxygen isotopes of snow pits at four sites: Polar Plateau, Victoria Lower Glacier, Wilson Piedmont Glacier and Baldwin Valley Glacier

Link: View Related Information
Link: View Related Information
Link: View Related Information
Description: Web pages dealing with the ITASE project

Link: View Related Information
Link: View Related Information
Description: Related information of the investigator

Link: View Related Information
Description: New Zealand Ice Core Research Laboratory
Ice cores are stored here

Parent DIF
This description is a member of a collection. The collection is described in

Geographic Coverage
 N: -77.3301 S: -77.3301  E: 162.5321  W: 162.5321
 Min Altitude: 577  Max Altitude: 637  Min Depth: 0  Max Depth: 200

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1999-11-24

Chrono Unit:

Location Keywords

Science Keywords

CORING DEVICES    [Information]
MMS >Meteorological Measurement System    [Information]
GPS >Global Positioning System    [Information]
GPR >Ground Penetrating Radar    [Information]

LTER >Long-Term Ecological Research    [Information]
LGP >Latitudinal Gradient Project    [Information]
EBA >Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic    [Information]
IPICS >International Partnerships in Ice Core Science    [Information]
AGCS >Antarctica and the Global Climate System    [Information]

The project is currently ongoing and some of the data is available in various databases which are constantly changing. The investigator is the best person to contact for access to the data.

Data Set Progress

Data Center
Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Institute, New Zealand    [Information]
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand

Phone: +64 4 463 6196
Fax: +64 4 463 5186
Email: Nancy.Bertler at
Contact Address:
Antarctic Research Center
Victoria University of Wellington
PO BOX 600
City: Wellington
Postal Code: 6140
Country: New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: c.poirot at
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand

Bertler, N.A.N. 2003 Understanding the climate behavior of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, from coastal ice cores. Ph.D., Victoria University of Wellington.

Bertler, N.A.N. Barrett, P.J. Mayewski, P.A. Fogt, R.L. Kreutz, K.J. Shulmeister, J. El Nino suppresses Antarctic warming. Geophysical research letters 31, 2004.

Bertler, N.A.N. Barrett, P.J. Mayewski, P.A. Fogt, R.L. Kreutz, K.J. Shulmeister, J. Reply to comment by Doran et al. on ?El Nino suppresses Antarctic warming?. Geophysical research letters 32: 2005.

Bertler, N.A.N. Naish, T.R. Oerter, H. Kipfstuhl, S. Barrett, P.J. Mayewski, P.A. Kreutz, K. 2006 The effects of joint ENSO?Antarctic Oscillation forcing on the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Antarctic science 18(4): 507-514.

Bertler, N.A.N. Naish, T.R. Mayewski, P.A. Barrett, P.J. Opposing oceanic and atmospheric ENSO influences on the Ross Sea Region, Antarctica. Advances in geosciences 6: 83-86, 2006.

Witherow, R. Lyons, W.B. Bertler, N.A.N. Welch, K.A. Mayewski, P.A. Sneed, S.B. Nylen, T. Handley, M.J. Fountain, A. 2006 The aeolian flux of calcium, chloride and nitrate to the McMurdo Dry Valleys landscape: evidence from snow pit analysis. Antarctic science 18(4): 497-505.

Bertler, N.A.N. Mayewski, P.A. Aristarain, A. Barrett, P. Becagli, S. Bernardo, R. Bo, S. Xiao, C. Curran, M. Qin, D. Antarctic Snow Chemistry. Annals of glaciology 41: 167-179, 2005.

Bertler, N.A.N. Barrett, P.J. Mayewski, P.A. Sneed, S.B. Naish, T.R. Morgenstern, U. Solar forcing recorded by aerosol concentrations in coastal Antarctic glacier ice, McMurdo Dry Valleys. Annals of glaciology 41: 52-56, 2005.

Patterson, N.G. Bertler, N.A.N. Naish, T.R. Morgenstern, U. ENSO variability in the deuterium excess record of a coastal Antarctic ice core from the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Victoria Land. Annals of glaciology 41: 140-146, 2005.
Extended Metadata Properties
(Click to view more)

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-09-22
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-12-21