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Climatology, Meteorology, and Microbial Metabolism in Ice with Dust Loggers and Fluorimetry
Entry ID: price_0738658

Abstract: This award supports a project to use two new scanning fluorimeters to map microbial concentrations vs depth in the WAIS Divide ice core as portions of it become available at NICL, and selected portions of the GISP2 ice core for inter-hemispheric comparison. Ground-truth calibrations with microbes in ice show that the instruments are sensitive to a single cell and can scan the full length of a 1-meter core at 300-micron intervals in two minutes.

This research is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) Division of Antarctic Science: Glaciology Program.

Purpose: The goals of these studies will be to exploit the discovery that microbes are transported onto ice, in clumps, several times per year and that at rare intervals (not periodically) of ~10^4 years, a much higher flux, sometimes lasting >1 decade, reaches the ice. From variations ranging from seasonal to millennial to glacial scale in the arrival time distribution of ... View entire text
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Description: These are preliminary data from one of three optical logs we made at WAIS Divide with the laser dust logger in December 2011, in the clear ice at depths between 1403.58 m and 3329.8 m (22 MB). Depths have been corrected to match the core, to an accuracy of <5 cm typical and ~20 cm maximum, using tie points known from visual core assays. This accuracy should improve after we perform followup investigations at NICL. Optical intensity is in arbitrary units and can be linearly scaled to conform to other Antarctic dust proxies.
Geographic Coverage
Spatial coordinates   
  N: -79.46   S: -79.46   E: 112.11   W: 112.11

LABORATORY Ancillary Description
FLUOROMETERS Ancillary Description
Data Set Progress
Data Center
NSIDC Antarctic Glaciological Data Center Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA
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Phone: 510-642-4982
Email: bprice at
Contact Address:
Physics Department
University of California
City: Berkeley
Province or State: CA
Postal Code: 94720
Country: USA
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P. B. Price. "Microbial life in glacial ice and implications for a cold origin of life," FEMS Microbiology and Ecology, v.59, 2007, p. 217.

P. B. Price. "Microbial life in Martian ice: a biotic origin of methane on Mars," Planetary and Space Science, v.58, 2010, p. 1199.

P. B. Price. "Recent applications of nuclear tracks in solids," Radiation Measurements, v.43, 2008, p. 1177.

Price, P. B.. ... View entire text
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2012-06-19
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-23