Fugitive Gases (Helium, Neon, and Oxygen) in the WAIS Divide Ice Core as Tracers of Basal Processes and Past Biospheric Carbon StorageEntry ID: severinghaus_1143619
This award supports a project to extend the study of gases in ice cores to those gases whose small molecular diameters cause them to escape rapidly from ice samples (the so-called “fugitive gases”). The work will employ helium, neon, argon, and oxygen measurements in the WAIS Divide ice core to better understand the mechanism of the gas close-off fractionation that occurs while air bubbles are incorporated into ice.
This work is funded by NSF PLR Award #1143619
The intellectual merit of the proposed work is that corrections for this fractionation using neon (which is constant in the atmosphere) may ultimately enable the first ice core-based atmospheric oxygen and helium records. Neon may also illuminate the mechanistic link between local insolation and oxygen used for astronomical dating of ice cores. Helium measurements in the deepest ~100 m of the ... core will also shed light on the stratigraphic integrity of the basal ice, and serve as a probe of solid earth-ice interaction at the base of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Past atmospheric oxygen records, currently unavailable prior to 1989 CE, would reveal changes in the size of the terrestrial biosphere carbon pool that accompany climate variations and place constraints on the biogeochemical feedback response to future warming.
JEFFREY P SEVERINGHAUS
Email: jseveringhaus at ucsd.edu
Scripps Institution of Oceanography 9500 Gilman Dr.
City: La Jolla
Province or State: CA
Postal Code: 92093-0244
NSIDC AGDC USER SERVICES
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at nsidc.org
National Snow and Ice Data Center CIRES, 449 UCB University of Colorado
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
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