Roosevelt Island Ice Core Density and Beta Count Data


This data set measures the radioactive decay of nuclear material from nuclear testing that drifted over the continent. Firn cores were taken from three locations on Roosevelt Island, an ice dome within the Ross Ice Shelf, and were measured at increasing depth for density in kilograms per cubic meter, and for beta counts per hour per kilogram.

The data were collected between November and December of 1997. Measurements were taken incrementally down to approximately 17 meters for each of the three cores. Data are available in text format via ftp.

Citing These Data:

Conway, H. 1998. Roosevelt Island Ice Core Density and Beta Count Data. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Overview Table

Category Description
Data format Text files
Spatial coverage and resolution Roosevelt Island on the Ross Ice Shelf
Temporal coverage and resolution November and December, 1997
Tools for accessing data No special tools required
File naming convention Files are named by their pole location: a000.txt, a210.txt, aw35.txt
File size 11 Kb, combined
Parameter(s) beta counts, density
Procedures for obtaining data Data are available via FTP.

Table of Contents

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments
2. Detailed Data Description
3. Data Access and Tools
4. Data Acquisition and Processing
5. References and Related Publications
6. Document Information

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments:

Investigator(s) Name and Title:

Howard Conway, Research Professor, University of Washington

Technical Contact:

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services

2. Detailed Data Description:


Data are available in three text files.

File Naming Convention:

Each file is named according to the location of the core: a000.txt, a210.txt, aw35.txt.

File Size:

Each data file is 3 Kb.

Spatial Coverage:

Southernmost_Latitude: 79 34 18.37369 S
Northernmost_Latitude: 79 21 14.17633 S
Westernmost_Longitude: 161 34 00.24461 W
Easternmost_Longitude: 160 19 23.82155 W

Temporal Coverage:

Data were collected during November and December, 1997.

Parameter or Variable:

Parameter Description:

Snow density and beta counts were measured at the University of New Hampshire.

Unit of Measurement:

Snow density is measured in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3)
Beta counts are measured in counts per hour per kilogram (cts/hr/kg)

Parameter Range:

Each parameter was measured to a depth of approximately 17 m. Generally, two measurements for each parameter were taken at each depth. (See the sample below.)

Sample Data Record:

Depth Range (m) Dens (kg/m3) Beta (cts/hr/kg)
13.25 – 13.46 582 18
13.46 – 13.66 621 20.9
13.66 – 13.85 611 17.33

3. Data Access and Tools:

Data Access:

Data are available via FTP.


Data are available at no cost.

Software and Tools:

Most browsers and word processing applications can open text files. No special software or tools are necessary.

Related Data Collections:

4. Data Acquisition and Processing:

Data Acquisition Methods:

The firn cores were collected during the field season of 1997. The density and beta count measurements were taken by Jack Dibb at the University of New Hampshire.

5. References and Related Publications:

Conway, H., B.L. Hall, G.H. Denton, A.M. Gades, E.D. Waddington. 1999. Past and Future Grounding-Line Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Science 286:280-283

6. Document Information:

Document Creation Date:

2 May 2003

Document URL: