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Data Set ID:
NSIDC-0311

Trapped Gas Composition and Chronology of the Vostok Ice Core, Version 1

This data set includes a time scale for the Vostok ice core, retrieved from Vostok Station on the East Antarctic Plateau.

Geographic Coverage

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -72.4667, S: -72.4667, E: -106.8, W: -106.8

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 September 2003 to 30 June 2006
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Parameter(s):
  • Ice Core Records > Ice Core Air Bubbles > Gas Age
  • Ice Core Records > Ice Core Air Bubbles > Ice Age
  • Snow/Ice > Ice Depth/Thickness
  • Atmospheric Chemistry > Nitrogen Compounds
  • Atmospheric Chemistry > Oxygen Compounds
  • Ocean/Lake Records > Oxygen Isotopes
Platform(s) LABORATORY
Sensor(s): MASS SPECTROMETERS
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Michael Bender, Makoto Suwa

Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Bender, M. and M. Suwa. 2007. Trapped Gas Composition and Chronology of the Vostok Ice Core, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5P26W12. [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description

This data set includes a time scale for the Vostok ice core, retrieved from Vostok Station on the East Antarctic Plateau. This chronology is derived by orbitally tuning to molecular oxygen to nitrogen (O2/N2) ratios in occluded air for depths deeper than 1550 m (greater than 112,000 years old), and by gas correlation to the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) chronology for the ice core section that is shallower than 1422 m (less than 102,000 years old). Because of poor gas preservation in air bubbles in shallower depths, investigators could only constrain the Vostok chronology for the section deeper than 1550 m by O2/N2. Thus for the shallower section of the core, they synchronized the Vostok delta oxygen-18 (δ18O) and methane (CH4) measurements to those of the GISP2 to obtain the chronology (see Bender, et al. 2006). Note, CH4 data are not included in this data set.

Investigators analyzed the O2/N2 and the δ18O record ratios for approximately the past 115,000 to 400,000 years in the Vostok ice core. They combined new measurements for O2/N2 and δ18O with data from Bender (2002) and Petit, et al. (1999), respectively.

File Naming Convention

The file name for the Microsoft Excel data file is Suwa_2007_VostokO2N2chronology.xls.

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File Size

The data file is approximately 281 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

Investigators took samples from the Vostok ice, retrieved from Vostok Station on the East Antarctic Plateau.
Southernmost Latitude: 72.4667° S
Northernmost Latitude: 72.4667° S
Westernmost Longitude: 106.8000° W
Easternmost Longitude: 106.8000° W

Spatial Resolution

The maximum depth of the samples taken from the Vostok ice core was 3400 m.

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Temporal Coverage

Investigators analyzed Vostok ice core samples from September 2003 through June 2006.

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Parameter or Variable

Investigators recorded depth, ice age, gas age, O2/N2, and δ18O of paleoatmospheric O2 (δ18Oatm). Data cover a time period of approximately 115,000 years to 400,000 years before present (ybp).

The following table shows the parameters represented in each of the three groups of data, along with their units of measurement. For the O2/N2 and δ18O data, investigators combined new measurements with data from Bender (2002) and Petit, et al. (1999), respectively.

Variable Unit of measurement
Depth Meters (m)
Ice age Thousands of years (ka)
Gas age Thousands of years (ka)

Variable Unit of measurement
Depth Meters (m)
O2/N2 Per mil, one part per thousand (‰)
Ice age Thousands of years (ka)

Variable Unit of measurement
Depth Meters (m)
δ18Oatm Per mil, one part per thousand (‰)
Gas age Thousands of years (ka)

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

Investigators used a double melt refreeze method to extract air trapped in bubbles and clathrate hydrates in an ice sample. The O2/N2, δ15N of N2, and δ18O of O2 values were determined using a Finnegan Delta Plus mass spectrometer.

Investigators combined their data with results from previous studies. They combined new measurements for O2/N2 and δ18O with data from Bender (2002) and Petit, et al. (1999), respectively.

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Processing Steps

Investigators corrected all δ18O and O2/N2 values reported within this data set for gravitational enrichment by subtracting 2 x δ15N of N2 and 4 x δ15N of N2 of the same sample, respectively.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Investigator

Michael Bender
Department of Geosciences 
Princeton University
M48 Guyot Hall 
Princeton, NJ 08544 USA

Makoto Suwa
Department of Geosciences 
Princeton University
Guyot Hall   
Princeton, NJ 08544 USA

Acknowledgements: 

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) grant 0230260 awarded to Michael Bender.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

July 2007

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