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Data Set ID:

Methane Concentrations from the WAIS Divide Ice Core (WDC06A), 60 to 11,300 ybp, Version 1

This data set contains a high-resolution history of atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations in parts per billion (ppb) from approximately 60 to 11,300 years before present (ybp), obtained in 2010 from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core WDC06A. Gas age is derived from the WDC06A-5 ice age scale.

Data are available via FTP as a Microsoft Excel file (.xlsx).

Geographic Coverage

  • Snow/Ice > Ice Depth/Thickness
  • Ice Core Records > Methane
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -79.46763, S: -79.46763, E: -112.086483, W: -112.086483

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Todd Sowers
Please contact the data provider for the correct Data Citation for this data set.

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Detailed Data Description


Data are available as a Microsoft Excel file (.xlsx).

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File and Directory Structure

Data can be obtained via FTP from

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File Naming Convention

This data set consists of one file:


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File Size

The file for this data set is 52 KB.

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The total volume of the data set is 52 KB

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Spatial Coverage

Data were obtained from WAIS Divide Ice Core WDC06A, located at:

Southernmost Latitude: 79° 28.058' S
Northernmost Latitude: 79° 28.058' S
Westernmost Longitude: 112° 05.189' W
Easternmost Longitude: 112° 05.189' W

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Temporal Coverage

This data set contains 505 measurements spanning approximately 60 to 11,300 years before present (years before 1950).

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Parameter or Variable

Parameters are Depth (meters below surface), Gas Age (years before present), and CH4 concentration (parts per billion).

Sample Data Record

The following example shows sample data from WDC06AHoloceneCH4Sowers.xlsx:

Gas Age
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Software and Tools

The data can be accessed using standard spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Source

For more information about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core, visit the WAIS Divide Ice Core project site.

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Derivation Techniques and Algorithms

Methane concentrations were measured using a gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector. Measurements were corrected for gravity assuming constant δ15N = 0.3‰, and by +7 ppb as dictated by intercalibration between The Ohio State University and The Pennsylvania State University. Gas ages were calculated by subtracting 208 years from the WDC06A-5 ice age scale to account for the gas age-ice age difference (assumed constant for the Holocene).

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Todd Sowers
Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
The Pennsylvania State University
2217 EES Building
University Park, PA 16802


This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs Antarctic Sciences Division award number 0538538.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

April 2012

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