Data Set ID:

Twenty-Three Century-scale Ice Core Records of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) from West Antarctica, Version 1

This data set contains sub-annually resolved concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), snow, firn and ice from 23 sites on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Firn > FIRN
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > ICE SHEETS
  • Snow/Ice > SNOW/ICE
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Chemistry > SNOW/ICE CHEMISTRY
Data Format(s):
Spatial Coverage:
N: -76, 
S: -90, 
E: -84, 
W: -124
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 20 November 2000 to 15 January 2003
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Roger Bales, Markus Frey, Joseph McConnell

Geographic Coverage

Please contact the data provider for the correct Data Citation for this data set.

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Detailed Data Description

This data set contains sub-annually resolved concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), snow, firn and ice from 23 sites on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS. Data were obtained from 2000 to 2003 during the US International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) deployments. Cores were drilled approximately every 100-300 kilometers down to depths of up to 120 meters. H2O2 was measured in snow, firn, and ice using a fluorescence detection method either in situ after sampling or in the lab 9-12 months after sample collection. Depending on local accumulation rate, up to 500 year long records were obtained from the WAIS region (76-90ºS / 84-124ºW). Core H2O2 concentrations are reported in parts per billion by weight (ppbw) as a function of decimal year.


Data are available as ASCII text files (.txt).

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. A subdirectory entitled ITASE_core_H2O2_NSIDC0392 contains 23 .txt files, a readme.txt file with site information, and a data set readme file in both ASCII text format and Microsoft Word format.

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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention:


  • filename ITYY_ii.txt contains site ID: for example: IT00_01.txt refers to ITASE 2000/01 site 1

  • README contains site information site ID, latitude, longitude, site elevation (m.a.m.s.l.), core bottom depth (m), core top depth (m)
    Example: IT00_1 79.38308 111.22867 1791 105.560 1.000
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File Size

Files in this data set range in size from2 KB to 779 KB, for a total of 4.4 MB.

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The total volume of the data set is less than 4.4 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

Data were collected along the United States International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) traverse route.

Southernmost Latitude: 90 °S
Northernmost Latitude: 76 °S
Westernmost Longitude: 124°W
Easternmost Longitude: 84 °W

Spatial Coverage Map

Figure 1. Spatial Coverage Map

The map in Figure 2 shows core locations along traverse routes of the U.S. portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE).

Figure 2. Core Locations along Traverse Routes of the U.S. Portion of the US ITASE

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Temporal Coverage

Data in this collection were obtained 20 November 2000 to 15 January 2003, Antarctic summers only.

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Parameter or Variable
Table 1. Parameters in the Profile Data Files
hydrogen peroxide concentration in snow/firn and ice as a function of years

Sample Data Record

Table 2 shows sample data from the ice core hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) measurements.

Depth in Meters Decimal Year H2O2 ppbw
Table 2. Sample Data from Ice Core Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Measurements
1.13 1999.396 23.7
1.14 1999.375 26.5
1.15 1999.354 29.5
1.17 1999.333 32
1.18 1999.313 34.3
1.2 1999.292 36.6
1.21 1999.271 39
1.23 1999.25 42.1
1.24 1999.229 45.7
1.26 1999.208 49.9

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

3"-cores were drilled to a maximum of 120m at various WAIS locations under the U.S. ITASE program. A 3x3 cm cross section was sampled after each field season at National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL, Lakewood, CO) and shipped frozen to the laboratory at the University of Arizona.

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Data Acquisition Methods

Cores were analyzed using a CFA system, with H2O2 being detected via fluorescence detection.

Limits of detection The limit of detection for hydrogen peroxide in snow, firn and ice was below 1 ppbw. Reported are 48 samples per year, which is equivalent to 0.2 to 0.9 cm depth resolution. However, the true depth resolution is determined by the measurement method and is about 2 cm in shallow firn and 1 cm in ice. More details on database development (experimental method, data processing) and discussion of the results are published in Frey et al., 2006.

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Sensor or Instrument Description

A Continuous Flow Analysis (CFA) system: based on a steady sample flow combined with an immediate detection of the compound of interest. To obtain a continuous sample stream, the ice core (typically a subcore of 3x3 cm cross section) is melted continuously on a specially developed melt device where the sample is permanently drained off by a peristaltic pump and split into the analytical systems

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Roger Bales 
University of California - Merced 
School of Engineering 
5200 North Lake Rd. 
Merced, California 95343

Dr. Markus Frey 
University of California - Merced 
School of Engineering 
5200 North Lake Rd. 
Merced, California 95343

Dr. Joesph McConnell 
Desert Research Institute
Division of Hydrological Sciences 
2215 Raggio Parkway 
Reno, Nevada 89512


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 9814810 .

Document Information


23 April 2009

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