Data Set ID:

Ion Concentrations from SPRESSO Ice Core, Antarctica, Version 1

This data set contains ion measurements from co-registered samples from the South Pole Remote Earth Science and Seismological Observatory (SPRESSO) ice core. The core was drilled during the 2002-2003 field season as part of the International Trans-Antarctic Science Expedition (ITASE). Samples were collected for ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry and stable water isotope analysis. Parameters include measurements of ion concentrations in ice core samples.

The data are available via FTP in Microsoft Excel format (.xls).

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Ice Core Records > ICE CORE RECORDS
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > ICE SHEETS
  • Ice Core Records > Ions > IONS
  • Snow/Ice > SNOW/ICE
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Chemistry > SNOW/ICE CHEMISTRY
Data Format(s):
  • Excel
Spatial Coverage:
N: -89.93, 
S: -89.93, 
E: -144.39, 
W: -144.39
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:Not specified Version(s):V1
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Paul Mayewski, Elena Korotkikh

Geographic Coverage

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

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in Microsoft Excel format (.xls).

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. The data set contains two files in Microsoft Excel (.xls) format.

Table 1. Directory Description
Directory Description
spresso_ICPMS.xls Inductively Coupled Plasma Sector Field Mass Spectrometry
SPRESSO_IC.xls Ion Chromatography
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File Size

Files range in size from 40 KB to 500 KB.

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The total volume of this data set is approximately 800 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

Southernmost Latitude: 89.93° S
Northernmost Latitude: 89.93° S
Westernmost Longitude: 144.39° W
Easternmost Longitude: 144.39° W

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Temporal Coverage

The ice core was dated to 2167 years before AD 2000 at a depth of 207.057 meters.

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Parameter or Variable

The data set provides ion concentration measurements.

Parameter Description

Table 3. Parameter Description
Parameter Description
Depth Depth in meters
Sr Strontium in nanograms per liter
Cd Cadmium in nanograms per liter
Cs Cesium in nanograms per liter
Ba Barium in nanograms per liter n
La Lanthanum in nanograms per liter
Ce Cerium in nanograms per liter
Pr Praseodymium in nanograms per liter
Pb Lead in nanograms per liter
Bi Bismuth in nanograms per liter
U Uranium in picograms per liter
As Arsenic in nanograms per liter
Li Lithium in nanograms per liter
Al Aluminum in micrograms per liter
S Sulfur in micrograms per liter
Ca Calcium in micrograms per liter
Ti Titanium in nanograms per liter
V Vanadium in nanograms per liter
Cr Chromium in nanograms per liter
Mn Manganese in nanograms per liter
Fe Iron in micrograms per liter
Co Cobalt in nanograms per liter
Na Sodium in micrograms per liter
Mg Magnesium in micrograms per liter
Cu Copper in nanograms per liter
Zn Zinc in nanograms per liter
K Potassium in nanograms per liter

Sample Data Record

Sample data record from spresso_ICPMS.xls. This sample shows only the first four records in the file, and the first 15 columns.

Depth top Sr Cd Cs Ba La Ce Pr Pb Bi U As Li Al S
m ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L pg/L ng/L ng/L ug/L ug/L
0.00 373.41 111.09 0.75 561.57 16.43 29.15 3.47 678.13 72.84 1667.31 25.63 134.70 35.85 48.93
0.02 186.60 185.53 0.34 201.64 6.54 13.21 1.57 234.49 102.42 655.93 6.81 66.42 9.94 19.00
0.05 98.37 68.51 0.17 240.68 10.77 20.05 2.85 146.67 68.88 4126.05 18.45 23.72 8.39 24.87
0.07 480.78 81.93 0.36 172.58 16.62 35.87 5.05 222.55 44.87 749.84 7.34 36.35 8.46 25.04
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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

200 meters of the SPRESSO ice core were melted using the University of Maine continuous melting system yielding a resolution of 60 to 110 samples per meter. Melting was performed in a Class 100 clean room. Clean suits, booties and polypropylene gloves were worn during melting and ice core preparation to prevent contamination of the core. The ends of each ice core were scraped using a pre-cleaned (with DI water from a MilliQ-Element system (>18.2 MO)) ceramic knife before melting to prevent contamination. DI water was pumped through the entire melter system between melting sessions to keep the system clean. DI water blanks were collected before and after every melting session to confirm the system is clean. A nickel 270 (>99.99% Ni) melting disk with an inner diameter of 26 mm and an outer diameter of 65 mm was employed. The melter head was heated to a constant temperature of 12-18 °C (depending on ice/firn density).

A total of 18,570 co-registered samples were collected each for IC (ion chromatography), ICP MS (inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry) and stable water isotope analysis. Sample resolution changed from 1.8 to 0.88 cm from the shallow to the deeper part of the core (average 1.12 cm) yielding 8-9 samples per year on average. Samples were collected from the inner and outer parts of the core. To avoid contamination only the inner portion of each core was sampled for IC (each sample 2 ml volume) and ICP-MS analysis (each sample 2 ml volume). The meltwater from the potentially contaminated outer part was collected for stable isotope analysis (16 ml sample volume). Pump speeds for the melter system were 5, 5.2 and 26.5-27.5 cpm for collection of IC, ICP MS and isotopes, respectively..

All samples for major ion analyses (IC) were collected into LDPE bottles cleaned by successive soaking and rinsing in DI water, and re-frozen. Samples for stable isotope analysis were collected into dried LDPE vials, and re-frozen. Samples for trace element analysis (ICP-MS) were collected into acid-cleaned (Optima HNO3) LDPE vials. ICP-SMS samples were acidified to 1% with double-distilled HN03 under a class-100 HEPA clean bench and allowed to react with the acid for approximately 1 week before being frozen

IC Analyses. A Dionex ion chromatograph with chemical suppression and conductivity detectors was used. Anions (Cl-, NO3-, SO4-) were measured using an AS-11 column, 400µL sample loop, and a Dionex Reagent Free Controller producing a KOH eluent gradient of 1 mM to 8 mM. Two ion chromatographs were paired to a Gilson Liquid Handler autosampler for simultaneous anion and cation analysis. Calibration curves bracket the expected concentration range with correlation coefficients of >0.99. Calibration results were verified using Environment Canada's ION-92 standard diluted to bring the reported values within range.

ICP MS Analyses. Trace element analyses (Na, Mg, Ca, Sr, Cd, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Pb, Bi, U, As, Al, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Li and K) were performed with the UMaine Thermo Electron Element2 ICP-MS. The use of an ESI Apex high-sensitivity inlet system increased instrument sensitivity and reduced oxide formation in the plasma, lowering detection limits and allowing less abundant isotopes to be measured. A Cetac (Omaha, NE) Model ASX- 260 autosampler is located within our class-100 HEPA clean bench adjacent to the instrument to further reduce contamination. The ICP MS is calibrated daily with five standards that bracket the expected sample concentration range. Certified water reference material, SLRS-4 (Environment Canada) was used to verify the calibration. We used Thermo Electron’s auto lock mass software routine to compensate for mass drift. In an effort to minimize sample handling and possible contamination no internal standard was used.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Paul A Mayewski
Climate Change Institute
Global Science Center, University of Maine
Orono, ME, USA 

Elena Korotkikh
Climate Change Institute
Global Science Center, University of Maine
Orono, ME, USA


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 0636506.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

July 01, 2010

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