Data Set ID: 

Major Ion Chemistry Data of WAIS Divide Ice Core Brittle Ice, Version 1

The brittle ice section (577-1300 m) of the main WAIS Divide ice core (WDC06A) was analyzed for major ion concentrations with ion chromatography.

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Ice Core Records > Ions > IONS
Data Format(s):
  • Excel
Spatial Coverage:
N: -79.5, 
S: -79.5, 
E: -112.1, 
W: -112.1
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):ION CHROMATOGRAPHS
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 2010 to 7 January 2012
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Jihong Cole-Dai

Geographic Coverage

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

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This data set contains analysis of the brittle ice section (577 m to 1300 m) of the main WAIS Divide ice core (WDC06A) for major ion concentrations with ion chromatography.

Detailed Data Description


This dataset contains concentrations of ions (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) in ice cores drilled 01 January 2010 to 07 January 2012 at WAIS Divide, Antarctica sampling the brittle ice zone approximately from 577 m to 1300 m.

The data files contain ion concentrations (micrograms per kg of meltwater) as a function of depth in core.

Data are provided in Excel .xlsx format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory.

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File Naming Convention

File name:

WDC06A 577-1300 m Chemistry.xlsx

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File Size

Each file is approximately 3.6 MB.

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Total data volume is 3.6 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

WAIS Divide, Antarctica: 79.5° S, 112.1° W

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Temporal Coverage

Data were collected from 01 January 2010 to 07 January 2012 
Temporal coverage start: 6000 yr bp
Temporal coverage end: 2350 yr bp

Temporal Resolution

Approximately monthly or bimonthly

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Parameter or Variable

Parameters included in the WDC06A 577-1300 m Chemistry.xlsx ice core file are described in Table 1.

Table 1. Chemical Composition of Ice and Snow
Parameter Description Units
Snow Depth Top Depth from top along vertical length of ice core Meters
Conc Cl Chlorine micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc NO3 Nitrate micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc SO4 Sulfate micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc Na Sodium micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc K Potassium micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc Mg Magnesium micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)
Conc Ca Calcium micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)


If a data field is empty, it means no numerical value was generated for that sample and that chemical species. Reasons for missing data include lost sample or instrument malfunction.

The dataset should be read this way: Each row is a layer of snow/ice in the ice core, represented by the depth interval in the core; so each could be considered a sample from the ice core. Each layer or sample has concentrations of the chemical species measured in the lab.

Sample Data Record

The following is a sample from the WDC06A 577-1300 m Chemistry.xlsx data file.

sample concentration data
Figure 1. Sample Data Record

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

Ice cores were collected with electromechanical drill. Ice core samples were analyzed in lab with ion chromatography (IC).

The U.S research community is conducting a deep ice coring project in West Antarctica for studies of climate, ice sheet history and cryobiology. This project is collecting a deep ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice flow divide and integrating approximately 40 separate but synergistic projects to analyze the ice and interpret the records. On December 31, 2011 the project reached its final depth goal of 3,405 meters, recovering the longest U.S. ice core to date from the polar regions.

Processing Steps

The brittle ice section (577-1300 m) of the main WAIS Divide ice core (WDC06A) was analyzed for major ion concentrations with ion chromatography.

Samples were prepared with either discrete cutting or continuous melting.

Concentrations of ions are expressed in micrograms per kg of ice or meltwater (parts per billion or ppb). Measurements were based on sample size (cm) along the vertical length of the ice core. Sampling of the brittle ice was either by discrete cutting or by continuous melting, depending on the physical quality of the ice core. Approximately 5% of the brittle ice was analyzed by continuous melting using the technique of continuous flow analysis with ion chromatography detection (CFA-IC).

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Jihong Cole-Dai
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Box 2202 
South Dakota State University 
Brookings, SD 57007 


This research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Polar Programs, Antarctic Research, Glaciology grant number 0839066.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

12 March 2014

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