Data Set ID: 

Borehole Temperature Measurement in WDC05A in January 2008 and January 2009, Version 1

This data set includes borehole temperature measurements performed in January 2008 and January 2009 at the West Antarctic Ice sheet divide from the 300 m hole WDC05A.

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Snow/Ice > Ice Depth/Thickness > Depth
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Temperature > ICE TEMPERATURE
Data Format(s):
Spatial Coverage:
N: -79.463, 
S: -79.463, 
E: -112.125, 
W: -112.125
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):THERMISTORS
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 2009
  • 1 January 2008
Temporal Resolution1 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Jeffrey Severinghaus, Anais Orsi

Geographic Coverage

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

Literature Citation

As a condition of using these data, we request that you acknowledge the author(s) of this data set by referencing the following peer-reviewed publication.

  • Orsi, A. J., J. P. Severinghaus, et al. 2012. Little Ice Age Cold Interval in West Antarctica: Evidence from Borehole Temperature at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide, Geophysical Research Letters. 39. Art. #L09710.

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Detailed Data Description

Data include temperature measurements every 5 meters, from 10 to 300 m, with replicate measurements every 10 m. The depth is given with reference to the 2009 surface. The thermistor resistance is given, as well as the inferred temperature. The pooled standard deviation of these temperature measurements is 1.5 mK below 20 m.


Data are provided in tab-limited ASCII format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. Within this directory, there are two files:

  • WDC05A_BoreholeTemp_300m_2008.txt, for WAIS divide Borehole temperature record measured in January 2008.
  • WDC05A_BoreholeTemp_300m_2009.txt, for WAIS divide Borehole temperature record measured in January 2009.
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The data files total approximately 7 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core. WAIS Divide is situated 24 km west of the Ross–Amundsen ice flow divide and 160 km east of the Byrd ice core site.

79.463° South, 112.125° West

Surface elevation at drill site: 1766 m.

Spatial Resolution

Depth resolution is 5 m.

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Temporal Coverage

Temporal coverage of this data set is from 1000 to 2007 C.E.

Temporal Resolution

Single day measurements in January 2008 and January 2009.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description

Table 1 describes the borehole data parameters.

Table 1. Parameter Descriptions
Parameter Description Units
Depth Depth below the surface Meters
Resistance Resistance of the thermistor probe KOhms
Temp Borehole temperature Degrees C
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Software and Tools

The data file can be opened using any software capable of reading ASCII text files.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

Data were collected using a Omega 44033 thermistor with Fluke 8846A multimeter. In the field, the sensor was held stationary every 5 meters to equilibrate with the surrounding temperature for 20 min, and the resistance was integrated over 5 min. Logging was done both upwards and downwards, with two or three measurements at each depth (Orsi et al. 2012).

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Derivation Techniques and Algorithms

Calibration from Resistance in Ohms to temperature using the Steinhart-Hart Equation.

Data represent the average between duplicates or triplicates when available.

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Sensor or Instrument Description

A single Omega 44033 thermistor was connected to a Fluke 8846A precision multimeter using the 4-wire measurement method. The thermistor was calibrated at Scripps Institution of Oceanography against a secondary reference temperature standard, according to the Steinhart-Hart equation. The accuracy of the absolute temperature of this calibration is 0.1 K, and its relative uncertainty in the range of our borehole measurements is 0.0023 K (Orsi et al. 2012).

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Anais J. Orsi and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus
Scripps Institution of Oceanography 
Geoscience research division #0244 
9500 Gilman Drive 
La Jolla, CA 92093-0244


NSF Grant Title: Nitrogen and Oxygen Gas Isotopes in the WAIS Divide Ice Core as Constraints on Chronology, Temperature, and Accumulation Rate. NSF Grant Numbers: 04-40701 and 05-38657.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

04 June 2015

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