Data Set ID:

Firn Air Inert Gas and Oxygen Observations from Siple Dome, 1996, and the South Pole, 2001, Version 1

This data set includes gas ratios in polar firn air: O2/N2, 15N/14N, 40Ar/N2, 40Ar/36Ar, 40Ar/38Ar, 84Kr/36Ar, 132Xe/36Ar, and 22Ne/36Ar. Investigators sampled air from the permeable snowpack (firn) layer at two sites: Siple Dome, Antarctica in 1996 and at the South Pole in 2001. They observed and modeled the processes of gravitational settling, thermal fractionation, and preferential exclusion of small gas molecules from closed air bubbles. The purpose of this study was to understand these physical processes, which affect the composition of bubbles trapped in ice. By measuring these gas ratios in the ancient air preserved in bubbles trapped in ice, researchers can determine past atmospheric composition and local temperature changes along with the relative timing and magnitude of such events.

The data file is available in Microsoft Excel format. The research paper is available in PDF. Data and the research paper are available via FTP.

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Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Temporal Coverage:
  • 1996-12-15 to 1996-12-21
  • 2001-01-21
Temporal Resolution:
Not specified
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -90, S: -90, E: 0, W: 0

  • N: -80.667, S: -80.667, E: -148.767, W: -148.767

Spatial Resolution:
Not Specified
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Firn
  • Ice Core Records > Ice Core Air Bubbles
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets
  • Sea Ice > Isotopes
  • Snow/Ice
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Chemistry
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
  • PDF
Data Contributor(s): Jeffrey Severinghaus, Mark Battle, Michael Bender

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation. For more information, see Use and Copyright.

Severinghaus, J. P., M. Bender, and M. Battle. 2006. Firn Air Inert Gas and Oxygen Observations from Siple Dome, 1996, and the South Pole, 2001, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

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Contact Address:
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City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA