Documentation for Optical Logging for Dust and Microbes in Boreholes in Glacial Ice, Version 1

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Detailed Data Description

This data set contains high-resolution logs of dust and microbes measured at the Siple Dome A borehole in Antarctica. The data were obtained using a newly developed optical borehole logger, which fits into a fluid-filled borehole in glacial ice. It can detect dust and microbes in ice out to several meters from the borehole, and measure optical properties of those particles. The data set contains information on depth and optical signal.


Data are in generic data file format (.dat).

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. The data set consists of two data files,DustLog_SDMA.dat, and Backscatter_SDMA.dat, and a readme file, 00README.txt.

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File Size

The data set is 4750 KB total.

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Spatial Coverage

Data were obtained at the Siple Dome A borehole in Antarctica.

Southernmost Latitude: 81° 39.53' S
Northernmost Latitude: 81° 39.53' S
Westernmost Longitude: 148° 48.72' W
Easternmost Longitude: 148° 48.72' W

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Temporal Coverage

Data were collected during two Antarctic field seasons, from 2000 to 2001 and 2001 to 2002.

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Parameter or Variable

This data set includes raw data from dust logging of the Siple Dome A borehole. Parameters include measurement depth and signal. These data can be used to identify dust and other particles in the ice surrounding the borehole. Data were taken in the Siple Dome A borehole in 2000-01 and 2001-02. The Dust Logger measures the amount of light beamed into the horizon which exits the borehole and returns. Backscatter data from a second instrument with lower resolution are included in the file, Backscatter_SDMA.dat.

Sample Data Record

Depth (meters)

Signal (arb units)



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Software and Tools


The data set is approximately 4700 KB.

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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

Data were taken in the Siple Dome A borehole during two Antarctic field seasons in 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. The dust logger is an optical instrument which detects dust particles and air bubbles by shining a light against the borehole walls and recording the fraction of light that scatters back into the borehole. The logger was lowered into an ice core borehole, which was kept open with an insoluble antifreeze matched to the ice density. Detailed description of the instrument is avilable in Bay, et al., 2001.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments


Dr. Ryan Bay
Physics Department
University of California-Berkeley 
Berkeley, CA 94704


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 0125794.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

10 July, 2009