Documentation for Gases in Firn Air and Shallow Ice at the WAIS Drilling Site, Antarctica, Version 1

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in Microsoft Excel (.xls) format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. The data set is composed of one Microsoft Excel file, SaltzmanWAISD05.xls.

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The data set is a total of 36 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

Trace gas data were measured from the WAIS-D 05A ice core, which was drilled at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide site during the 2005-2006 Antarctic field season.

Southernmost Latitude: 79.47° S
Northernmost Latitude: 79.47° S
Westernmost Longitude: 112.09° E
Easternmost Longitude: 112.09° E

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Temporal Coverage

The ice core was drilled during the 2005-2006 Antarctic field season. Measurements were taken during subsequent laboratory experiments.

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Parameter or Variable

The SaltzmanWAISD05.xls file has 19 columns (A through S), the first one of which is the sample depth in meters. The remaining columns are the composition of the air extracted from the ice core samples with respect to each compound and the error (±1sigma) associated with each measurement, both expressed as dry air mixing ratios in parts per trillion (ppt).

Parameter Description

Table 1 describes the parameters in the SaltzmanWAISD05.xls file.

Table 1. Parameters in the SaltzmanWAISD05.xls File
Parameter Description
Depth Sample depth, in meters
C2H6 Ethane
C3H8 Propane
n-C4H10 N-butane
COS Carbonyl sulfide
CS2 Carbon disulfide
CH3Cl Methyl chloride
CH3Br Methyl bromide
CH3CN Acetonitrile
CFC12 Chlorofluorocarbon-12
err Error is +/- 1 standard deviation

Sample Data Record

depth ethane err propane err n-butane err COS err CS2 err CH3Cl err CH3Br err CH3CN err CFC12 err
71.7 1490.0 12.3 793.1 14.3 285.4 4.0 572.1 16.6 11.0 1.4 579.5 24.7 7.4 0.6 14.8 7.5 433.7 10.6
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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using standard spreadsheet software.

Quality Assessment

Mixing ratios could reflect the impact of analytical or sampling artifacts in addition to real temporal variations in atmospheric levels of these trace gases. Based on prior studies (Aydin et al., 2008; Saltzman et al., 2009; Williams et al., 2007), it is expected that Antarctic ice cores in general preserve a real atmospheric record of CH3Cl, CH3Br, COS, CS2, and CFC-12. However, there are no prior published ice core records for any of the other compounds reported here. It is not recommended that the light alkane and CH3CN data be interpreted as paleo-atmospheric gas records.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

The analyses were conducted in a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry system at the University of California, Irvine. Details of the ice extraction and analytical methods can be found in Aydin et al., 2007.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Eric Saltzman
3325 Croul Hall
Department of Earth System Science
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92697 USA


This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) grant 0440602.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

15 July, 2009