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Data Set ID:

WAISCORES Snow Pit Chemistry, Antarctica, Version 1

This data set is part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet cores (WAISCORES) project, an NSF-funded project to understand the influence of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on climate and sea level change. WAISCORES researchers acquired and analyzed snow pit and core samples from the Siple Dome, in the Siple Coast region, West Antarctica.

This data set includes glaciochemical spatial variability data for Siple Dome snow pits B, E, F, G, H, and 1 through 6. Samples were analyzed for soluble ion content via suppressed ion chromatography. Each pit was sampled at 2 cm resolution for ion chemistry using clean procedures, and sampled again at 3 cm resolution for density calculations. Snow pit names and locations correspond to the 1996 to 1997 season shallow core sites.

Data in this collection were obtained during two Antarctic field seasons in 1994 to 1995 and 1996 to 1997. Data are available via FTP in space-delimited ASCII text (.dat) file format.

Geographic Coverage

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -81.05, S: -81.65, E: -148.51, W: -149.11

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 November 1996 to 28 February 1997
  • 1 November 1994 to 28 February 1995
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
  • Ice Core Records > Isotopes
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Density
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Chemistry
  • Water Quality/Water Chemistry > Stable Isotopes
Sensor(s): Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Karl Kreutz, Paul Mayewski

Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Kreutz, K. and P. A. Mayewski. 2002. WAISCORES Snow Pit Chemistry, Antarctica, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description


Data are available as space-delimited ASCII text files (.dat).

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. Table 1 lists the files in this directory:

Table 1. Files in the /AGDC/waiscores/kreutz/ directory
File Name Description
Density calculations for snow pits, 1994
Density calculations for snow pits, 1996
Chemistry concentration for snow pits, 1994
Chemistry concentration for snow pits, 1996
Chemistry measurements for snow pits, 1994
Chemistry measurements for snow pits, 1996
Stable isotope measurements for snow pits, 1994
snowpitmeta.html Notes related to the data set, available as an HTML file
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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention:



Table 2. File Naming Convention
Variable Description
YY 2-digit year, 94 or 96
x Site location, Snow Pit 1-6 or B, E, F, G, H
measurementname Measurement type:
  • Density
  • Isotopes
  • ppb
  • ueq
.dat File extension
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File Size

The data set contains 37 files ranging in size from 1 KB to 39 KB.

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The total volume of the data set is 480 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

Southernmost Latitude: 81.65°S
Northernmost Latitude: 81.05°S
Westernmost Longitude: 149.11°W
Easternmost Longitude: 148.51°W

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Temporal Coverage

Data were obtained during two Antarctic field seasons (November to February) in 1994 to 1995 and 1996 to 1997.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameters include density in grams per cubic centimenter (g/cc), chemistry in microequivalents (ueq) and parts per billion (ppb), and stable isotope ratios in δD (dD) and δ18O (d18O). Measurements for both the sea salt concentration (ss) and the non-sea salt concentration (nss) of isoions are also included within the chemistry.

Parameter Description

Snow pit data files include density, chemistry, and stable isotope measurements for snow pits at Siple Dome summit. Table 3 provides details on the files and parameters.

Table 3. Snow Pit Data Files and Parameters
Parameter Description
Snow Pit Densities
Snow Pit density File containing sample ID, depth, and weight measurements and density calculations for samples with a 3 cm resolution
Isoions Files containing sample ID, measurement depth, and ion concentration in parts per billion (ppb) and microequivalents (ueq) for the following ions with a 2 cm resolution:
  • Na+ **
  • NH4+
  • K+ **
  • Mg+ **
  • Ca2+ **
  • Cl- **
  • NO3-
  • SO42- **
  • MSA (methanesulfonic acid)
  • Br-
**: Includes concentrations of sea salt (ss) and non-sea salt (nss). SO42- also includes concentrations of excess (xs).
Stable Isotopes
Stable Isotopes File containing sample ID, sample depth, and stable isotope ratios in δD (dD) and δ18O (d18O)

Sample Data Records

Below are two full sample records from the Snow Pit Density and Stable Isotopes data files, and two partial sample records from the Isoions data files. For the partial sample records, the first four columns and last four columns of the data files are shown, and only the first four data records are shown.

Snow Pit Density:

Sample Depth (m) Weight (gm) Density (g/cc)
1 0.04 6 0.06
2 0.07 14 0.14
3 0.11 23 0.23
4 0.15 27.5 0.28


Sample Depth (m) Na (ppb) ssNa (ppb) ... nssSO4 (ppb) xsSO4 (ppb) MSA (ppb) Br (ppb)
1 0 38.13 33.39 ... 84.83 89.4 12.07 37
2 0.02 97.32 74.49 ... 95.31 104.27 28.03 454
3 0.04 66.99 66.62 ... 57.9 67.91 11.55 121
4 0.06 102.4 95.95 ... 35.72 49.55 14.06 33

Sample Depth (m) Na (ueq) ssNa (ueq) ... NO3 (ueq) SO4 (ueq) xsSO4 (ueq) MSA (ueq)
1 0 1.64 1.45 ... 1.27 1.96 1.88 0.13
2 0.02 4.18 3.24 ... 1.35 2.39 2.19 0.29
3 0.04 2.88 2.9 ... 1.04 1.57 1.43 0.12
4 0.06 4.4 4.17 ... 0.64 1.26 1.04 0.15

Stable Isotopes:

Sample Depth (cm) dD d18O
4 6 -197.34107 -25.92
5 8 -211.82267 -27.73
6 10 -231.79366 -29.92
7 12 -258.96694 -34.1
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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using standard spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Snow pit and core samples (1 to 4 m deep) were collected at five snow pits on a 10 km by 10 km surveyed grid centered on the Siple Dome summit during the 1994 to 1995 season and at four 2 m snow pits on a transect from 30 km north to 30 km south of the ice divide during the 1996 to 1997 season. Samples were analyzed at high resolution for stable isotopes (δ18O, δD), major ions (Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg+, Ca2+, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, MSA), and density calculations. Workers used nonparticulating suits, polyethylene gloves, and particle masks to collect all snow pit and core samples without chemical contamination. Concentrations of major ions were measured via suppressed ion chromatography.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Karl Kreutz
Climate Change Institute
236 Sawyer Environmental Research Center
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469

Dr. Paul Mayewski
Climate Change Institute
133 Sawyer Environmental Research Center
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 9526449.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

12 August 2009

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