Data Set ID:

Mt. Moulton Ice Trench Mass Spectrometry Data, Antarctica, Version 1

This data set contains measurments from co-registered samples from a horizontal trench in the Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area (BIA) in Antarctica. All 3795 co-registered samples were analyzed for their soluble major anion content by Ion Chromatography (IC) and for trace elements by inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry .

The data are available via FTP in Microsoft Excel format (.xls) and Microsoft Word document (.doc).

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Ice Core Records > ICE CORE RECORDS
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > ICE SHEETS
  • Ice Core Records > Ions > IONS
  • Snow/Ice > SNOW/ICE
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Chemistry > SNOW/ICE CHEMISTRY
Data Format(s):
  • Excel
Spatial Coverage:
N: -75.7, 
S: -76.43, 
E: -134.7, 
W: -137.7
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 November 2003 to 30 January 2004
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Paul Mayewski, Elena Korotkikh

Geographic Coverage

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

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in Microsoft Excel format (.xls) and Microsoft Word document (.doc).

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory.

Table 1. Directory Description
Directory Description
Moulton_chemistry_short.xls Major ion analyses (IC)
Mt. Moulton.doc Microsoft Office Word document
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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention and as described in Table 2:



Table 2. File Naming Convention
Variable Description

Name of ice core:

Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area Ice Trench


Major ion analyses (IC)


Microsoft Excel file extension

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File Size

Files range in size from 40 KB to 1.2 MB.

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The total volume of this data set is 1.24 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area, Antarctica

Southernmost Latitude: 76.06°S
Northernmost Latitude: 76.06°S
Westernmost Longitude: 134.7°W
Easternmost Longitude: 134.7°W

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Parameter or Variable

Parameters include anion and trace elements as listed in Table 3.

Parameter Description

Table 3. Parameter Description
Parameter Description
Distance along trench A  in meters
Age k.a. BP
Cl- chlorine
NO3- nitrate
SO42- sulfate
Na sodium
Mg magnesium
Ca calcium
Sr strontium
Cd cadmium
Cs cesium
Ba barium
La lathanum
Ce cerium
Pr praseodymium
Pb lead
Bi bismuth
U uranium
As arsenic
Al aluminium
S sulfer
Ti titanium
V vanadium
Cr chromium
Mn manganese
Fe iron
Co cobalt
Cu copper
Zn zinc

Sample Data Record

Sample data record from Moulton_chemistry_short.xls. This sample shows only the first eight records in the file.

Distance along trench A  Age  Cl-  NO3-  SO42- Sr Ba La Ce Pr Al Ca Ti V Mn Fe Co Na
meters ka B.P. ug/L ug/L ug/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ug/L ug/L ng/L ng/L ng/L ug/L ng/L ug/L
203.088 107.227 100.67 13.27 82.49 44.96 51.68 1.77 3.83 0.35 5.62 10.87 371.32 6.70 247.67 43.67 10.65 78.26
203.097 107.236 42.13 7.86 75.94 20.43 8.14 0.29 0.60 0.04 0.78 2.79 46.60 1.11 33.95 1.36 0.91 22.16
203.107 107.244 39.82 7.66 62.10 10.71 4.67 0.17 0.28 0.01 0.44 1.74 20.56 0.78 18.66 0.32 0.31 12.55
203.117 107.253 39.00 6.97 55.94 7.35 4.68 0.18 0.24 0.00 1.46 1.07 16.24 0.57 14.35 0.26 0.26 9.52
203.127 107.261 44.63 7.02 62.50 14.21 5.62 0.19 0.30 0.01 0.46 1.63 15.23 0.72 18.55 0.37 0.22 13.29
203.137 107.270 49.24 6.66 78.02 21.51 5.29 0.43 0.78 0.06 0.44 2.95 24.10 0.81 33.04 0.43 0.35 22.79
203.147 107.278 54.72 6.22 99.26 30.77 10.05 0.59 1.16 0.09 0.84 4.84 26.10 1.55 38.53 1.13 0.98 44.30
203.157 107.287 58.48 5.95 99.38 29.55 5.57 0.44 0.81 0.06 0.59 3.56 23.05 1.06 26.59 0.54 0.64 50.76
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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area (BIA) is located in the Flood Range of Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica at an elevation of 2820 masl. It is the first ice record of the last interglacial and transition to the subsequent glacial period from West Antarctica (Korotkikh et al., in review) and the first constrained by 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dates from englacial tephra layers (Dunbar et al., 2008). Rather than using a standard vertical ice core, investigators used samples collected by N. Dunbar, W. McIntosh and G. Zielinski from a horizontal trench in the Mt. Moulton Blue Ice Area (BIA). The record is high resolution (~6-8 years per sample) and contains a suite of 28 measurements, including major anions, trace elements and water hydrogen isotopes. 

Forty-two meters of the Mt. Moulton ice trench were melted using the University of Maine continuous melting system at a sample resolution of ~0.8-1cm. There are three gaps in the melted section totaling 1.62m. Each block of ice (~50 cm length) extracted from the horizontal trench was cut into 3.5 x 3.5 centimeter sections. The ends of each ice block were scraped using a clean ceramic knife before melting to prevent contamination. Samples were collected from the inner and outer parts of the samples. To avoid contamination only the inner portion of each sample was used for major anion and trace element analysis. The meltwater from the potentially contaminated outer part was collected for stable isotope analysis. 

All 3795 co-registered samples were analyzed for their soluble major anion content (Cl-, NO3-, SO42-) by ion chromatography (IC) and for trace elements (Na, Mg, Ca, Sr, Cd, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Pb, Bi, U, As, Al, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn) by inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Major anions were analyzed on a Dionex DX-500 ion chromatograph coupled to a Gilson autosampler, and concentrations are reported in ug/L (ppb). Trace elements analyses were performed with the University of Maine Thermo Electron Element2 ICP-MS coupled to a Cetac Model ASX- 260 autosampler. Isotopes were measured in low and medium resolution (GIVE range ppt-ppq). The ICP-MS samples were acidified to 1% with double-distilled HN03 under a class-100 High Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) clean bench and allowed to react with the acid for approximately 1 week before being frozen. Approximately every fifth sample (713 total) was analyzed for dD by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) using a Micromass Isoprime mass spectrometer. Data are reported in delta (d) notation relative to standard mean ocean water (SMOW).

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Paul A Mayewski
Climate Change Institute
Global Science Center, University of Maine
Orono, ME, USA 

Elena Korotkikh
Climate Change Institute
Global Science Center, University of Maine
Orono, ME, USA


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 0636506.

Document Information


August 2010

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