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The EPICA deep ice cores: first results and perspectives

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Two deep ice cores are being drilled in Antarctica in the frame of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA). The Dome C ice core will provide more information about mechanisms of global climatic changes over several climatic cycles. The DML core, drilled at Kohnen station, will provide a detailed record over the last climatic cycle, which can be compared with Greenland records. The drilling at Dome C reached 3200 m depth during field season 2002/03, and the age of the ice at the bottom of the hole could be 900 000 years according to preliminary estimates. The depth at Kohnen station is 1564.6 m at present, corresponding to an age of about 55 000 years. Analyses along the top parts of both ice cores have provided interesting first results. A few selected results from these parts, mostly published already, are summarized. Only a few measurements are available from the deeper parts of both cores. Dielectric profiling and electrical conductivity measurements, performed in the field, provide continuous and high-resolution records concerning the acidity and the salt concentration of the ice. Continuous flow analyses and Fast Ion Chromatography also provide high-resolution records of several chemical compounds. These records give some clues as to the age scale of the EPICA Dome C ice core, but they also leave us with many open questions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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