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Direct observation of salts as micro-inclusions in the Greenland GRIP ice core

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We provide the first direct evidence that a number of water-soluble compounds, in particular calcium sulfate (CaSO4·2H2O) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), are present as solid, micron-sized inclusions within the Greenland GRIP ice core. The compounds are detected by two independent methods: micro-Raman spectroscopy of a solid ice sample, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of individual inclusions remaining after sublimation. CaSO4·2H2O is found in abundance throughout the Holocene and the last glacial period, while CaCO3 exists mainly in the glacial period ice. We also present size and spatial distributions of the micro-inclusions. These results suggest that water-soluble aerosols in the GRIP ice core are dependable proxies for past atmospheric conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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