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Law Dome Ice Core

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Law Dome, Antarctica
66°44' S, 112°50' E, 1390m above mean annual sea level (M.A.S.L.)

The CO2 and CH4 records presented here are derived from three ice cores obtained at Law Dome, East Antarctica from 1987 to 1993. The Law Dome site satisfies many of the desirable characteristics of an ideal ice core site for atmospheric CO2 reconstructions including negligible melting of the ice sheet surface, low concentrations of impurities, regular stratigraphic layering undisturbed at the surface by wind or at depth by ice flow, and high snow accumulation rate. Further details on the site, drilling, and cores are provided in Etheridge et al. (1996), Etheridge and Wookey (1989), and Morgan et al (1997). Air bubbles were extracted using the "cheese grater" technique. Ice core samples weighing 500-1500 g were prepared by selecting crack-free ice and trimming away the outer 5-20 mm. Each sample was sealed in a polyethylene bag and cooled to -80°C before being placed in the extraction flask where it was evacuated and then ground to fine chips. The released air was dried cryogenically at -100°C and collected cryogenically in electropolished stainless steel "traps", cooled to about -255°C. Further details on the extraction technique can be found in Etheridge et al. (1988 and 1992) and additional information on the ice and air sample handling are provided in Etheridge et al. (1996).


Etheridge, D.M., G.I. Pearman, and F. de Silva. 1988.
Atmospheric trace-gas variations as revealed by air trapped in an ice core from Law Dome, Antarctica.
Ann. Glaciol. 10:28-33.

Etheridge, D.M., and C.W. Wookey. 1989.
Ice core drilling at a high accumulation area of Law Dome, Antarctica.
In Ice Core Drilling, edited by C. Rado and D. Beaudoing, pp. 86-96. Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Ice Core Drilling Technology, Grenoble, France, October 10-14, 1988, CNRS, Grenoble.

Etheridge, D.M., G.I. Pearman, and P.J. Fraser. 1992.
Changes in tropospheric methane between 1841 and 1978 from a high accumulation rate Antarctic ice core. Tellus 44B:282-294.

Etheridge, D.M., L.P. Steele, R.L. Langenfelds, R.J. Francey, J.-M. Barnola, and V.I. Morgan. 1996.
Natural and anthropogenic changes in atmospheric CO2 over the last 1000 years
from air in Antarctic ice and firn.
Journal of Geophysical Research 101:4115-4128.

Etheridge, D. M., Steele, L. P., Francey, R. J., and Langenfelds, R. L. 1998
Atmospheric methane between 1000 A.D. and present: Evidence of anthropogenic emissions and climatic variability
Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 103, No. D13, p. 15,979 (98JD00923)

Hamley, T.C., V.I. Morgan, R.J. Thwaites, and X.Q. Gao. 1986.
An ice-core drilling site at Law Dome summit, Wilkes Land, Antarctica,
Res. Note 37, Aust. Natl. Antarc. Res. Exped., Tasmania.

Langenfelds, R.L., P.J. Fraser, R.J. Francey, L.P. Steele, L.W. Porter, and C.E. Allison, The Cape Grim Air Archive: The first seventeen years, 1978-1995, in Baseline Atmospheric Program Australia, 1994-95, edited by R.J. Francey, et al., pp. 53-70, Bur. of Meteorol. and CSIRO Div. of Atmos. Res., Melbourne, Victoria, 1996.

Levchenko, V. A., Francey, R. J., Etheridge, D. M., Tuniz, C., Head, J., Morgan, V. I., and Jacobsen, G. 1996. The 14C "bomb spike" determines the age spread and age of CO2 in Law Dome firm and ice. Geophysical Research Letters, 23 (23): 3345-3348.

Morgan, V.I., C.W. Wookey, J. Li, T.D. van Ommen, W. Skinner, and M.F. Fitzpatrick. 1997.
Site information and initial results from deep ice drilling on Law Dome.
J. Glaciol. 43:3-10.

Trudinger, C. M., Enting, I. G., Francey, R. J., Etheridge, D. M., and Rayner, P. J. 1999. Long-term variability in the global carbon cycle inferred from a high precision CO2 and d13C ice core record . Tellus, 51 (2): 233-248.

Trudinger, C. M., Enting, I. G., Etheridge, D. M., Francey, R. J., Levchenko, V. A., Steele, L. P., Raynaud, D., and Arnaud, L. 1997. Modeling air movement and bubble trapping in firn. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (D6): 6747-6763.

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