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Kilimanjaro Ice Core

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In January and February of 2000, six ice cores were drilled to bedrock on three remnant ice fields on the rim and summit plateau of Kilimanjaro (3°04.6'S; 37°21.2'E; 5893 m above sea level). These cores provide the last opportunity to establish an ice core record of African climate. The three longest cores (NIF1, NIF2, and NIF3) were drilled to depths of 50.9, 50.8, and 49.0 m, respectively, from the Northern Ice Field (NIF), the largest of the ice bodies. Two shorter cores (SIF1 and SIF2) were drilled to bedrock on the Southern Ice Field (SIF) to depths of 18.5 and 22.3 m, respectively, and a 9.5-m core was drilled to bedrock on the small, thin Furtwängler Glacier (FWG) within the crater. Temperatures were measured in each borehole; in the NIF, they ranged from -1.2°C at 10 m depth to -0.4°C at bedrock, and in the SIF, they were near 0°C. No evidence of water was observed in the boreholes on the NIF or SIF, but the FWG was water-saturated throughout.


Thompson, L.G., E. Mosley-Thompson, M.E. Davis, K.A. Henderson, H.H. Brecher, V.S. Zagorodnov, T.A. Mashiotta, P.-N. Lin, V.N. Mikhalenko, D.R. Hardy, and J. Beer
Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa
Science, Volume 298, 5593, 18 October 2002.

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