Investigation of the Stratigraphy and Time Scale of the WAIS Divide Ice Core Using Electrical Methods

Affiliation(s)PIProject periodFunded by
DHS Taylor, Kendrick C 07/15/2005 - 06/30/2010 National Science Foundation

Project Description

The U.S. ice coring community is proposing a deep ice coring effort, referred to as the West Antarctica Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide program, on the ice divide upstream of Byrd Station. The WAIS Divide core will have individually recognizable and discreet annual layers that are ~1cm thick in ice that is 40,000 years old. An accurate and well-documented timescale and a continuous robust search for abnormal stratigraphy are essential for the WAIS Divide program to be successful. The proposed project will develop an annually resolved timescale for the last ~40,000 years of the WAIS Divide core incorporating all relevant information. This includes information provided by other investigators and electrical measurements made as part of this project. A computer algorithm will be used to ensure that annual layers are interpreted in a consistent, rigorous, and well-documented manner. A new instrument will be developed to make electrical measurements that also can produce two-dimensional images of the stratigraphy in a vertical plane through the ice core. Sections of the core with abnormal stratigraphy will be identified. The timescale developed by this project and ice flow information developed by other groups will be used to develop a record of how ice accumulation has varied over time. This is an important indicator of climate conditions and will contribute to a joint climate interpretation of all records from the WAIS Divide core.