2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
A 1,500-meter ice core from South Pole

Program Manager:
Dr. Julie Palais

Event Number: I-164-S
NSF/PLR Award 1142517

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Paul Sullivan

Dr. Eric S Saltzman (Principal Investigator)
http://spicecore.org/External Non U.S. Government Site

University of California Irvine
Earth System Science
Irvine, California

Supporting Stations:  South Pole Station
Research Locations:  Field sites near South Pole Station

Project Description:
The South Pole Ice Core (SPICE Core) project will collect a 1500-meter ice core from a site within five kilometers of the South Pole Station. The ice core will provide an environmental record spanning approximately 40,000 years that will be used to investigate the magnitude and timing of changes in climate and climate forcing through time. The target of 40,000 years includes the transition from the peak of the last glacial period when ice sheets were at their maximum extent, referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), to the present warm period (the Holocene) called an interglacial period. Collecting an ice core from the South Pole will provide researchers with one of the best trace gas records possible due to the very cold temperatures and low impurity levels at the South Pole, both of which enable more accurate measurement of gases that exist at very low concentrations.

Field Season Overview:
This season, researchers will select the drill site location and do some site preparation activities. Actual drilling will not start until the 2014-15 field season.

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs