2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
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2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

A 1,500-meter ice core from South Pole

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Julie Palais

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Leah Street

Principal Investigator

Dr. Murat Aydin

University of California Irvine
Earth System Science
Irvine, California

Project Web Site:
http://spicecore.org/ External Web Site


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


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. The main activities of this season are the shipping of all remaining ice cores (616 meters of core via three cold-deck LC-130 flights from South Pole to McMurdo Station) that are still onsite, disassembly of all remaining drilling and field equipment, including the drill tent, and concomitant shipping of equipment and cargo to the United States.

Field Season Overview

Ten participants will reside at the Elevated Station and will commute daily to the drill site. Using an Intermediate Depth Drill (supplied by I-164-S/IDDO) they will drill from the 738 m point, achieved in 2014-15 season, down to 1500 meters and will collect ice cores. If time allows, drilling and coring may continue to 1600 m. The cores will be flown by LC-130 aircraft to McMurdo Station where they will be housed in either a SAFECORE freezer, or at the Ice Core Transfer Facility, until they are shipped north on the cargo vessel.

Deploying Team Members

  • Murat Aydin (PI)
  • John Fegyveresi
  • Emma Kahle
  • Zachary Meulemans
  • Melinda Nicewonger
  • Shawntel Stapleton
  • Eric Steig (Co-PI)
  • Dominic Winski
  • Nicholas Wipperfurth