Ash Deposits and Ice
WAIS DIVIDE, ANTARCTICA– Our primary goal here at WAIS Divide is to drill and collect ice cores and get it shipped back to the United States. My job, along with several other core handlers, is to document and inspect the ice for anything interesting and document it so we know at what depth and quality (the presence of cracks, fractures or breaks in the ice) the ice is in when it is collected. Rarely do we see anything other than clear ice with some scratches and cracks but around 1600 m deep we retrieved a core with a visible dark band in it! We think that this layer is a tephra layer, or a volcanic ash deposit!
It is very rare to see such layers with the naked eye in ice cores so we all feel very lucky. Enjoy this video with our ice chemistry expert Dr. Ryan Banta as he explains more about this layer and ice core chemistry.
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