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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!


We think that the dark band in this ice core 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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6 Responses »

  1. Love the video and all the inforamtion.Plus it makes sense and I hope the drilling is a sucess!!Thanks to the team!!

  2. Fascinating explanation Dr. Banta. I eagerly look forward to the publication of the findings of the volcanic layer described.

  3. happy birthday, h.r. ice’n’stuff!

  4. Happy birthday:) Today is Robb’s mom’s B’day also. Have enjoyed your blog. It helps to get an idea of what is going on there. Thanks for the updates. Please give Robb a hug from home.

  5. Heidi! So great to see you on the ice and telling your Ice Stories! We have a project off the coast right now, so I’ll post a note about you on the JOIDES Resolution Facebook page.

    Loved the balloon video!

    Leslie Peart (your friend at Ocean Leadership, formerly known as JOI)

  6. Heidi girl, that was really interesting! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures and the ice cores when you get home. Stay safe. Lot of love to you.
    Pat and Skip