An international team of scientists and technical staff under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research has successfully completed the deep ice coring at the Alfred Wegener Institute’s Kohnen Station in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Reaching a depth of 2774 metres, first on-site examinations of the ice core indicate that the ice cored at the deepest 200 metres is very old.
The investigations, carried out as part of the EPICA program (European Program for Ice Coring in Antarctica), were designed to gain detailed information about historic climate. Scientists are expecting the data to enhance the understanding of global climate events significantly. A detailed analysis in home laboratories will generate climate data with a very high temporal resolution in the core’s upper 2400 metres, covering the last glacial cycle. The cores retrieved from greater depths are presumably up to 900,000 years old. Such insights into the distant climate history of the Antarctic facilitate a deeper understanding of the significance of polar regions for global climate events, both in the past and at present.
Deep ice coring projects represent long-term research programs. Exploratory work for EPICA, to determine a suitable drill site in Dronning Maud Land, began in 1996. It included extensive geophysical and glaciological investigations, both from the air and on the ground, in a previously unexplored region of the Antarctic.
Andreas Wohltmann | alfa
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