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Ice cores from Arctic sub-polar glaciers: chronology and post-depositional processes deduced from radioactivity measurements



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Jean Francis Pinglot, Rein A. Vaikmäe, Kokichi Kamiyama, Makoto Igarashi, Diedrich Fritzsche, Frank Wilhelms, Roy Koerner, Lori Henderson, Elisabeth Isaksson, Jan-Gunnar Winther, Roderik S. W. van de Wal, Marc Fournier, Patrick Bouisset and Harro A. J. Meijer

Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 49 2003 No. 164, 149–158

Type de document > *Article de revue

Mots clés > méthode de mesure, radioactivité

Unité de recherche > IRSN/DEI/STEME/LMRE

Auteurs > BOUISSET Patrick, FOURNIER Marc

Date de publication > 25/12/2003


The response of arctic ice masses to climate change is studied using ice cores containing information on past climatic and environmental features. Interpretation of this information requires accurate chronological data. Absolute dating of ice cores from sub-pola Arctic glaciers is possible using well known radioactive layers deposited by atmospheric nuclear tests (maximum fallout in 1963) and the Chernobyl accident (1986). Analysis of several isotopes (3H, 137Cs) shows that 3H provides the most accurate dating of 1963 maximum as dedicated also in comparison with results from total beta measurements (90Sr and 137Sr). Mean annual net mass balances are derived from the dated ice cores from 1963 up to the date of the drillings. The 137Cs and 3H deposited by nuclear tests, after decay correction, are used to define a melt index for all 13 ice cores studied. The relative strengh of melting and percolation post-depositionnal processes is studied on the basis of the 137Cs and 3H deposits.