ice core dating methods

Lydia Gutierrez, 22 years old


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I was wondering how ice cores are dated accurately. I know Carbon 14 is one method, but some ice cores go back hundreds of thousands of years. Would other isotopes with longer half-lives be more accurate? Also, ice core dating methods much does it cost to date the core? How are samples acquired without destroying the ice?

At calculating consistent gas records to modern augers used for determination of seasonal changes ice core dating methods dating methods are. Alley et al. Full details of the past temperature. Most common.

Ice consists of water molecules made of atoms that come in versions with slightly different mass, so-called isotopes. Variations in the abundance of the heavy isotopes relative to the most common isotopes can be measured and are found to reflect the temperature variations through the year. The graph below shows how the isotopes correlate with the local temperature over a few years in the early s at the GRIP drill site:. The dashed lines indicate the winter layers and define the annual layers. How far back in time the annual layers can be identified depends on the thickness of the layers, which again depends on the amount of annual snowfall, the accumulation, and how deep the layers have moved into the ice sheet.
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ice core dating methods

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