In search of in-situ radiocarbon in Law Dome ice and firn

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Results of AMS radiocarbon measurements on CO and CO2 separated from firn air directly pumped from the ice sheet, and on CO2 separated from air extracted from ice cores by a dry grating technique, are presented. The firn air samples and ice cores used in this study were collected from the region of Law Dome, Antarctica. No evidence of in-situ 14CO2 was found in the firn air samples or the ice core air samples from one site although a slight enhancement of 14CO above expected polar atmospheric concentrations was observed for some firn air samples. A clear in-situ 14CO2 signal for ice pre-dating the radiocarbon bomb pulse was found, however, in air samples extracted from an ice core from a second site. We compare these results and propose an hypothesis to explain this apparent contradiction. The degree to which in-situ 14C is released from the ice crystals during trapping and bubble formation is considered and discussed. The selectivity of the dry grating technique for the extraction of trapped atmospheric gases from ice cores is also discussed and compared with other methods. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V
Carbon 14, Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Ice, Antarctica, Antarctic regions, Mass spectroscopy
Smith, A. M., Levchenko, V. A., Etheridge, D. M., Lowe, D. C., Hua, Q., Trudinger, C. M., Zoppi, U. & Elcheikh, A. (2000). In search of in-situ radiocarbon in Law Dome ice and firn. Presented at the 8th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS-8), 6-10 September, Vienna, Austria 1999. In Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 172(1-4), 610-622. doi:10.1016/S0168-583X(00)00280-9