An improved continuous flow analysis system for high-resolution field measurements on ice cores

Continuous flow analysis (CFA) is a well-established method to obtain information about impurity contents in ice cores as indicators of past changes in the climate system. A section of an ice core is continuously melted on a melter head supplying a sample water flow which is analyzed online. This provides high depth and time resolution of the ice core records and very efficient sample decontamination as only the inner part of the ice sample is analyzed. Here we present an improved CFA system which has been totally redesigned in view of a significantly enhanced overall efficiency and flexibility, signal quality, compactness, and ease of use. These are critical requirements especially for operations of CFA during field campaigns, e.g., in Antarctica or Greenland. Furthermore,a novel device to measure the total air content in the ice was developed. Subsequently, the air bubbles are now extracted continuously from the sample water flow for subsequent gas measurements.


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Authors: Kaufmann, Patrik R., Federer, Urs, Hutterli, Manuel A., Bigler, Matthias, Schüpbach, Simon, Ruth, Urs, Schmitt, Jochen, Stocker, Thomas F.

1 January, 2008
Environmental Science & Technology / 42
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