Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-369
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-369

  23 Dec 2020

23 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Two-dimensional impurity imaging in deep Antarctic ice cores: Snapshots of three climatic periods and implications for high-resolution signal interpretation

Pascal Bohleber1, Marco Roman1, Martin Šala2, Barbara Delmonte3, Barbara Stenni1, and Carlo Barbante1,4 Pascal Bohleber et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Italy
  • 2Department of Analytical Chemistry, National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 3Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milano, Italy
  • 4Institute of Polar Sciences, CNR, Venice, Italy

Abstract. Due to its micron-scale resolution and micro-destructiveness, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is especially suited for exploring closely spaced layers in the oldest and highly thinned sections of polar ice cores. Recent adaptions of the LA-ICP-MS technique have achieved fast washout times as the basis for introducing state-of-the-art 2D imaging to ice core analysis. This new method has great potential in its application for investigating the localization of impurities on the ice sample, crucial to avoid misinterpretation of ultra-fine resolution signals. Here first results are presented from applying LA-ICP-MS elemental imaging to selected glacial and interglacial samples of the Talos Dome and EPICA Dome C ice cores from central Antarctica. The localization of impurities with both marine and terrestrial sources is discussed, revealing generally a strong connection with the network of grain boundaries but also distinct differences among climatic periods. Scale-dependent image analysis shows that the spatial significance of a single line profile along the main core axis increases systematically as the imprint of grain boundaries weakens. With this, it is demonstrated how instrumental settings can be adapted specifically fit-for-purpose, i.e. either to employ LA-ICP-MS to study the impurity-microstructure interplay or to investigate highly thinned climate proxy signals in deep polar ice.

Pascal Bohleber et al.

 
Status: open (extended)
Status: open (extended)
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Pascal Bohleber et al.

Pascal Bohleber et al.

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Short summary
Laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) offers micro-destructive, micron-scale impurity analysis of ice cores. For an improved understanding of the LA-ICP-MS signals, novel 2D impurity imaging is applied to selected glacial and interglacial samples of Antarctic deep ice cores. This allows to evaluate the 2D impurity distribution in relation to ice crystal features and to assess implications for investigating highly thinned climate proxy signals in deep polar ice.