Elemental and Isotopic Composition of Trapped Gases in the Huascaran and Sajama Ice Cores from South America

  • Sowers, Todd Anthony (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Abstract ATM-9618067 Sowers, Todd Pennsylvania State University Title: Element and Isotopic Composition of Trapped Gases in the Huascaran and Sajama Ice Cores from South America A set of very exciting climate records extending into the last glacial period have been developed from the Huascaran ice core from the Peruvian Cordillera. The isotopic temperature record from this core demonstrated that, during the last glacial period, temperatures at Huascaran were colder than today, supporting various other lines of evidence that the tropics were indeed colder during the last glacial period. These findings are consistent with ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica which extend into the last glacial period. The high degree of covariation between all these records during the Glacier termination argues that there are strong teleconnections between these sites which are probably responding to the same (or similar) forcing functions. This award supports measurements of the elements and isotopic composition of the trapped gases in the Huascaran ice core. These records will provide definitive evidence for the existence of glacial-age ice at Huascaran. The gas records will refine the timescale for the Huascaran core to within 500 years of that ascribed to the GISP II ice core from central Greenland. The gas records will also allow the transfer of the Huascaran climate records into a 'common temporal framework.' In addition, leads and lags between all these climate records and many other records covering the last deglaciation can be investigated. The ultimate goal in this research is to gain insight into the mechanisms which caused the Earth to move out of the last glacial period by establishing the sequence of events which led to the deglaciation. Placing the tropical climate events from Huascaran in this sequence will help decipher the nature of the forcing mechanisms responsible for the last termination.

Effective start/end date3/1/972/29/00


  • National Science Foundation: $174,873.00


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