ice cores

last weekend i met my roommate’s friend, logan, who’s a scientist who studies climate change. he does this by going to antarctica for months on end, aiding in drilling a hole 3 miles deep into the ice, logging the ice, bringing the ice back to denver, then separating it up for various types of study on the layers.

today, i went to denver to see the whole deal and it was pretty darn amazing. aparently this is one of two facilities of its kind in the world, and while there are hundreds of ice cores, there are only a dozen or so ice cores that have been drilled 2-3 miles deep to the base of the ice sheet (in either greenland or antarctica, mainly) in fact, the ice core they refer to in this NASA article (Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 — GISP2) is source of the “rainbow” ice shown under polarization in the first photo. it was drilled in the early 90’s it’s from 2480 meters down into the ice sheet, or roughly 80,000 to 100,000 years old. they also mention the vostok ice core, which is in the same lab (you can read the labels on the sides of the tubes where they’re stored. i’m still reeling at the age of this ice, the depth it came from, the age of the air, and the entirely different world during which these snowflakes fell. completely unimaginable.

a slideshow of a few is below, but all of them can be seen (some with further explanation) here.

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2 Responses to “ice cores”

  1. 1 Momma July 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Hmmmmmm….I wonder what you are starting to learn now! What an awesome opportunity to experience the wonder.
    I once heard it said that if man made it; the closer you look the uglier it gets. If God made it, the closer you look the more beautiful it becomes. I’m in awe of the beauty. Thank you for sharing and giving me something new and grand to think about. Love you.

  1. 1 liquid lakes « lenticular and hopeful things Trackback on February 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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