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Continuous Measurements of Methane Mixing Ratios from Ice Cores : Volume 5, Issue 5 (09/05/2012)

By Stowasser, C.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003999069
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 15
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Continuous Measurements of Methane Mixing Ratios from Ice Cores : Volume 5, Issue 5 (09/05/2012)  
Author: Stowasser, C.
Volume: Vol. 5, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Measurement
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Chappellaz, J., Gkinis, V., Schilt, A., Schüpbach, S., Faïn, X., Stowasser, C.,...Sperlich, P. (2012). Continuous Measurements of Methane Mixing Ratios from Ice Cores : Volume 5, Issue 5 (09/05/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. This work presents a new, field-deployable technique for continuous, high-resolution measurements of methane mixing ratios from ice cores. The technique is based on a continuous flow analysis system, where ice core samples cut along the long axis of an ice core are melted continuously. The past atmospheric air contained in the ice is separated from the melt water stream via a system for continuous gas extraction. The extracted gas is dehumidified and then analyzed by a Wavelength Scanned-Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer for methane mixing ratios. We assess the performance of the new measurement technique in terms of precision (±0.8 ppbv, 1σ), accuracy (±8 ppbv), temporal (ca. 100 s), and spatial resolution (ca. 5 cm). Using a firn air transport model, we compare the resolution of the measurement technique to the resolution of the atmospheric methane signal as preserved in ice cores in Greenland. We conclude that our measurement technique can resolve all climatically relevant variations as preserved in the ice down to an ice depth of at least 1980 m (66 000 yr before present) in the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling ice core. Furthermore, we describe the modifications, which are necessary to make a commercially available spectrometer suitable for continuous methane mixing ratio measurements from ice cores.

Continuous measurements of methane mixing ratios from ice cores

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