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It must have a suitable freezing point and viscosity.
Collecting the deepest ice cores (up to 3000 m) requires a (semi)permanent scientific camp and a long, multi-year campaign.
Stable isotopes of oxygen (Oxygen [The figure above shows changes in ice temperature during the last several glacial-interglacial cycles and comparison to changes in global ice volume.
The local temperature changes are from two sites in Antarctica and are derived from deuterium isotopic measurements.
For example, melt layers are related to summer temperatures.
It is possible to discern past air temperatures from ice cores.
Other ways of dating ice cores include geochemisty, layers of ash (tephra), electrical conductivity, and using numerical flow models to understand age-depth relationships.
This 19 cm long of GISP2 ice core from 1855 m depth shows annual layers in the ice.
Past precipitation rates are an important palaeoenvironmental indicator, often correlated to climate change, and it’s an essential parameter for many past climate studies or numerical glacier simulations.
Ice cores provide us with lots of information beyond bubbles of gas in the ice.