text-only page produced automatically by Usablenet Assistive Skip all navigation and go to page content Skip top navigation and go to directorate navigation Skip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
design element
Search Awards
Recent Awards
Presidential and Honorary Awards
About Awards
Grant Policy Manual
Grant General Conditions
Cooperative Agreement Conditions
Special Conditions
Federal Demonstration Partnership
Policy Office Website

Award Abstract #0838936

Collaborative Research: A "Horizontal Ice Core" for Large-Volume Samples of the Past Atmosphere, Taylor Glacier, Antarctica

Division Of Polar Programs
divider line
Initial Amendment Date: June 19, 2009
divider line
Latest Amendment Date: February 6, 2012
divider line
Award Number: 0838936
divider line
Award Instrument: Standard Grant
divider line
Program Manager: Julie Palais
PLR Division Of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
divider line
Start Date: July 1, 2009
divider line
End Date: June 30, 2013 (Estimated)
divider line
Awarded Amount to Date: $294,755.00
divider line
ARRA Amount: $294,755.00
divider line
Investigator(s): Edward Brook brooke@geo.oregonstate.edu (Principal Investigator)
divider line
Sponsor: Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-8507 (541)737-4933
divider line
divider line
Program Reference Code(s): 0000, 6890, OTHR
divider line
Program Element Code(s): 5116


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

This award supports a project to develop a precise gas-based chronology for an archive of large-volume samples of the ancient atmosphere, which would enable ultra-trace gas measurements that are currently precluded by sample size limitations of ice cores. The intellectual merit of the proposed work is that it will provide a critical test of the "clathrate hypothesis" that methane clathrates contributed to the two abrupt atmospheric methane concentration increases during the last deglaciation 15 and 11 kyr ago. This approach employs large volumes of ice (>1 ton) to measure carbon-14 on past atmospheric methane across the abrupt events. Carbon-14 is an ideal discriminator of fossil sources of methane to the atmosphere, because most methane sources (e.g., wetlands, termites, biomass burning) are rich in carbon-14, whereas clathrates and other fossil sources are devoid of carbon-14. The proposed work is a logical extension to Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, of an approach pioneered at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet over the past 7 years. The Greenland work found higher-than-expected carbon-14 values, likely due in part to contaminants stemming from the high impurity content of Greenland ice and the interaction of the ice with sediments from the glacier bed. The data also pointed to the possibility of a previously unknown process, in-situ cosmogenic production of carbon-14 methane (radiomethane) in the ice matrix. Antarctic ice in Taylor Glacier is orders of magnitude cleaner than the ice at the Greenland site, and is much colder and less stratigraphically disturbed, offering the potential for a clear resolution of this puzzle and a definitive test of the cosmogenic radiomethane hypothesis. Even if cosmogenic radiomethane in ice is found, it still may be possible to reconstruct atmospheric radiomethane with a correction enabled by a detailed understanding of the process, which will be sought by co-measuring carbon-14 in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The broader impacts of the proposed work are that the clathrate test may shed light on the stability of the clathrate reservoir and its potential for climate feedbacks under human-induced warming. Development of Taylor Glacier as a "horizontal ice core" would provide a community resource for other researchers. Education of one postdoc, one graduate student, and one undergraduate, would add to human resources. This award has field work in Antarctica.


Thomas Bauska, Daniel Baggenstos,
Edward J. Brook, Jeffrey P.
Severinghaus, Alan Mix, Vasillii V.
Petrenko, Hinrich Schaefer and James
E. Lee.. "A new high-precision, high-resolution
record of the δ13C of atmospheric
CO2 from the Taylor Glacier horizontal
ice core", 07/01/2011-06/30/2012, "Abstracts for 2012 SCAR Science Meeting",  2012, "Forthcoming".


Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.



Print this page
Back to Top of page
Research.gov  |  USA.gov  |  National Science Board  |  Recovery Act  |  Budget and Performance  |  Annual Financial Report
Web Policies and Important Links  |  Privacy  |  FOIA  |  NO FEAR Act  |  Inspector General  |  Webmaster Contact  |  Site Map
National Science Foundation Logo
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749
  Text Only Version