In order to establish a chronology of two nearby ice cores from a glacier at Illimani (6438 m), Bolivia, a broad dating approach is presented here, which in particular makes use of the fast, simple, and nearly nondestructive electrical conductivity method (ECM) that provides a highly resolved record. Thus, ECM is suited for counting annual layers in the ice, especially for ice cores extracted from high-mountain glaciers with a fast layer thinning. Furthermore, ECM can be used for detecting volcanic signals. Annual signals in the ECM record of the Illimani ice core were identified using the 1964 A.D. tritium reference horizon and were counted along 125 m or 90% of the core, representing the time period from 1200 ± 240 A.D. (estimated accumulated error) to 1999 A.D. The resulting age-depth relationship was supported by counting annual peaks in the microparticle record as well as by nuclear dating using the decay of 210Pb. The identification of volcanic signals originating from eruptions such as Pinatubo (1991 A.D.), El Chichón (1982 A.D.), Agung (1963 A.D.), Krakatoa (1883 A.D.), Tambora (1815 A.D.), and the Unknown 1258 A.D. significantly reduced the uncertainty of annual layer counting (ALC) to ±2 years in the vicinity of these events.
Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres)
- Pub Date:
- March 2003
- Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Volcanic effects (8409);
- Hydrology: Glaciology (1863);
- Hydrology: Snow and ice (1827);
- Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics: Paleoclimatology