Continuous flow analysis methods for sodium, magnesium and calcium detection in the Skytrain ice core

Grieman, Mackenzie M.; Hoffmann, Helene M.; Humby, Jack D. ORCID:; Mulvaney, Robert ORCID:; Nehrbass-Ahles, Christoph; Rix, Julius ORCID:; Thomas, Elizabeth R. ORCID:; Tuckwell, Rebecca ORCID:; Wolff, Eric W.. 2022 Continuous flow analysis methods for sodium, magnesium and calcium detection in the Skytrain ice core. Journal of Glaciology, 68 (267). 90-100.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access)
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
continuous-flow-analysis-methods-for-sodium-magnesium-and-calcium-detection-in-the-skytrain-ice-core.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (965kB) | Preview


Dissolved and particulate sodium, magnesium and calcium are analyzed in ice cores to determine past changes in sea ice extent, terrestrial dust variability and atmospheric aerosol transport efficiency. They are also used to date ice cores if annual layers are visible. Multiple methods have been developed to analyze these important compounds in ice cores. Continuous flow analysis (CFA) is implemented with instruments that sample the meltstream continuously. In this study, CFA with ICP-MS (inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry) and fast ion chromatography (FIC) methods are compared for analysis of sodium and magnesium. ICP-MS, FIC and fluorescence methods are compared for analysis of calcium. Respective analysis of a 10 m section of the Antarctic WACSWAIN Skytrain Ice Rise ice core shows that all of the methods result in similar levels of the compounds. The ICP-MS method is the most suitable for analysis of the Skytrain ice core due to its superior precision (relative standard deviation: 1.6% for Na, 1.3% for Mg and 1.2% for Ca) and sampling frequency compared to the FIC method. The fluorescence detection method may be preferred for calcium analysis due to its higher depth resolution (1.4 cm) relative to the ICP-MS and FIC methods (~4 cm).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0022-1430
Additional Keywords: Glaciological instruments and methods, ice core, paleoclimate
Date made live: 02 Aug 2021 14:58 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...