NFYK14025U Ice Core Glaciology
MSc Programme in Physics
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
The course focuses on the interpretation of ice core records,
especially how to extract information on the climate of the past
from ice cores drilled on a dynamic ice sheet. The course aims at
providing the tools for understanding the ice core data, i.e. how
to create time scales for the ice cores and how to model the
evolution of ice sheets in response to climate change. There will
be a special focus on the interpretation of Greenland water stable
isotope records and borehole temperature records, and how to
extract past temperature conditions and the ice sheet evolution
from these records.
The course is based on lectures and computer experiments where the students will use MATLAB for creating models of ice sheet evolution, ice sheet time scales and ice sheet temperatures. The course will cover the following subjects:
- Ice core time scales based on steady-state flow models.
- Stable water isotopes and their climatic interpretation, Rayleigh modeling of isotopic fractionation.
- Non-steady state ice flow modeling, taking into account changes in precipitation and ice sheet evolution.
- Densification of snow to ice.
- Temperatures in ice sheets, the roles of advective and diffusive processes.
- The ability to make simple ice sheet flow models.
- The ability to create modeled steady-state and non-steady state ice core time scales
- The ability to model and interpret temperature profiles in ice sheets.
- The ability to make simple models of stable isotopes in the
water cycle and interpret ice core stable isotope profiles.
- The ability to correct detailed ice core stable isotope profiles for the diffusion observed in the snow and firn.
- Knowledge of the climatic evolution during the past glacial and present inter glacial.
- An understanding of the atmospheric fractionation processes and firn diffusive processes responsible for the climatic signals in ice core stable isotope profiles.
- An understanding of densification process involved in the compaction of snow to ice.
- Knowledge of the advective and diffusive processes involved ice sheet temperatures
- Ability to critically read technical scientific papers and both implement and improve upon models and techniques described in such papers.
- Ability to use the MATLAB software for ice core data analysis and for implementing various numerical models.
Lecture notes and selected research papers
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- Course Preparation
- Practical exercises
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment, 48 hours48 hours take-home-project.
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Several internal examiners
30 minutes oral exam with 30 minutes preparation. All aids allowed. Internal censorship, graded according to the 7-point grading scale.
Criteria for exam assesment
see learning outcome