Chemical compositions of solid particles present in the Greenland NEEM ice core over the last 110,000 years

Oyabu, Ikumi; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Fischer, Hubertus; Schüpbach, Simon; Gfeller, Gideon; Svensson, Anders; Fukui, Manabu; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Hansson, Margareta (2015). Chemical compositions of solid particles present in the Greenland NEEM ice core over the last 110,000 years. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(18), pp. 9789-9813. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/2015JD023290

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This study reports the chemical composition of particles present along Greenland’s North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core, back to 110,000 years before present. Insoluble and soluble particles larger than 0.45
μm were extracted from the ice core by ice sublimation, and their chemical
composition was analyzed using scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. We show that the dominant insoluble components are silicates, whereas NaCl, Na₂SO₄, CaSO
₄, and CaCO₃ represent major soluble salts. For the first time, particles of CaMg(CO₃)₂ and Ca(NO₃)₂ 4H₂O are identified in a Greenland ice core. The chemical speciation of salts varies with past climatic conditions. Whereas the fraction of Na salts (NaCl + Na₂SO₄) exceeds that of Ca salts (CaSO₄+ CaCO₃)
during the Holocene (0.6–11.7 kyr B.P.), the two fractions are similar during the Bølling-Allerød period (12.9–14.6 kyr B.P.). During cold climate such as over the Younger Dryas (12.0–12.6 kyr B.P.) and the Last Glacial Maximum (15.0–26.9 kyr B.P.), the fraction of Ca salts exceeds that of Na salts, showing that the most abundant ion generally controls the salt budget in each period. High-resolution analyses reveal changing particle compositions: those in Holocene ice show seasonal changes, and those in LGM ice show a difference
between cloudy bands and clear layers, which again can be largely explained by the availability of ionic components in the atmospheric aerosol body of air masses reaching Greenland.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Fischer, Hubertus; Schüpbach, Simon and Gfeller, Gideon


500 Science > 530 Physics




American Geophysical Union




Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2015 14:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:49

Publisher DOI:





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