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Acidity of Polar Ice Cores in Relation to Absolute Dating, Past Volcanism, and Radio–Echoes

  • C. U. Hammer (a1)
Abstract

A simple method is described for detecting annual stratification of ice cores, and layers of high acidity due to violent volcanic eruptions in the past. The method is based on a relationship between the H3O+ concentration (pH) of melted samples and the electrical current between two brass electrodes moved along the cleaned ice-core surface. The “conductivity” is explained in terms of the initial current in the build-up of space charges. Acidity and current profiles are shown through layers deposited soon after historically well-known volcanic eruptions, such as Katmai, a.d. 1912, Tambora, a.d. 1815, Laki, a.d. 1783, Hekla, a.d. 1104, and Thera (Santorin) c. 1400 b.c. High-acidity layers seem to be the cause for the internal radio-echo layers in polar ice sheets.

Résumé

On décrit une méthode simple pour repérer la stratification annuelle des carottes de glace et les niveaux de forte acidité dûs à de violentes éruptions volcaniques dans le passé. La méthode est basée sur un relation entre la concentration en H3O+ (le pH) d'échantillons fondus et le courant électrique entre deux électrodes déplacées le long d’une surface nettoyée de la carotte de glace. La “conductivité” est expliquée par l’action du courant initial pour l'édification de charges dans l'espace. On montre les profils d'acidité et de courant à travers les niveaux déposés peu après des éruptions volcaniques historiquement bien connues telles que celles de katmai a.d. 1912, Tambora a.d. 1815, Laki a.d. 1783, Hekla a.d. 1104, et Théra (Santorin) c. 1400 av. J. C. Des niveaux de haute acidité semblent être la cause d'écho–radios internes dans les calottes de glace polaire.

Zusammenfassung

Zur Feststellung der Jahresschichten in Eiskernen und von Schichten hohen Säuregehaltes infolge heftiger Vulkanausbrüche in der Vergangenheit wird eine einfache Methode angegeben. Sie beruht auf der Beziehung zwischen der H3O+-Konzentration (pH) geschmolzener Proben und dem elektrischen Strom zwischen zwei Messing-Elektroden, die längs der gereinigten Oberfläche des Eiskerns verschoben werden. Die “Leitfähigkeit” wird durch den Anfangsstrom beim Auf bau räumlicher Ladungen ausgedrückt. Säuregehalt und fortlaufende Profile lassen sich in Schichten zeigen, die bald nach historisch wohlbekannten Vulkanausbrüchen wie Katmai 1912, Tambora 1815, Laki 1783, Hekla 1104 und Thera (Santorin) c. 1400 v.Chr. abgelagert wurden. Schichten mit hohem Säuregehalt scheinen die Ursache für innere Radar-Echos in polaren Eisschilden zu sein.

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References
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