An Antarctic NO3 isotope record spanning the last millenium

Nitrate is a major contaminant of modern groundwater and terrestrial ecosystems. It is also involved in the generation and destruction of nitrogen bearing greenhouse gasses. In order to assess how nitrate is cycled in the Earth surface environment, as well as in recent Earth history , it requires the generation of pristine records that record behavior of the nitrogen cycle. This project is unique in that it entails generating a 1000-year record of the isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen trapped in an ice core recovered from East Antarctic. This data will provide a high-resolution record (biannual) of nitrate cycling in the surface environment that will serve as a baseline for understanding the coupling between climate and the nitrogen cycle.

Peter Crockford
Faculty Supervisor: 
Galen Halverson
Partner University: