Articles | Volume 19, issue 2
Research article
 | Highlight paper
21 Feb 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 21 Feb 2023

Non-spherical microparticle shape in Antarctica during the last glacial period affects dust volume-related metrics

Aaron Chesler, Dominic Winski, Karl Kreutz, Bess Koffman, Erich Osterberg, David Ferris, Zayta Thundercloud, Joseph Mohan, Jihong Cole-Dai, Mark Wells, Michael Handley, Aaron Putnam, Katherine Anderson, and Natalie Harmon


Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2022-36', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Jun 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Aaron Chesler, 19 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2022-36', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Aaron Chesler, 19 Aug 2022

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (19 Aug 2022) by Denis-Didier Rousseau
AR by Ariane Baumbach on behalf of the Authors (03 Oct 2022)  Author's response
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (05 Oct 2022) by Denis-Didier Rousseau
RR by Anonymous Referee #2 (28 Oct 2022)
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (01 Nov 2022) by Denis-Didier Rousseau
AR by Aaron Chesler on behalf of the Authors (09 Nov 2022)  Author's response    Manuscript
Knowledge of microparticle geometry is essential for accurate calculation of ice core volume-related dust metrics (mass, flux, and particle size distributions) and subsequent paleoclimate interpretations, yet particle shape data remain sparse in most of ice core records. The approach and results of this work are of interest for the broad geoscience community, since it potentially enables a better characterization of all data obtained from the dust in ice cores. This study of samples from South Pole ice core (SPC14) indicates that coarser particles (>5.0 μm diameter) show greater variation in measured aspect ratios than finer particles (<5.0 μm). While fine particle volumes can be accurately estimated using the spherical assumption, applying the same assumption to coarse particles has a large effect on inferred particle volumes.
Short summary
Ice core microparticle data typically use geometry assumptions to calculate particle mass and flux. We use dynamic particle imaging, a novel technique for ice core dust analyses, combined with traditional laser particle counting and Coulter counter techniques to assess particle shape in the South Pole Ice Core (SPC14) spanning 50–16 ka. Our results suggest that particles are dominantly ellipsoidal in shape and that spherical assumptions overestimate particle mass and flux.