Articles | Volume 20, issue 2
Research article
08 Feb 2024
Research article |  | 08 Feb 2024

Effective diffusivity of sulfuric acid in Antarctic ice cores

Tyler J. Fudge, Raphael Sauvage, Linh Vu, Benjamin H. Hills, Mirko Severi, and Edwin D. Waddington

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Cited articles

Aydin, M., Fudge, T. J., Verhulst, K. R., Nicewonger, M. R., Waddington, E. D., and Saltzman, E. S.: Carbonyl sulfide hydrolysis in Antarctic ice cores and an atmospheric history for the last 8000 years, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 119, 8500–8514,, 2014. 
Barnes, P. R. F. and Wolff, E. W.: Distribution of soluble impurities in cold glacial ice, J. Glaciol., 50, 311–324, 2004. 
Barnes, P. R. F., Wolff, E. W., Mader, H. M., Udisti, R., Castellano, E., and Rothlisberger, R.: Evolution of chemical peak shapes in the Dome C, Antarctica, ice core, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 108, 4126, 2003. 
Bereiter, B., Fischer, H., Schwander, J., and Stocker, T. F.: Diffusive equilibration of N2, O2 and CO2 mixing ratios in a 1.5-million-years-old ice core, The Cryosphere, 8, 245–256,, 2014. 
Short summary
We use the oldest Antarctic ice core to estimate the rate of diffusion of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is a marker of past volcanic activity and is critical in developing ice core timescales. The rate of diffusion is uncertain and is important to know, both for selecting future ice core locations and interpreting ice core records. We find the effective diffusivity of sulfate is 10 times smaller than previously estimated, indicating that the sulfuric acid signals will persist for longer.