Articles | Volume 9, issue 6
Clim. Past, 9, 2713–2730, 2013

Special issue: International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS): 2012...

Clim. Past, 9, 2713–2730, 2013

Research article 05 Dec 2013

Research article | 05 Dec 2013

A first chronology for the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core

S. O. Rasmussen1, P. M. Abbott2, T. Blunier1, A. J. Bourne2, E. Brook3, S. L. Buchardt1, C. Buizert3, J. Chappellaz4, H. B. Clausen1,†, E. Cook2, D. Dahl-Jensen1, S. M. Davies2, M. Guillevic1,5, S. Kipfstuhl6, T. Laepple6, I. K. Seierstad1, J. P. Severinghaus7, J. P. Steffensen1, C. Stowasser1, A. Svensson1, P. Vallelonga1, B. M. Vinther1, F. Wilhelms6, and M. Winstrup1 S. O. Rasmussen et al.
  • 1Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Department of Geography, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  • 3College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
  • 4UJF – Grenoble 1/CNRS, UMR5183, CNRS – Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), Grenoble, France
  • 5Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif/Yvette, France
  • 6Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 7Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
  • deceased

Abstract. A stratigraphy-based chronology for the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) ice core has been derived by transferring the annual layer counted Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 (GICC05) and its model extension (GICC05modelext) from the NGRIP core to the NEEM core using 787 match points of mainly volcanic origin identified in the electrical conductivity measurement (ECM) and dielectrical profiling (DEP) records. Tephra horizons found in both the NEEM and NGRIP ice cores are used to test the matching based on ECM and DEP and provide five additional horizons used for the timescale transfer.

A thinning function reflecting the accumulated strain along the core has been determined using a Dansgaard–Johnsen flow model and an isotope-dependent accumulation rate parameterization. Flow parameters are determined from Monte Carlo analysis constrained by the observed depth-age horizons.

In order to construct a chronology for the gas phase, the ice age–gas age difference (Δage) has been reconstructed using a coupled firn densification-heat diffusion model. Temperature and accumulation inputs to the Δage model, initially derived from the water isotope proxies, have been adjusted to optimize the fit to timing constraints from δ15N of nitrogen and high-resolution methane data during the abrupt onset of Greenland interstadials.

The ice and gas chronologies and the corresponding thinning function represent the first chronology for the NEEM core, named GICC05modelext-NEEM-1. Based on both the flow and firn modelling results, the accumulation history for the NEEM site has been reconstructed. Together, the timescale and accumulation reconstruction provide the necessary basis for further analysis of the records from NEEM.