ESR 5 – Developing an instrument to make continuous observations of the crystal size on a 1 m polished surface of an ice core

Early stage researcher: Miguel Angel Sánchez Moreno (Univ. of Copenhagen, DK)

Supervisors: D. Dahl Jensen (Univ. of Copenhagen, DK), A. Lamott (Schäfter & Kirchhoff GmbH, DE)

Academic secondment: AWI (DE); Non-academic secondment: Schäfter & Kirchhoff GmbH (DE)


The physical properties of ice crystals are strongly related to the flow and deformation of ice. This has been established by detection of crystal size and crystal orientation on 10 cm x 10 cm thin sections of ice through many of the deep ice cores.

Preparation of ice samples and measurements are however very demanding and less than 1 % of the ice core can be observed.

The vision with the Large Area Scanning Microscope (LASM) should make it possible to have measurement over a whole ice core. This information is key for a deep ice core with a strong risk of fold and disturbances in the near basal ice.

Here, we aim at using LASM to (1) get information with LASM on ice rheology and study how rheology influences the deformation properties of ice, (2) reconstruct folds and disturbances of the deep ice based on the LASM measurements, (3) align radio echo sounding layering in the ice near an ice core site and potentially get a 3D more holistic picture of basal disturbances.

The company S&K will develop the microscope while UCPH will develop the ice core bench and the microtoming of the ice core before it enters the microscope setup for 1 m long ice cores.

Credit: A. Lamott (Schäfter & Kirchhoff GmbH)


Scientific results