J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 699 - 702

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 699
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030399

First results of trace element analysis in ice cores using Continuous Ice Melting (CIM) Inductively Coupled Plasma Sector Field Mass Spectrometry (ICP-SFMS)

S. Knüsel11, 2, D.E. Piguet2, M. Schwikowski2 and H.W. Gäggeler1, 2

1  Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Berne, Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Berne, Switzerland
2  Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

The conventional way of analysing trace elements in ice cores requires rigorously clean conditions during sample preparation and analysis [1, 2], is extremely time-consuming and susceptible to contamination. Additionally, only a low spatial resolution (10 to 20 cm) in the ice core can be obtained. However, the analyses of trace elements in ice cores from glaciers with low annual accumulation or strong layer thinning, demands a high spatial resolution to examine sub-seasonal features. In order to obtain uninterrupted, highly resolved records, a continuous ice-melting device (CIM) was coupled to an inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometer (ICP-SFMS). Advantages of this technique include increased spatial resolution of about 1 cm and reduced preparation and analysis time. Good reproducibility of CIM ICP-SFMS was observed when melting an ice core twice.

© EDP Sciences 2003