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(Sep 2013) The 8m long Ice core of Vasto Ice Cave

October 10, 2013

On days 30 September and 1-2 October 2013, a 7.8 m long ice core has been extracted from a permanent ice cave deposit in the Southeastern Alps (Vasto’s cave, "grotta del Vasto in italian", Mt.Canin - Julian Alps).

Each 20 to 100 cm long section of the ice core have been immediately stored in plastic bags and preserved thanks to dry ice. The ice samples, thanks to the helicopter, has been subsequently brought on valley and promptly stored in a refrigerated van, made available by BoFrost. Thus the ice cores has been transported intact to the EUROCOLD laboratory in Milan.

The choice of the place where to extract the ice core has been selected after a dedicated high-resolution GPR survey performed on the surface of the ice deposit. This methodology allowed to visualize and avoid debris and boulders present in the ice deposit that could have damaged the tip of the ice driller. In this way it was possible to extract the longest core ever extracted in the Italian Alps in an ice cave. The ice core has been cut and stored thanks to the EUROCOLD facilities and a detailed full stratigraphic analysis has been realized.

All the samples are now ready to be analyzed by using isotope geochemistry techniques (δ18O and δD), crystallographic analysis and C14 radiocarbon dating of organic materials. The preliminary results allow us to hypothesize the use of additional methods for a complete characterization of this very potentially very interesting paleoclimatic record


(Photo credits Fabrizio Giraldi)




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photo Fabrizio Giraldi

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