Isotope Ratios of Ice and Snow in Taylor Valley


As a part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER program, isotope ratios have been determined from 295 ice/snow samples in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Hydrogen/deuterium isotope ratios are given for all samples, and for a subset, there are oxygen isotope ratios, and a deuterium-excess. Values are reported relative to VSMOW, +/- 1.0 per mil for hydrogen, and +/- 0.1 for oxygen.

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The samples were obtained in 3 field seasons: 1993-94, 1994-95, and 1996-97. The samples were analyzed by Bruce Vaughn at the Stable Isotope Lab at INSTAAR (Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research), University of Colorado. For the samples obtained during the 1993-94 year, a duplicate set was analyzed by Tyler Coplen at the US Geological Survey, in Reston, Virginia. For the analysis of hydrogen isotopes, the uranium reduction method was used at INSTAAR, and the platinum-catalyst equilibration method was used at the USGS. For oxygen isotopes, the standard CO2/H2O equilibration method was used at both labs. There was agreement between the analyses done at the two labs.


Data from this table was submitted to Denise Steigerwald (MCM LTER data manager) by Bruce Vaughn on a floppy disk. The file was in ascii text, tab delimited format, and can be found in the data manager's home directory on INSTAAR's Unix system. Once submitted, the data manager used Microsoft Excel and Access to fine-tune the file and get it in more of a relational mode. Changes made include the following:

* The 'YR/ID' field was renamed to 'sample#', and had the year portion removed. Information for sample year is represented in the date field.

* The 'Type' field was renamed to 'sample type', and written out as "snowpit" rather the abbreviation "P".

Once the above changes were made, the file was exported into comma delimited ascii format and MS-DOS text format for presentation on the web page. The resulting files (snptistp.dat and snptistp.txt) contain a link to this page.

Metadata was completed in 2016

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Data contained in these files has been subjected to quality control standards imposed by the investigator. The user of this data should be aware that, while efforts have been taken to ensure that these data are of the highest quality, there is no guarantee of perfection for the data contained herein and the possibility of errors exists. If you encounter questionable data, please contact the MCM LTER data manager so that the data can be corrected or qualified. Thus, these data may be modified and future data will be appended.


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