Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Loren Meeker

Kirk Maasch

Graduate Student

Tyler Cruickshank

Joseph Souney

Daniel Dixon

Susan Kaspari

Undergraduate Student

Benjamin Cavallari

Technician, Programmer

Zachary Smith

Sharon Sneed

Michael Handley

Organizational Partners

Boston Museum of Science


University of Arizona

Ohio State University

University of Washington

University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Pennslyvania

NASA Goddard

University of New Hampshire

Motorola Inc

Project Period

July 2000-June 2005

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



The UMaine Continuous ice core Melter (UMCoM) system is a modified Wagenbach-style continuous melter system (Rothlisberger et al., 2000) with three important differences. First, we have constructed the melthead as two separate pieces, a base and a melter plate, so that it can be easily dismantled and cleaned between melting sessions. Second, the melter plate in contact with the ice is composed of pure nickel (>99.9% Ni) so that trace element measurements can be made from the meltwater stream. Third, in contrast to ice core melter systems in which the meltwater is directly channeled to online instruments for continuous flow analyses (e.g. Sigg et al., 1991; Rothlisberger et al., 2000; Huber et al., 2001; McConnell et al., 2002; Knusel et al., 2003), the UMCoM system collects discrete, high-resolution (<1-2 cm/sample), co-registered samples for each chemical analysis under ultraclean conditions using three or more (if needed) Gilson® fraction collectors (a fraction collector is a device that automatically apportions a liquid flow into discrete samples based on volume). This third modification provides exceptional flexibility in tailoring specific chemical analyses to each project. Currently, the UMCoM system is producing samples from the 2001 Mt. Logan summit ice core for analysis of 30 trace elements (Ca, Al, Fe, S, Sr, Cs, Bi, U, Tl, As, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), 8 major ions (Na+, Mg2+, K+, Ca2+, Cl-, SO4 2-, NO3 -, MSA) by ion chromatography (IC), stable water isotopes (δ18O, δD, d) by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), and volcanic tephra. The list of analytes can be adjusted to address the specific needs of each project.

Included in

Glaciology Commons