Noble gas signatures in Greenland: Tracing glacial meltwater sources Academic Article uri icon


  • This study represents the first comprehensive noble gas study in glacial meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet. It shows that most samples are in disequilibrium with surface collection conditions. A preliminary Ne and Xe analysis suggests that about half of the samples equilibrated at a temperature of ~0°C and altitudes between 1000?m and 2000?m, with a few samples pointing to lower equilibration altitudes and temperatures between 2°C and 5°C. Two samples suggest an origin as melted ice and complete lack of equilibration with surface conditions. A helium component analysis suggests that this glacial meltwater was isolated from the atmosphere prior to the 1950s, with most samples yielding residence times ??420?years. Most samples represent a mixture between a dominant atmospheric component originating as precipitation and basal meltwater or groundwater, which has accumulated crustal 4He over time.

publication date

  • November 16, 2015