Overview (1993)

Between 1990 and 1992 a survey of five glaciers located north-south along the Cordillera Blanca was conducted to identify the best sites for acquiring longer-term paleoclimatic and environmental records. In addition, satellite-linked automatic weather stations were established on two of the sites, Hualcán and Pucahirca, to record current meteorological conditions at the top of the Andes. The col of Huascarán (9o06'41" S; 77o36'53" W), the highest (6048 m a.s.l) and coldest of the sites, was selected for drilling to bedrock as shallow cores from all five sites confirmed that it contained the best preserved stratigraphic records. In 1993 two ice cores were drilled to bedrock using a portable, light-weight, solar-powered thermal drilling system. Core 1 (C1), 160.4 m long (152.41 m ice eq.), was cut in the field into 2677 samples, which were melted and poured into bottles and sealed with wax. Core 2 (C2), 166.1 meters long (158.44 m ice eq.), was returned frozen to The Ohio State University, where it was cut into 4675 samples. Samples from both cores were analyzed for microparticle concentrations (dust), chloride ( Cl- ), nitrate (NO3-) and sulfate (SO42-) concentrations, and lowercase delta symbol18O and lowercase delta symbolD.

The following paper (abstract is clickable) summarizes the results from the Huascaran cores.

Thompson, L.G., E. Mosley-Thompson, M.E. Davis, P-N. Lin, K.A. Henderson, J. Cole-Dai, J.F. Bolzan and K-b. Liu. 1995. Late Glacial Stage and Holocene tropical ice core records from Huascarán, Peru. Science, 269, 46-50.

A group of people setting up an ice core drill on a glacier. A picture on top of the main picture shows the assembled drill.
Ice core drill surrounded by solar panels on a snowy landscape.

Project Update (2019)

Coming soon.