Kinetics of Conversion of Air Bubbles to Air Hydrate Crystals in Antarctic Ice

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  24 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5205, pp. 1802-1804
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5205.1802


The depth dependence of bubble concentration at pressures above the transition to the air hydrate phase and the optical scattering length due to bubbles in deep ice at the South Pole are modeled with diffusion-growth data from the laboratory, taking into account the dependence of age and temperature on depth in the ice. The model fits the available data on bubbles in cores from Vostok and Byrd and on scattering length in deep ice at the South Pole. It explains why bubbles and air hydrate crystals coexist in deep ice over a range of depths as great as 800 meters and predicts that at depths below ∼1400 meters the AMANDA neutrino observatory at the South Pole will operate unimpaired by light scattering from bubbles.