On the south central rim of the Tibetan Plateau, the highest and largest plateau in the world, Dasuopu (28oN 85oE, 6900 m) will fill a gap in paleoclimate records and become part of the Austral-Asian transect in an international project under Past Global Changes (PAGES) Pole Equator Pole (PEP) II Program. This project will attempt to recover the highest ice core ever drilled. The Dasuopu core will complement ice cores previously drilled from ice caps on the northeastern (Dunde) and northwestern (Guliya) margins of the Tibetan plateau. These projects are described below.
The Asian monsoon influences the most heavily populated region in the world and is recognized as a significant component of the global atmospheric circulation. Dasuopu is well within the monsoonal airflow and should have annually recognizable wet to dry season layers in both oxygen isotopic ratio and dust. Yearly resolution is expected for the last 1000 to 3000 years. Decadal resolution is expected for the remainder of the core. Since the Asian monsoons are related to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), this core should add to the knowledge of ENSO variability and its connections to other parts of the world.
Scientists from the Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology, China will join The Ohio State University's Department of Geological Sciences and Byrd Polar Research Center in this three part project. Each part will take approximately one year. The initial field work will include short pulse radar, pit sampling, and accumulation/strain network which will better assess the likelihood of this col containing high resolution, well-preserved ice records. The following year will include drilling a core to bedrock and borehole temperature measurements. Finally, the field work will be followed up by laboratory analyses of the ice and data interpretation. An alternative site, Chongduipu, is located next to Dasuopu. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
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