Ice Core Paleoclimatology

Tanzania - Mt. Kilimanjaro

Ice Core Recovery

In January and February of 2000, six ice cores were drilled to bedrock from the three remnant ice fields on the rim and summit plateau atop Kilimanjaro (3' 03.7' S; 37' 21.2' E; 5893 m asl). The three longest cores (NIF1, NIF2, NIF3) were drilled to depths of 50.9, 50.8, and 49.0 meters, respectively, from the Northern Ice Field (NIF), the largest of the ice bodies. The photo to the left shows the OSU drill camp (dome on top of the NIF) and the field camp that appears as small specks just in front of the NIF wall. A closer view of the field camp is shown below.

Two shorter cores (SIF1 and SIF2) were drilled to bedrock on the Southern Ice Field (SIF) to depths of 18.5 m and 22.3 m, respectively, and a 9.5-m core (FWG) was drilled to bedrock on the small, thin Furtw'ngler Glacier (FWG) within the crater. Temperatures were measured in each borehole and ranged from -1.2'C at 10 meters depth to -0.4'C at bedrock in the NIF and were consistently near 0'C in the SIF. No evidence of water was observed in the boreholes on the NIF and SIF, but the Furtw'ngler Glacier (FWG) was water saturated throughout so that the FWG core was recovered from a water-filled borehole.