Dr. Martin Sharp takes us on a tour through our frozen past

The CMN booth for the Canadian Ice Core Archive talk and tour

The CMN booth for the Canadian Ice Core Archive talk and tour

The Canadian Ice Core Archive (CICA) opened its doors to the public for a series of lectures and tours of the recently constructed storage and analytical facilities at the University of Alberta. As one of a handful of facilities of its kind in North America, this offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look into the world of glaciology and geochemistry.

Professor Martin Sharp, Director of the CICA and a glaciologist with 40 years of field experience on glaciers in the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica, Alaska, Iceland, Norway, and the Swiss Alps, delivered a fascinating presentation on the methods, uses, and logistics, of ice core collection and analysis.

Dr. Martin Sharp presents on the Canadian Ice Core Archive

Dr. Martin Sharp presents on the Canadian Ice Core Archive

The lecture was followed by a tour of the archive itself. Braving the frigid temperatures of the -38C ice core storage facility at the U of A, professor Sharp guided us through the newly constructed storage and analytical facilities of the Canadian Ice Core Archive. Containing around 1.7 km of ice cores, the archive represents over 10,000 years of meteorological and geological evidence. In addition to the archive room itself, various analytical facilities have also been built including a lab kept at -17C for researchers to work on the cores themselves without the risk of accidental destruction of samples.

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Inside the Canadian Ice Core Archive

Inside the Canadian Ice Core Archive

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These lab tours and lectures were part of a series of events put on by the Canadian Mountain Network as part of the 2017 Mountain Festival at the University of Alberta. The Canadian Mountain Network(CMN) is a voluntary alliance of partners from universities, governments, Indigenous communities, and businesses dedicated to the sustainability of mountain environments and communities across the country and around the world.

Stay tuned to this blog at internationalmountainday.ca/2017blog and check out a comprehensive list of associated events at the U of A and across Canada at internationalmountainday.ca/events.