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Signals from the Surface Snow: Post-Depositional Processes Controlling the Ice Core IsotopicFingerprint

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SNOWISO" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: MUSEPLASSEN 1
city: BERGEN
postcode: 5020

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Norway [NO]
 Total cost 1˙497˙260 €
 EC max contribution 1˙497˙260 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN NO (BERGEN) coordinator 1˙497˙260.00


 Project objective

For the past 50 years, our use of ice core records as climate archives has relied on the fundamental assumption that the isotopic composition of precipitation deposited on the ice sheet surface determines the ice core water isotopic composition. Since the isotopic composition in precipitation is assumed to be governed by the state of the climate this has made ice core isotope records one of the most important proxies for reconstructing the past climate.

New simultaneous measurements of snow and water vapor isotopes have shown that the surface snow exchanges with the atmospheric water vapor isotope signal, altering the deposited precipitation isotope signal. This severely questions the standard paradigm for interpreting the ice core proxy record and gives rise to the hypothesis that the isotope record from an ice core is determined by a combination of the atmospheric water vapor isotope signal and the precipitation isotope signal.

The SNOWISO project will verify this new hypothesis by combining laboratory and field experiments with in-situ observations of snow and water vapor isotopes in Greenland and Antarctica. This will enable me to quantify and parameterize the snow-air isotope exchange and post-depositional processes. I will implement these results into an isotope-enabled Regional Climate Model with a snowpack module and benchmarked against in-situ observations. Using the coupled snow-atmosphere isotope model I will establish the isotopic shift due to post-depositional processes under different climate conditions. This will facilitate the use of the full suite of water isotopes to infer past changes in the climate system, specifically changes in ocean sea surface temperature and relative humidity.

By establishing how the water isotope signal is recorded in the snow, the SNOWISO project will build the foundation for future integration of isotope-enabled General Circulation Models with ice core records; this opens a new frontier in climate reconstruction.


List of deliverables.
Data Management Plan Open Research Data Pilot 2019-10-08 17:15:26

Take a look to the deliverables list in detail:  detailed list of SNOWISO deliverables.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 M. V. Madsen, H. C. Steen‐Larsen, M. Hörhold, J. Box, S. M. P. Berben, E. Capron, A.‐K. Faber, A. Hubbard, M. F. Jensen, T. R. Jones, S. Kipfstuhl, I. Koldtoft, H. R. Pillar, B. H. Vaughn, D. Vladimirova, D. Dahl‐Jensen
Evidence of Isotopic Fractionation During Vapor Exchange Between the Atmosphere and the Snow Surface in Greenland
published pages: 2932-2945, ISSN: 2169-897X, DOI: 10.1029/2018jd029619
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 124/6 2019-09-05

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The information about "SNOWISO" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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