Lead Isotopes in Ice Cores

Ice cores provide high-resolution archives of lead (Pb) pollution, however, due to low concentrations found ice cores (often only a few parts per trillion) and limits of instrumentation, studies have struggled to develop a long-term global record of sources of Pb pollution. Ice core studies that have utilized Pb isotopes are limited either in resolution, due to the need for large sample size requirements, or have large uncertainties. In this work, we attempt to produce a record that has lower uncertainties and high resolution.  

The results of this research seek to examine temporal variability in the Pb isotope record to identify periods of significant isotopic shift, representing periods when sources may have changed, or relative source use has altered. This research also seeks to derive the cause of these shifts in isotopic composition by using Pb isotope fingerprinting techniques to determine sources of Pb pollution in the core.


This work was partially funded by a Geological Society of America's Graduate Student Research Grant.

Current Status:

This paper is currently in process. I plan on presenting the results of the research at GSA 2020. 

Related Conferences:

Goldschmidt Virtual 2020 (June 2020) - Oral Presentation

Sophia Wensman, Alyssa Shiel, Joseph McConnell

Abstract: Application of HR-ICP-MS Techniques to Constrain Modern Lead Pollution Sources in Greenland Ice (Abstract ID: #2020004343)