A four-man party representing the Arctic Institute of North America and the Department of Geology, Dartmouth College, went to the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in 1960 to obtain ice cores for subsequent laboratory analysis. The overall objective of the project was to study the structural and stratigraphic history of the shelf and its relationship to the environment through laboratory analysis of the cores, using stratigraphic. petrologic, chemical, and physical methods.
The four cores obtained were logged, packed, and shipped to Dartmouth College for detailed study. The stratigraphy and structure of the ice were studied under natural and plane polarized light conditions. The results of this initial work showed that the cores were composed of four ice types: glacier ice, lake ice, sea ice, and transition ice. Chlorinity, sulfate, and density profiles complemented megascopic studies and were most useful criteria for plotting stratigraphie changes in ice type.
Results of the investigations thus far have yielded new information about the gross structure and stratigraphy of the ice shelf and re-entrant. They have also shown that the physical and chemical techniques employed will be useful in future ice-core analysis.