The aim of deep ice drilling on Law Dome, Antarctica, has been to exploit the special characteristics of Law Dome summit, i.e. low temperature and high accumulation near an ice divide, to obtain a high-resolution ice core for climatic/environmental studies of the Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Drilling was completed in February 1993, when basal ice containing small fragments of rock was reached at a depth of 1196 m. Accurate ice dating, obtained by counting annual layers revealed by fine-detail δ18
О, peroxide and electrical-conductivity measurements, is continuous down to 399 m, corresponding to a date of AD 1304. Sulphate concentration measurements, made around depths where conductivity tracing indicates volcanic fallout, allow confirmation of the dating (for Agung in 1963 and Tambora in 1815) or estimates of the eruption date from the ice dating (for the Kuwae, Vanuatu, eruption ~1457). The lower part of the core is dated by extrapolating the layer-counting using a simple model of the ice flow. At the LGM, ice-fabric measurements show a large decrease (250 to 14 mm2) in crystal size and a narrow maximum in c-axis vertically. The main zone of strong single-pole fabrics however, is located higher up in a broad zone around 900 m. Oxygen-isotope (δ18O) measurements show Holocene ice down to 1113 m, the LGM at 1133 m and warm (δ18O) about the same as Holocene) ice near the base of the ice sheet. The LGM/Holocene δ18O shift of 7.0‰, only ~1‰ larger than for Vostok, indicates that Law Dome remained an independent ice cap and was not overridden by the inland ice sheet in the Glacial.