Trace elements in ice samples taken from Law Dome, Antarctica, were analysed using an instrumental neutron-activation analysis technique. A Jupiter multichannel analyser-computer system coupled to a Ge(Li) detector was used for the acquisition of γ-spectra and for data reduction. “Blanks” in water and in nitric acid, which were used in pre-concentration and sample transfer, were also analysed. To check the validity of this analytical procedure, a U.S. Environment Protection Agency water standard for trace elements was also analysed. The observed values agreed with the certified values.
The results (in ppb) of eight elements are:
Na 209 Mn 0.42 Mg 26 Fe 14
Sc 0.0017 Co 0.028 Al 9.6 Se 0.02
The enrichment factors for these eight elements relative to the Earth’s crust were calculated. These elements can be subdivided into three groups or sources according to their enrichment factors. The variations of elemental concentrations with depth show no positive tendency towards a systematic increase or decrease over the past 5000 years.