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New Zealand Ice Core Research Facility

Recovered from ancient depths of the polar ice sheets, ice cores provide the most direct and highly resolved records of atmospheric signals over the past one million years.

Opened in April 2007, the NZ Ice Core Research Facility is a modern facility located at the National Isotope Centre in Wellington. The facility's purpose is to process ice cores and snow samples for analysis before they are sent off to associated laboratories. It is run jointly by GNS Science, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago, University of Canterbury, and the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research under the umbrella of the Joint Antarctic Research Institute.

The purpose-built building comprises an office area, an ultra clean lab at ambient temperature, a working freezer at -18°C and two storage freezers at -35°C. We currently house 800m of Antarctic and 80m of NZ ice cores and have capacity to hold at least 2000m of ice core.


Handling an ice core from Antarctica at sub-sero temperature at the Ice Core Facility.

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