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The U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) facility for storing, curating, and studying meteoric ice cores recovered from the glaciated regions of the world. NICL provides scientists with the capability to conduct examinations and measurements on ice cores, and it preserves the integrity of these ice cores in a long-term repository for future investigations.

About NICL

Photo of the main archive freezer at NICL

Learn about the NICL facility, what we do at NICL, our location, our contact information, and lab tours.
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Samples & NICL Use

Photo of a core processing line at NICL

Learn about requesting samples, storing ice cores, using NICL, and scheduling a sample visit.
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In-Depth Newsletter

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Read the latest NICL newsletter containing project stories and news from the ice coring community.
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About Ice Cores

The bubbles visible in this piece from an Antarctic ice core sample contain carbon dioxide and other gases that were trapped in the ice when formed thousands of years ago

Learn about ice cores, what we do at NICL, how ice cores are drilled, and watch videos about ice cores.
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Requests for samples from NICL are coordinated through the Science Director. Samples are available to any qualified investigator, but NSF-funded investigators may be given priority to certain core sections. Investigators must complete the SAMPLE REQUEST/FACILITY USE FORM and email it to NICL-SMO at least four weeks in advance of their proposal submission deadline if the investigator plans to:

  • request samples from the NICL ice core archive; or
  • collect a new ice core and store it (even just temporarily) at NICL; or
  • use the NICL facility for core processing or for other laboratory work.



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