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The National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF) — formerly the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) — is a facility for storing, curating, and studying meteoric ice cores recovered from the glaciated regions of the world. NSF-ICF 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.


Photo of the main archive freezer at NSF-ICF

Learn about the NSF-ICF facility, what we do at NSF-ICF, our location, and our contact information.
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Samples & Facility Use

Photo of a core processing line at NSF-ICF

Learn about requesting samples, storing ice cores, using NSF-ICF, and scheduling a sample visit.
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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, how ice cores are drilled, and watch videos about ice cores.
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Requests for samples from NSF-ICF 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 the SMO at least four weeks in advance of their proposal submission deadline if the investigator plans to:

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



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