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Ice Core Analysis Techniques (ICAT) PhD school-2024

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Date: 23–27 September 2024
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Venue: Tagensvej 16, DK-2200 Copenhagen 


The ICAT PhD school (2 ECTS) is aimed at PhD students and junior postdocs who conduct ice core analysis or are users of ice core data (glaciologists, oceanographers, climate modelers, earth scientists).

ICAT aims to educate a new generation of ice core researchers and foster a collaborative environment for future glaciological projects.

This course will educate young scientists regarding new methods developed for the analysis of ice cores with regard to climate research, with dedicated theoretical and laboratory exercise sessions.

The Ice Core Analysis Techniques (ICAT) PhD School offers participants a detailed introduction to the variety of climate and geophysical information that can be obtained from ice cores. The school aims to bring together leading ice core researchers and emerging young scientists; covering such diverse topics as ice core analysis, experimental techniques, integration of ice core data into models, statistics, mapping and non-destructive analysis techniques. We aim to provide a new forum for young ice core scientists to meet, learn and build a common experience for future collaborations.

The PhD school is available for early career researchers such as PhD’s and postdocs. 

Course content

The PhD school will focus on the many aspects of climate reconstructions available from ice cores.

The PhD school will cover dating methods applied to ice cores, such as annual layer counting, volcanic and other dating markers, greenhouse gases, cross-core and cross-archive dating, as well as the uncertainties associated with the different dating methods.

We will include discussions regarding transport and deposition processes, such as different wind patterns of the past, dry and wet deposition, re-deposition and sastrugis influence, firnification and movement within the ice, diffusion and influence of the ice matrix as well as crystal boundary effects.

We will discuss the multiple proxies determined in ice cores, measurement methods, accuracy and precision. State-of-the-art measurement techniques will be compared in terms of measurement accuracy, but also in term of depth resolution and of cause the number of different proxies will be discussed, such as reconstruction of source areas, source changes, temperature, greenhouse gases, volcanic eruptions, biosphere, etc.

We will discuss the different ways to retrieve ice cores, differences and benefits of different ice core sites, drilling techniques, replicate drilling, shallow drilling, rapid access and the potential for borehole logging techniques.

Finally we will introduce how one can work with the ice core data. How to deal with data with variable resolution, we will discuss what can actually be learned, and the importance of including uncertainties and variability in reconstructions.

The applicants will be expected to give a short presentation of their own research topics, and thus we will update each other on the most recent research within ice cores. Further the course will include laboratory visits at the Centre for Ice and Climate.

Topics include (depending on instructor availability):

  • Ice core drilling techniques
  • Ice core logging
  • ICP-MS, IC, IRMS, Picarros, with more ice core measurement techniques
  • Continuous flow analysis vs discrete measurements
  • firnification
  • re-deposition and sastrugi influence
  • Transport and deposition processes
  • Timescales
  • Reconstruction of paleo climate from ice cores
  • Comparisons to other paleo archives
  • Telling who you are - Video introductions 

We do not use badges for participants. Over the first two days of ICAT, all students will present a 2 to 3-min video of who they are and what their project is about.


International: Amaelle Landais, Maria Hörhold and Paul Bierman (TBC)

Local: Bo Vinther (TBC), Sune Olander Rasmussen, Thomas Blunier, Jens Hesselbjerg (TBC), Christine Hvidberg, Helle Kjær, Julien Westhoff, Nicholas Rathmann, Grant Vernon Boeckmann, Tamara Gerber,  Aslak Grinsted (TBC), and Anders Svensson


The application deadline is 29 February 2024. And we expect to let people know soon after.


The course has a registration fee of 130 euro, which will cover lectures, excursion, social and lunches.

Registration is online via an application form:

Further information

Please visit the website for further information: