Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

J.R. Reid


Black magnetic spherules are particles which can be derived by ablationary processes from cosmic sources. Spherules from both the glacial ice and sea ice of Fletcher's Ice Island (T-3) were studied to determine their size distribution, sedimentation rates, and other parameters. The results were examined and shown to be similar to those of other researchers' work elsewhere.

Calculated sedimentation rates for glacial ice spherules, extrapolated for the entire earth's surface, range from 1.1 x 10⁴ to 1.1 x 10⁵ metric tons per year. Calculated sedimentation rates for sea ice spherules range from 5.0 x 10³ to 1.6 x 10⁵ metric tons per year. Vertical variations in cumulative mass for closely spaced glacial ice cores indicate a similarity of depositional pattern.

This study represents the first known occurrence of spherules in Arctic sea ice but, does not explain the mechanism by which such particles are included. Any acceptable interpretation requires an explanation of the presence of spherules at depth in the sea ice.

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Geology Commons